Nuku'alofa,TO – A new community and disaster response centre in Te’ekiu built by the NMCB 3’ Construction Civic Action Detail seabees is expected to be completed in few weeks' time.
The 710-square-meter structure will provide Te’ekiu residents a safe place to shelter during storms and hold community events.
Joint by the Tonga Defence Force, US seabees share construction techniques and strengthen friendships while building the estimated $700,000 project.
“Our community doesn’t have the money to pay for things like this,” said Tevita Tau'aho, a Te’ekiu resident and father of three. “During a hurricane or something like that we would gather in our chapel. Now, with this new center, we feel much safer. My family is very thankful to the Navy.”
The solid cement structure is framed in high-density steel with a concrete foundation. Its construction took a wide range of engineering trades that required efficient teamwork between the TDS-Seabee team.
“They’ve become our friends,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Elizabeth Andrews. “We communicate really well, we help each other without having to ask and when it comes to laying block — which is more than half of our project — they’ve been doing it for years. It’s been a really great experience.”
CAPTION: Tonga Defense Force Lance Cpl. Saili Laisolo and BU3 Paige Abernathy, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3's Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Tonga, give each other a high five after completing a row of block. Photo by MC1 Chris Fahey / NMCB 3