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NEWS | April 10, 2019

Pacific Partnership 19 Engineering Team Builds Friendships in Marshall Islands

By Petty Officer 3rd Class Chanel Turner

ENNIBURR, Republic of the Marshall Islands -- The Pacific Partnership 2019 (PP19) engineering team completed multiple construction projects in Majuro and Kwajalein prior to departing the Republic of the Marshall Islands, March 28.

PP19's construction projects, led by U.S. Army engineers and U.S. Navy Seabees, helped to enhance the sustainability of the local Marshallese community.

Pacific Partnership exchanges create lasting bonds of friendship and trust that enable the mission to build bridges for greater cooperation between the United States, mission partners, and host nations.

The engineering projects at Long Island Elementary School included construction and renovation of a garden, building a mulch station for fertilizer and installing eight water tanks. They also repaired the roof of 10 classrooms at the school in less than two weeks.

"The kids were very grateful about what we did for them," said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edilberto Ramirez. "They were very humble and we got to interact with them quite a bit. To see the kids so happy to see us every day kept us driven to complete the mission."

At the request of each host nation, the Pacific Partnership team provides focused support to address critical infrastructure concerns including construction of or repair to schools.

In Kwajalein, the Army team, with the help of Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, home-ported in Port Hueneme, Calif., completed sidewalk construction in seven locations in Ebeye resulting in 225 feet of new sidewalk. Working side-by-side with them were local Marshallese construction workers.

"We've accomplished so much as a team while working with the Marshallese workers," said U.S. Army Pfc. Emery Garner. "With hard work and dedication, we are committed to doing what we can for the community."

"The sidewalks will be a permanent mark of our support with our allies in the Marshall Islands," said U.S. Navy Chief Builder Dearmond Mahn.

The crew left the Marshall Islands with fond memories and gratitude for being able to work together as they continue with Pacific Partnership.

"I'm really proud of my team," said Ramirez. "They were dedicated to the job - I couldn't have picked better people."

Pacific Partnership, now in its 14th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Each year, the mission team works collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships in the Indo-Pacific.

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