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NEWS | Dec. 28, 2021

U.S. Navy Seabees Construct Dental Facility

By Petty Officer 1st Class Stephane Belcher Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5

MANUS ISLAND, Papua New Guinea -- The U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 are building a dental facility at the Lombrum Naval Base, Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The facility will provide dental care to Manus residents and the surrounding islands, drastically improving the infrastructure on Lombrum Naval Base while strengthening partnerships between the U.S. and PNG.

The Seabees are deployed to PNG—at the request of the PNG Defence Force—to work with the PNG Defence Force and Australian Defence Force on infrastructure improvements as part of their 2021-2022 deployment to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.

Construction of the five-room dental facility includes an elevated concrete pad and balcony connecting the building to the medical facility; installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; plumbing; and electricity.

“The dental facility is a unique structure,” said Builder 2nd Class Pascua Richtofen, with NMCB-5. “It is one of the most groundbreaking projects the Seabees have executed, especially for our first-time deployers. We have exhausted all the technical skills learned throughout our training to ensure build quality and overcome challenges of its construction with the limited resources available in this new detachment site.”

The goal of NMCB-5 is to provide quality construction and a working partnership with the host nation to enable long-term support and a strategic forward presence within the South Pacific area of operations. The projected completion of the project is in the fiscal year 2023. The Seabees with NMCB-5 will turn over the project to NMCB-3 in 2022.

The Seabee’s efforts will help develop, sustain, and enhance the PNG Defence Force maritime security capabilities and capacity, improving maritime security and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to NMCB-5 are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, strengthening their alliances and partnerships, and providing general engineering and civil support to joint operational forces. Homeported out of Port Hueneme, California, NMCB-5 has 13 detail sites deployed throughout the U.S and Indo-Pacific area of operations.

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