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Navy Seabees from Naval Marine Construction Battalion 40, based in Port Hueneme, Calif., have refurbished a dermatology clinic in Constanta, Romania, according to a news release.

The Seabees patched and painted clinic walls, replaced lights, switches and outlets, and installed new sinks and toilets, according to a Joint Task Force-East press release. The nearly monthlong project ended Thursday and was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.

U.S. European Command established Joint Task Force-East to work with new allies, such as Romania and Bulgaria, and to conduct military-to-military training and humanitarian projects.

The battalion is a 600-person Seabee unit specializing in contingency construction, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. The sailors will leave Romania in a few months and be replaced by another battalion.

Seabee battalions plan on a continuous rotation of units to Romania and Bulgaria to upgrade military bases and community relation projects, the release states.

Solder in Iraq wins Volvo in USO holiday drawingAn officer with a military police unit deployed to Iraq is the grand prize winner of this year’s United Service Organizations Overseas Holiday Drawing, officials said after a drawing held Friday at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Lt. Col. Steven Nicholson, of the 177th Military Police Brigade, won a 2008 Volvo C30 that he will be able to design, USO officials said. The 177th MP Brigade is part of the Michigan National Guard and is stationed at Camp Victory, near Baghdad.

Nicholson’s name was drawn from among 52 other randomly generated names of entrants from Europe, the Pacific and downrange.

The first prize — a Canon Powershot digital camera and a one year supply (365 cans) of Pepsi — was won by Spc. Wesley Smith, a soldier assigned to Schweinfurt, Germany.

The second prize winner, identified as only Joseph Israel, is stationed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, and won a 4GB iPod Nano and a year’s supply of Pepsi. By Friday afternoon, Israel was the only big prize winner who USO officials had not been able to contact personally.

Fifty third-prize winners, who will each receive a $50 commissary gift certificate, were also drawn.

The prizes were donated by Volvo Cars Military Sales and the C. Lloyd Johnson Co.


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