Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
For more information, contact:
Edward Baxter (65) 6750-2743
Sealift Logistics Command Far East
January 26, 2009
MSC sailors volunteer at elementary school in Thailand
|Click on the image for a high-resolution photo.|
|Sailors from Military Sealift Command Expeditionary Port Unit 111, all participants in this year's Cobra Gold exercise hosted in Thailand, volunteered during their day off to paint the lunchroom of a primary school near the city of Pattaya, Thailand Jan. 24.|
Photo by Ed Baxter, Sealift Logistics Command Far East
Eight sailors assigned to Military Sealift Command's Expeditionary Port Unit 111 brightened the lives of hundreds of local school children in Pattaya, Thailand, on Jan. 24. These sailors, all deployed to the area in support of the multi-national military exercise Cobra Gold 2009, volunteered to paint the walls and ceiling of a local school lunchroom.
The sailors spent five hours of their Saturday off working at the Ban Thung Kha School, painting the large lunch room with a new coat of lime green paint. MSC reserve unit EPU 111, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., is deployed to Thailand through Jan. 27, to manage the off-load of U.S. Marine Corps cargo used to support Cobra Gold. MSC has 17 EPUs, which train to deploy quickly to open a port even under the most difficult of circumstances.
"Giving something back to the local community is highly rewarding," said Storekeeper 1st Class Tom Hennigh from EPU 111.
More than 550 students, ranging from kindergarteners to eighth graders, are enrolled at the 30 year old school, which has 21 teachers.
The local Navy League president in Pattaya, Peter Thoran, worked with Brian Tully from MSC's Singapore-based Sealift Logistics Command Far East, to arrange the project. The Navy League provided the paint rollers, trays and small brushes. Sailors from EPU 111 pitched in to purchase the paint from a local hardware store.
"I thank the U.S. Navy because the children will now have a much better environment to learn in," said Buongoin Jane, a kindergarten teacher at the school.
"We project the Navy's core values, not just in uniform, but also by going out to help local communities around the globe," said Navy Cmdr. Ted Sego, executive officer for EPU 111.
"Several of the students came up to me and told me how happy they were about their new lunch room," said Jane, the teacher. "I bet there will be a lot of smiles when school resumes on Monday."
Cobra Gold is an annual exercise hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand that brings together armed forces from Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and the United States to engage in command-post exercises, field training, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects. The exercise will take place Feb. 4 - 17.
Sailors from EPU 111 offloaded 30 containers of ammunition and more than 240 pieces of cargo from MV Cape Howe - a cargo ship under charter to MSC. The equipment will be used during the exercise by the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan.
MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
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