NMCB 11 Builds Critical Medical Facility for Marines and Coalition Forces

By Lt.j.g. Sam Webb

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, Det Musa Qal’ah, recently completed construction of a 3,100-square-foot medical facility at a combat outpost in the Musa Qal’ah region of southern Afghanistan. The medical facility, which houses a trauma ward, two operating rooms, a laboratory, and a post-anesthesia recovery room will provide medical evacuation support and trauma care for operating forces at numerous outposts and forward operating bases in the Musa Qal’ah region.

U.S. Navy Seabees have a unique expertise in expeditionary construction. Their ability to build a quality product in a contingency environment during a time of war is reflected in their motto “We build, we fight.” Enduring extreme heat, high winds and frequent dust storms, Detachment Musa Qal’ah took pride in overcoming the challenges of living and working in austere conditions. “I loved it,” said Builder Constructionman Nolan D. Lemaster, originally from Branson, Mo., “I got to live in some situations that a lot of people will never experience.” While on the mission the Seabees slept on the ground in one-person tents and ate Meals-Ready-to-Eat for over a month.

The Seabees of Detachment Musa Qal’ah were motivated to overcome the tough living conditions, knowing their project will provide life saving facilities for coalition forces. “It feels great. They will be saving lives in this facility; definitely a big achievement for me,” said Lemaster.

Before embarking on the mission, the Seabees were told the facility was critical to the mission success of the Marine Corps and Coalition Forces operating in the area.  Utilitiesman Constructionman Anthony E. Hansrote, from Philadelphia, Pa., noted how successfully the Seabees worked as a unit to complete the mission.  “It is good to see so many people working together in unison, like a machine. We put forth so much effort and hard work into accomplishing this important mission.”  The Seabees completed the hospital facility in seven days. Chief Builder Daniel J. Sherman, from Pittsburgh, Pa., added, “We continuously battled through the elements, tirelessly working 14 hour days to ensure mission success, so the Marine units can continue to execute their mission successfully.”

The Seabees have a long history of building in support of Marine Corps operations.  For many of the Seabees assigned to Detachment Musa Qal’ah, this was their first deployment and first opportunity to work alongside Marine units. “I told our troops this is some true Seabee work” said Sherman “Look around us at the impact we are making out here, directly supporting combat operations. The Marines here have nothing but great things to say about what these Seabees are doing out here.”

Homeported in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is deployed to Afghanistan to conduct general, mobility, survivability engineering operations, defensive operations, Afghan National Army partnering and detachment of units in combined/joint operations area – Afghanistan in order to enable the neutralization of the insurgency and support improved governance and stability operations.

For more photos visit the Musa Qal’ah gallery on NMCB 11’s Official Facebook page

About jcarmichael