DA NANG, Vietnam – Sailors from the
engineering department on board USS Peleliu (LHA 5) joined as one team
with Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 during
an engineering civic assistance program (ENCAP) and community
relations (COMREL) project at Hoa Phuoc Medical Clinic in Da Nang,
Vietnam, July 19 as part of Pacific Partnership.
Team members plan to prime, fix holes and paint walls, fix faulty
electrical circuits and install ceiling fans and lights in the 12
rooms at the clinic. The project is expected to last the full 10 days
that Peleliu will be visiting Vietnam.
“We are working with the Vietnamese government to help the people with
humanitarian projects,” said Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Ronnie
Giordani the on-site project manager from NMCB 7. “It makes me feel
good about doing these types of projects because I can see it in my
team and I know they feel good about doing this mission too.”
According to Giordani, COMREL participants change every day but the
attitudes and high morale does not. He said that the participants are
contributing a lot to the projects at hand.
“It makes me feel good to be out here on these types of missions. Not
everyone gets these opportunities and experiences that we get while we
are out here,” said Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Zach Pollett,
a COMREL participant. “This is a once in a lifetime experience that I
will never forget.”
According to COMREL participants, they like to volunteer to help
people that seem to be a little less fortunate than themselves. They
said even though the jobs don’t seem like much to them, to the
Vietnamese locals it seems to make a world of difference.
“I feel that this mission, Pacific Partnership, is an excellent
opportunity for public relations with Vietnam and hopefully we can
build a stronger relationship with them,” said Engineman 1st Class
Carlos Hinojosa, a COMREL participant.
“This is the first time a ship our size has been able to come out here
(for a humanitarian mission) and visit this country and I think that
we should all feel honored and privileged to be able to have this
experience,” said Engineman 2nd Class Heidi Simpson, a COMREL
participant. “It is not everyday that you get to say that you’ve been