In addition to all of the medical personnel onboard USNS Comfort, there are 21 Seabees from Construction Batallion Maintenance Unit 202 (CBMU 202) out of Washington, DC and Little Creek, VA.

During the course of my visit to USNS COMFORT in Antigua & Barbuda, I was able to spend the morning with them at a local hospital where they were renovating the women’s barracks. On the day I visited them, it was their next to last day at the work site.

The Seabees gutted the interior of the building down to the studs and installed new doors, windows, flooring, electrical system, and light fixtures. On the exterior, they painted the entire building, installed new gutters, and dug up and replaced 130 feet of gray water lines. About the only thing left intact on the structure was the roof – everything else was renovated by CBMU 202.

The whole project was estimated to have cost $250,000. Besides providing the Seabees with some great rate training on the island of 365 beaches (which they hardly ever saw), the U.S. Navy joined forces with Rotary International and Antigua & Barbuda’s Public Works Department on this project. The local Rotary contributed more than $60,000 for this project which went towards the flooring and new bathroom and showers. Antigua & Barbuda’s Public Works Department was on hand to receive some invaluable training from our Seabees in addition to follow-on projects after the Seabees have departed Antigua & Barbuda.

Here are some pics of them at work on a women’s barracks at a local hospital in St. John’s, Antigua.

Posted by Jim Dolbow in Soft Power

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