By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Fulton, Logistics Group Western Pacific
TAWAU, Malaysia -- Navy engineers, also known as Seabees, from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 completed three civil engineering projects May 3 in Tawau, Malaysia, as a part of exercise Pacific Partnership 2018.
The Seabees and Malaysian service members worked together on the three projects, exchanging skills and best practices while developing camaraderie.
“Working with the Malaysians was amazing, as all of their different personalities intertwined with ours and created a really fun working environment,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Manley.
‘We Learned How to Work Together’
She added, “It was a very unique experience because we had the opportunity to get hands-on experience with our host-nation partners; we learned from them, they learned from us and most importantly, we learned how to work together.”
At SK Kampung Jawa and SK Kebangsaan Taman schools, NMCB 5 Seabees constructed three open-air halls that will allow students to sit and gather for lunch or outdoor learning, with protection from the heat and rain.
Meanwhile, Seabees from ACB 1 and their Malaysian counterparts painted outdoor walls and welded together water tank stands at the Merotia Clinic near here.
The combined efforts the Pacific Partnership 2018 engineering team and their Malaysian colleagues demonstrate how the exercise generates the ability to foster friendships based on trust, unity and cooperation.
‘We Are Building Lasting Relationships’
“We are building lasting relationships that, years down the road, if we get the opportunity to come back and work with them again, they will still probably remember our names and we will be able to pick up right where we left off, working side by side,” Manley said. “It is truly such a blessing to be out here and be given this opportunity.”
Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is an annual multinational humanitarian assistance/disaster relief preparedness exercise conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise’s mission objective is to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.
Pacific Partnership 2018 consists of more than 800 U.S. military personnel, working side by side with host-nation counterparts to be better prepared for potential humanitarian aid and disaster response situations.