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Restoring health and hope with construction

Written By vibykhmer on Friday, August 28, 2009 | 6:58 AM


Marines precisely cut material to be used during construction of an annex being added to the Pechmony Health Center during construction Aug. 8. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cordero).
http://www.okinawa.usmc.mil
Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Cordero

KAMPONG SPEU PROVINCE, Cambodia (August 28, 2009) -- At the center of a small market town in the Kampong Speu Province, the sounds of drills and hammers were heard among the busy shops as U.S. Marines and sailors along with Royal Cambodian Armed Forces engineers worked throughout August to restore a closed down medical facility.

Restoring the Veal Ang Popel Health Center was part of the Cambodia Interoperability Program Engineer Civic Assistance Project 2009. Not only did they finish construction, but they finished before the expected completion date of Tuesday.

The health center was once a children's clinic and a delivery hospital.

The project was expected to take more than a month to complete, but the U.S. Marines and sailors and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces engineers completed the project in less than three weeks.

Infrastructure and design improvements included replacing the ceiling, roofing and tiling; adding ramp accessibility and installing electrical power with solar panels.

Many of the improvements were done to reduce the effects of corrosion, aging and termite damage, according to Sgt. Bradley S. Carlton the platoon sergeant of combat engineer platoon, Engineer Operations Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Wing Support Group 17, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The project was part of Cambodia Interoperability Program 09, an effort of U.S. and Cambodian governments to build relationships and develop bonds between the forces.

A ceremony marking the opening of the center was conducted Thursday.

Marines and sailors are also working with Royal Cambodian Armed Forces engineers to restore the Pechmony Health Center, which should be completed by the end of August.

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