Mangilau village mayor, Nito Blas, recruited the help of Sailors from the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) to help clean up the village’s community center, July 29.
Blas needed help to restore his community center and recruited the Frank Cable Sailors through a program called the Sister-Village Program, a 40-year-old program that aims to restore local villages through community service projects involving the partnership of the U.S. military and local district leaders.
“I just want to make things look presentable,” said Blas. “Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday people reserve the center for fiestas, meetings, and public speaking events.”
Visitors to the center have to avoid a long, shallow pothole in the parking lot and the canopy that families and friends share for parties, meetings, and various other events was discolored by sediment deposits from frequent rainfalls. Vines and mud hornet nests lined the columns supporting the canopy.
Sailors took turns using a pressure washer to blast away dirt, discoloration, vegetation and mud hornet nests from the canopy’s cement flooring, walls, roof, and columns. Other Sailors worked on filling the pothole in the center’s parking lot.
“The people of Guam allow us, the military, to be here,” said Religious Programs Specialist Lonnie McDade. “It’s important that we try and give back as much as possible to the community.”
Blas said he only has four maintenance workers in Mangilau, the 3rd largest village district in Guam with about 20,000 people residing in the area, and that the Sister-Village program is a great help.
“I have too much work and not enough people so I really appreciate Frank Cable coming here to help clean up,” said Blas. “The Sailors come here ready to work and know how to get the job done.”
Frank Cable, through the Sister-Village Program, shares community service responsibilities with the villages of Mangilau and Piti in an effort to preserve and restore areas such as the community center, schools, and roads.
Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
Press Release, July 31, 2014; Image: US Navy