By ENS Bret Fite NMCB-11 Det. Cameroon Officer-in-Charge
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 deployed from Gulfport, Mississippi, in February 2018 to Douala, Cameroon, to support an exercise related construction project.
Over the next few months, they will prepare and execute the remaining work to complete a multipurpose building. The building will provide a facility to be utilized by the U.S. Army along with Cameroonian and other African militaries in the Lake Chad Basin Region. It will allow all countries involved to combine forces as they rehearse coordination efforts, seeking to bring improved stability and security to the region.
The project is at a pause, as the last of the critical materials required to finish the building are being shipped to Cameroon. The advanced party of five Seabees from NMCB-11 have been finalizing the details for completing the work as they wait for material and remaining crew members to arrive.
Living in such an austere environment poses unique challenges to overcome, power and running water issues, and extreme temperatures can make the working environment uncomfortable.
When construction begins, the Seabees will have 16 personnel living at Genie Militaire, a Cameroonian Army base, home to their own engineering and construction forces. The Cameroonian troops have welcomed Seabees aboard their base for multiple deployments over the past few years and have readily provided support to their projects, further enhancing relationships between the two nations.
NMCB-11 Det. Cameroon looks forward to continue and expand the established relationship between the U.S. and Cameroonian militaries.
NMCB-11 is homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). They have personnel assigned to more than 15 locations world-wide performing a variety of missions in support of the Navy and the Department of Defense.
The NCF is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and is comprised of deployable battalions capable of providing construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.
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