Civic Construction Action Detail FSM Sailors Give Back to the People of Pohnpei

Builder 3rd Class Rosa Gomez and Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 2nd Class Curtis Gilbert pictured with Madolenihmw High School who took ASVAB tutoring. PC: Abby Kim

POHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia–Sailors with Construction Civic Action Detail, Federated States of Micronesia (CCAD FSM) assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 have participated in a number of programs to aid the people of Pohnpei since arriving in August for a routine six month deployment.

CCAD FSM has provided tutoring to high school seniors who are taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test in order to qualify to join the U.S. military, taught practical first-aid to locals, conducted and participated in various community relations (COMREL) events and completed several construction projects, all while immersing themselves in the local culture and strengthening relationships.

“I’m super proud of our team and what they have accomplished over the past six months,” said Lt. j.g. Jon Dean, CCAD FSM’s officer in charge. “They have worked hard to complete the mission and show our commitment to the people of the Federated States of Micronesia.”

CCAD FSM constructed a new classroom, renovated an existing classroom and restroom facility at Madolenihmw High School. Additionally, the team added a new 1300 linear foot chain-link fence around Temwen Elementary School and renovated a restroom facility at Awak Elementary School.

“It feels good to be able to improve the quality of life for the children of Pohnpei,” said Steelworker 2nd Class David McClure. “I get to use my expertise to help the people of Pohnpei in a positive way, there’s no better feeling.”

Over the last four months CCAD FSM has tutored over 120 students in preparation for joining the US Armed Services. The team held tutoring sessions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Citizens from FSM can freely join the US armed services while maintaining their citizenship due to the Compact of Free Association signed between the United States and the FSM.

“There is a great deal of interest from students desiring to serve in the US military and the ASVAB is one hurdle that CCAD FSM can make a little easier for them,” said Builder 3rd Class Rosa Gomez.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Curtis Gilbert, CCAD FSM’s independent duty corpsman, organized community health engagements at Madolenihmw high school. He taught over 400 high school students the importance of environmental hygiene, personal hygiene, dental care and physical exercise.

“I enjoy teaching and working with younger generations to improve their health,” said Gilbert. “It’s important for them to understand the environmental impacts of water conservation and how it doesn’t just affect them personally, but the island as a whole.”

CCAD FSM participated in a number of COMRELS including 5K runs, passing out candy for Halloween and roadway cleanups. The events allowed the Sailors to interact with the people of Pohnpei.

“Community relation events are a win-win for Pohnpeians and the CCAD
Team,” said Chief Builder Bo Hartley. “The events provide the CCAD team a grass roots avenue to strengthen relationships
with our host nation and provide a down to earth impact on an everlasting friendship between the US and FSM.

The United States has been sending CCAD Teams to the FSM for decades to continue building the partnership between the two countries.

NMCB 1 is assigned to CTF 75 and is the primary expeditionary task force responsible for the planning and execution of coastal riverine operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving engineering and construction, and underwater construction in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.