ASAN, Guam — More than 140 active-duty service members arrived on the island of Saipan Jan. 5-6, to install temporary roofs and continue to provide Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and work with the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands’ (CNMI) civil and local officials in restoring much-needed shelter to those affected by Super Typhoon Yutu.
The service members are part of Task Group Engineer, a newly formed joint team of Army, Navy and Air Force engineers led by the Army’s 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, based in Hawaii.
“As CNMI continues to recover from Super Typhoon Yutu, the military will also continue to provide assistance to FEMA in support of the CNMI recovery efforts,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas and commander of Joint Task Force West. “The engineers comprised of Army, Air Force and Navy service members will work diligently to provide much-needed temporary roofing to residents of Saipan and Tinian.”
Military service members from the DoD have accomplished many of their FEMA-assigned immediate response and recovery tasks, and their current focus is the installation of temporary roofs, of which more than 200 have already been completed by Seabees and Airmen from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 and the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron.
To meet this goal, these additional active-duty engineers will work to restore much-needed shelter to those affected by Super Typhoon Yutu, which struck the CNMI Oct. 24-25.
“We are excited to reinforce the temporary roofing efforts led by CNMI and FEMA,” said Lt. Col. Reyn Mann, 84th Engineer Battalion and Task Group Engineer commander. “We know we are stronger as a task group, and our Soldiers, Seabees and Airmen are here to work hard for the people of Tinian and Saipan, who have shown remarkable courage and resilience in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu.”
The DoD mission is expected to continue until the critical needs are met or FEMA officials have implemented the appropriate mix of civil and contracted solutions to allow them to continue to lead federal government relief and recovery efforts without DoD support.