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WORLD NEWS 17
Army March 17, 2011
Engineers go back to school
By Capt Cameron Jamieson
AUSTRALIAN Army engineers and
US Navy Seabees have gone back to
school in East Timor during recent
months to help revitalise tired old
Several diggers from the
International Stabilisation Force helped
their US Navy construction engineer
comrades refurbish the September
4 High School in the Dili suburb of
The September 4 School is named
after the day in 1999 when the results
were announced of East Timor's inde-
School headmaster Marcelino Da
Costa Ribeiro said the refurbishment
was deeply appreciated by the staff and
students at the school.
"Before the work, the area would
become inundated with water and the
roofs would leak," Mr Da Costa Ribeiro
"Now we can concentrate on school
work without worrying about the
ISF Combat Engineer LCpl Thomas
Vallas said he was impressed with the
work the Seabees were performing on
behalf of children in East Timor.
"Any opportunity to improve
schools is welcome," he said. "If your
school looks good, you'll have pride in
it and want to attend.
"This is the fourth school these
Seabees have refurbished in the area,
and it's excellent to get out and work
with them as they are very professional
and safety conscious."
The team of Seabees are from Naval
Mobile Construction Battalion 11 of
Gulf Fort, Missouri, and are serving in
East Timor as part of US reconstruction
The Seabees have a continuous
schools and public buildings refurbish-
ment program that allows them to refur-
bish one site within Dili and one in
regional East Timor at any given time.
US Navy PO2 Erik Dines said help-
ing people was part of the reason he
became a Seabee.
"It's an honour to come over here
and help improve the learning environ-
ment for the people," he said.
"I enlisted to help my country
achieve its goals, and the locals here
appreciate what we are doing on behalf
of the US."
Lessons learnt: US Navy Seabee
PO2 Erik Dines explains ongoing
work at the September 4 school in
Dili, East Timor, to LCpl Thomas
Vallas. Several Australian engineers
are helping the Seabee team with
their ongoing task of refurbishing
schools in East Timor.
Photo by Capt Cameron Jamieson
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