U.S. Navy Seabees from Navy Mobile Construction Battalion THREE (NMCB 3) and Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE (ACB-1) partnered with counterparts from the Japanese military to construct the school over a 51 day period.

Colonel Keitaro Shido, Japanese Defense Attaché Vietnam (far left), Capt. Stanfield Chien, mission commander of Pacific Partnership 2017 (center left), Ms. Thu Hanh, Deputy Director of Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs Deputy (center right), and Ms. Susan Sutton, Deputy Chief of Mission U.S. Embassy Hanoi (far right) at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo credit: U.S. Navy 

The humanitarian assistance project afforded the Pacific Partnership construction crew the opportunity to interact with Vietnamese community members during the building process. Local residents and their children came to the construction site daily, excited to learn more about the building of the school and the construction team. This constant interaction helped develop a friendly bond between the Seabees and Vietnamese people.

The lasting impact from the kindergarten school’s construction is two fold, in that it provided the local residents with a quality education center while also creating an unforgettable camaraderie between the Pacific Partnership team members and locals.

The positive results of the schools construction builds upon the success of previous Pacific Partnership missions, enhancing partnerships and relationships in the region through humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness engagements.

“We slowly eased our way in here with past Pacific Partnership missions and built trust over time, and I think more and more projects are going to happen here as a result of everything that was accomplished,” said Ensign Emily Wolff, Officer in Charge of the project. “The school itself is top of the line, but it is only a small portion of what the Seabees accomplished here in Vietnam.”

Chung Anh