KOLONIA, Pohnpei -- The President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) David W. Panuelo kicked off the FSM Independence Day celebration by welcoming Cmdr. Ryan Carey, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NCMB) 5, commanding officer; Esmond Moses, vice-speaker; Bethwel Henry, founding father; and others to Kolonia, Pohnpei Nov. 4.
The celebration marked 33 years of independence for FSM. During the ceremony Panuelo expressed gratitude towards the United States for its support in assisting FSM to grow into the increasingly self-sufficient nation that it is today.
Lt. Young Han, the chaplain deployed with NMCB-5, gave the invocation and voiced his appreciation for all in attendance, from traditional elders to a group of local students from Pohnpei Island Central School’s high school and Sokehs Youth Choir.
“As many generations are gathered here today to witness this ceremony, may this precious culture be passed down to the next generation so that it may not be lost, but carried forward with pride,” said Han.
“[The ceremony] is a good opportunity to represent the work of our Seabees on these detail sites and the relationship they have with the Federated States of Micronesia,” said Carey. “I was proud to do it. It was definitely apparent during our time there that the people of the Federated States of Micronesia appreciate the work that Seabees do here.”
NMCB-5 is the forward deployed construction battalion in the Indo-Pacific Command. NMCB-5’s Detail Pohnpei is strengthening partnerships and providing humanitarian aid to the local community by finishing a medical facility, Nan U Dispensary, that was started in April 2019 by the previous battalion, NMCB-4, and is on track to be finished closely following Independence Day.
There are close to 2,000 residents surrounding the dispensary that have no direct access to a medical facility. The Nan U Dispensary will provide those services to the community. This will be the second medical facility of its kind located on the island of Pohnpei.
The Seabees deployed with NMCB-5’s Detail Pohnpei will also be performing renovations to multiple schools across the island over the course of their deployment.
These school renovations will give the students a safe and healthy environment for continuing their education and bolster the growing relationship between FSM and the United States.
NMCB-5 is deployed across the Indo-Pacific region conducting high-quality construction to support U.S. and partner nations to strengthen partnerships, deter aggression, and enable expeditionary logistics and naval power projection. The battalion stands ready to support Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief and Major Combat Operations throughout the region.