September 19, 2011

By Embassy of the United States of America Kolonia
The Kaselehlie Press

In August, the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) commenced a series of engineering projects performed by its Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Pohnpei. Initially proposed during the U.S. - F.S.M. Joint Committee Meeting in August 2010, CCAD will complete one deployment cycle every six months to a different F.S.M. state, with each state visited once every two years. The purpose of the program is to enhance U.S.-F.S.M. partnership and cooperation established during Pacific Partnership 2011 (PP'11).

In Pohnpei, CCAD Construction Battalion Unit 133 will work on four projects identified during PP'11: renovation of the Pohnpei Public Library in Kolonia; construction of a three-classroom building at Palikir Elementary School; renovation of a classroom building at PICS High School; and renovation of the Pohnpei State Substance Abuse/Mental Health Building in Nett. Renovation projects will include roof replacement, paint, ceiling fans, drainage, bathroom repairs, and air conditioning. Each $35,000 project will last between ninety and 180 days, and will utilize materials purchased from local vendors as a means to enhance the local economy.

In addition to the construction of the projects mentioned, the CCAD will also have an apprenticeship program enabling engineering and construction skills transfer to participants. The Pohnpei Department of Education (DOE) in collaboration with the CCAD will choose sixteen apprentices to participate in the program. The Pohnpei DOE would like to utilize this program to serve as a stepping stone for their candidates selected for participation in the Center for Micronesian Empowerment in Guam.

While CCAD projects continue in Pohnpei, potential project assessments will begin in Yap this month, with the Yap-assigned CCAD battalion arriving early 2012. Similar assessments will occur in Kosrae at the end of this year. In all assessments, the State Governments assist in the identification and design of engineering projects.

USPACOM protects and defends, in concert with other U.S. Government agencies, the territory of the United States, its people, and its interests. With allies and partners, USPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression, and, when necessary, fighting to win. This approach is based on partnership, presence, and military readiness.