NEWS | Nov. 7, 2017

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Seabees Complete First Joint Project of 2017 Deployment

By Construction Electrician 3rd Class Indrani Quiring

BUSAN, Republic of Korea -- Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 Detail Chinhae completed construction of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Clubhouse Facility at the Republic of Korea (ROK) Fleet naval base in Busan, Republic of Korea, Oct. 27.

NMCB 4 Seabees began working on the project with the ROK Navy engineers, Oct. 16, kicking off the first joint mission in Busan for the Seabees scheduled deployment to the Area of Responsibility (AOR).

“The overall mission was to build a relationship through the construction of a Navy facility and cleanup of the surrounding area,” said Steelworker 1st Class Ray Crumity. “This project showed interoperability between the ROK Navy and the U.S. Navy Seabees by coming together and developing a meaningful and successful mission, leading to more joint operation in the future.”

The combined team worked to construct a wooden deck and a gazebo, along with steps from the deck to the clubhouse. The project included task such as excavating, placing a level foundation, constructing the gazebo and deck and landscaping the site around the facility.

To the Seabees, the project is more than just construction; it has allowed them to work alongside their ROK Navy counterparts, learn different techniques and ways of construction and teach their ways and techniques.

“We taught them how to use an automatic level while laying bricks on a pathway,” said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Thomas Ridge. “Laying the stone for the walkway was something I’ve never done before, so it was a great experience to do it with the ROK engineers. Being able to work with one of our country’s allies and teach them the construction skills we have learned throughout our Navy careers is a great honor.”

The joint team broke down communication barriers with a Korean speaking member of NMCB 4 and three English speaking engineers from the ROK construction battalion.

“I was able to assist the team by translating for each side, allowing for the speedy reception of tasks and planning and preventing unnecessary delays,” said Builder Constructionman Dong Kwon. “Most difficulties came through our differences in perspective, however we overcame the challenges by agreeing to plan before hand on which method to use and explain why it is more efficient.”

The completion of the project marks a way to strengthen the alliance and support morale-building activities among U.S. and ROK Sailors by providing a space designed to promote cultural exchange between the two navies.

NMCB 4 is a forward deployed pacific NMCB ready to support Major Combat Operations and Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Relief operations and to provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces. Homeported out of Port Hueneme, Calif., NMCB 4 has detail sites deployed throughout the United States and Pacific area of operations, including Diego Garcia, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea Timor Leste and Micronesia.