CARACOL, Haiti (Feb. 22, 2012) Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Mario Vargas, assigned to the Marine Corps Detachment, embarked aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift, makes concrete for structural repairs at the National School of Caracol. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Alan B. Owens/Released)
CARACOL, Haiti (NNS) -- Navy Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB 23) Seabees and U.S Marines from High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift partnered with an Indonesian army, navy, and air force construction company to complete improvements on a school and dispensary in Caracol, Haiti, Feb. 29.
Nineteen Seabees and five Marines from Swift are working with 24 U.N. Indonesian engineers, who are part of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, to complete work on the Caracol dispensary and the National School in Caracol, which began Feb. 16, as part of HSV Southern Partnership Station 2012
"We are working with the Indonesians to make the school and dispensary better places for the community to learn and receive medical care," said Staff Sgt. Garival Perez, Caracol dispensary project lead. "The work we are doing will really have an impact on the community here."
The projects were budgeted for $43,000 and all supplies for the sites were purchased in Haiti, impacting a community of 14,000 people. The three-week construction is scheduled to end March 5 with a closing ceremony attended by the U.S. and Indonesian engineers and Haitian community members.
"The entire mission of HSV-SPS 12 is to build partnership," said Lt.j.g. J.P. Henry, Seabee officer-in-charge. "With every stop, I am amazed at the impact Seabees, Marines, Sailors and partner engineers, like the Indonesians, can have on the community."
The work of at the National School of Caracol is includes a roof replacement, structural repair to the support beams, the pouring of a new concrete sidewalk, and cosmetic improvements students. The work is in conjunction with several UNICEF projects, increasing the school's capacity for future use and will improve learning conditions of the 7th-9th grade students who attend.
At Caracol dispensary, the work consists of an addition of a new secured storage shed, the demolition and replacement of cabinets and shelving, the installation of an incendiary pit, the installation of security wire, and painting the building. The improvements will increase the dispensaries ability to store and maintain supplies and provide sanitary medical care to the community.
"Our work in Haiti demonstrates the need for strong seamless partnerships," said Cmdr. Garry Wright, HVS-SPS 12 mission commander. "This is the first visit by a U.S. ship to the northern side of Haiti, and the relationships we build will shape the way we work together in the future."
The construction projects are one part of the three-week HSV-SPS 12 partnership with Haiti. Service members from each of the armed services are working with the host-nation partners, exchanging information regarding medical and veterinary practices, small unit leadership, and port security.
Haiti is the last stop of the HSV-SPS 12 four-month mission, which included port visits in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.
Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with partner nation service members and civilians in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.