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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean P Rinner
On July 14, 2023, U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 and leadership from the U.S. Embassy in Accra, the Ghana Armed Forces, and South Tongu District Executive Leadership held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Nutekpor District Assembly Basic School in Nutekpor, Ghana.
NMCB 1 Seabees broke ground on March 23, 2023, starting construction on a three-room schoolhouse Engineering Civic Action Project in the Village of Nutekpor. The project consisted of removing the original foundation, placing a new 1380 square-foot foundation. The schoolhouse was constructed with over 2000 concrete masonry unit blocks along with accompanying doors, windows, and electrical appliances.
Project Crew Leader, Equipment Operator 2nd Class Alexander Brown, faced multiple challenges throughout the deployment but did not once doubt the crew's ability to complete the project.
"This environment posed many logistical challenges and gave us the opportunity to find myriad creative solutions throughout the duration of the project. Although it has not been easy, the challenges presented to us have been a great learning experience for everyone involved. I'm appreciative of the opportunity that I've been given out here, and I know that the crew will excel no matter where they go next."
The U.S. Navy worked alongside U.S. Marines from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion on building the school. This provided an outstanding opportunity to strengthen interoperability between maritime engineering services.
The ribbon cutting ceremony kicked off with South Tongu District Assemblyman Benjamin Agbeyesu giving a brief speech on the history of the school community and how these new school rooms will bolster teaching capabilities. He was then followed by U.S. Ambassador Virginia Palmer thanking the Village of Nutekpor for their hospitality during construction and emphasis on equitable economic aid and development of the relationship between the U.S. and Ghana.
As a crewmember who has worked on the school for the past four months, Utilitiesman 3rd Class Alonzo Bulloch stated, "It is a privilege to work on this project in such an interesting environment overseas. Opportunities such as this one to demonstrate Seabee skills and give back to the local community are not always available, so I take it with great honor."
The school will to host more than 100 students each year from Nutekpor and its surrounding villages, providing students and teachers a much improved educational environment for years to come.
NMCB 1 is forward deployed to execute construction, humanitarian assistance, and theater security cooperation in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Sixth Fleet areas of operation in direct support of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 68.
22nd Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) provides command and control of Naval Construction Forces in U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility in direct support of CTF 68.
CTF 68 headquartered in Rota, Spain, commands all Navy Expeditionary Forces in U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility and is responsible for providing explosive ordinance disposal operations, naval construction, expeditionary security, and theater security efforts in direct support of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. Sixth Fleet.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR.