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Joint effort widens scope of Operation Pacific Unity 14-8

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron have been working on the construction of two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Staff Sgt. Melissa Pascua, 154th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman deployed from the Hawaii Air National Guard, paints the window of a newly constructed dormitory as part of Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea.  PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Staff Sgt. Melissa Pascua, 154th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman deployed from the Hawaii Air National Guard, paints the window of a newly constructed dormitory as part of Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Davis, 154th Civil Engineer Squadron chief enlisted manager and structures subject matter expert, goes over construction plans with members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron who have been working on the construction of two new dormitories at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Robert Davis, 154th Civil Engineer Squadron chief enlisted manager and structures subject matter expert, goes over construction plans with members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron who have been working on the construction of two new dormitories at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Senior Airman Malcolm Yin, 154th CES emergency management journeyman, twists a screw while Petrus Buka, a day laborer from the local community, holds a pole in place at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. Yin and Buka are constructing a clothesline, which will be used by residents of the newly constructed female dormitories, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. Pacific Unity helps cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Senior Airman Malcolm Yin, 154th CES emergency management journeyman, twists a screw while Petrus Buka, a day laborer from the local community, holds a pole in place at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. Yin and Buka are constructing a clothesline, which will be used by residents of the newly constructed female dormitories, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. Pacific Unity helps cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Members of the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron deployed from the Hawaii Air National Guard partner with day laborers from the local community to cut pieces of wood for a basketball backboard during Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. Pacific Unity is a bilateral Engineering Civic Action Program conducted in the Asia-Pacific region in collaboration with host nation civil authorities and military personnel that build upon previous engagements and exercises, and continue to mature U.S. - Asia-Pacific civil-military interoperability,  which focuses on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and civil military operations construction and renovation requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Members of the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron deployed from the Hawaii Air National Guard partner with day laborers from the local community to cut pieces of wood for a basketball backboard during Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. Pacific Unity is a bilateral Engineering Civic Action Program conducted in the Asia-Pacific region in collaboration with host nation civil authorities and military personnel that build upon previous engagements and exercises, and continue to mature U.S. - Asia-Pacific civil-military interoperability, which focuses on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and civil military operations construction and renovation requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, tries a pair of shoes on a child during a shoe drive for the local community of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. While deployed in support of Pacific Unity Braxton organized the shoe drive to benefit children in the community. Pacific Unity helps cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, tries a pair of shoes on a child during a shoe drive for the local community of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 8, 2014. While deployed in support of Pacific Unity Braxton organized the shoe drive to benefit children in the community. Pacific Unity helps cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multilateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jaimie Aquino/Released)

Students at Togoba Secondary School paint murals on the school walls in preparation for the Pacific Unity 14-8 closing ceremony in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Students at Togoba Secondary School paint murals on the school walls in preparation for the Pacific Unity 14-8 closing ceremony in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron move bunk beds into place inside a newly built dormitory at Togoba Secondary School as Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, wraps up. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron move bunk beds into place inside a newly built dormitory at Togoba Secondary School as Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, wraps up. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Pat Takenishi, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment operator works on the floor of a newly constructed dormitory at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8.  PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Tech. Sgt. Pat Takenishi, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment operator works on the floor of a newly constructed dormitory at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Senior Airman Paul Vidad, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering assistant, left, and Staff Sgt. Chris Aurio, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heating, ventilation and cooling journeyman, repair a fence at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Senior Airman Paul Vidad, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering assistant, left, and Staff Sgt. Chris Aurio, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heating, ventilation and cooling journeyman, repair a fence at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, as part of Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Senior Airman Jennie Abbott, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment operator, welds rebar to a fence during Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. As part of Pacific Unity the unit has been working on the construction of two new dormitories for female students, as well as performing other renovations and maintenance around the school. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Senior Airman Jennie Abbott, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Civil Engineer Squadron heavy equipment operator, welds rebar to a fence during Pacific Unity 14-8 in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. As part of Pacific Unity the unit has been working on the construction of two new dormitories for female students, as well as performing other renovations and maintenance around the school. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Dignitaries from the Papua New Guinea Defense Force, PNG government, U.S. Embassy and Pacific Air Forces cut the ribbon on the newly constructed girls’ dormitory at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, during the closing ceremony for Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Dignitaries from the Papua New Guinea Defense Force, PNG government, U.S. Embassy and Pacific Air Forces cut the ribbon on the newly constructed girls’ dormitory at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, during the closing ceremony for Pacific Unity 14-8. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Construction for Pacific Unity 14-8 began in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, in August 2014. For the operation, members of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s  154th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron constructed two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dondaryl Dumlao/Released)
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Construction for Pacific Unity 14-8 began in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, in August 2014. For the operation, members of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron constructed two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dondaryl Dumlao/Released)

Construction for Pacific Unity 14-8 began in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, in August 2014. For the operation, members of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron constructed two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Construction for Pacific Unity 14-8 began in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, in August 2014. For the operation, members of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron constructed two new dormitories to be used for female students at Togoba Secondary School. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, Pacific Air Forces Regional Training Center flight chief and the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, critiques a group of security guards after watching them complete an interactive training scenario during a team building workshop at the Highlander Hotel in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 9, 2014. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, Pacific Air Forces Regional Training Center flight chief and the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, critiques a group of security guards after watching them complete an interactive training scenario during a team building workshop at the Highlander Hotel in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 9, 2014. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, Pacific Air Forces Regional Training Center flight chief and the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, critiques a group of security guards after watching them complete an interactive training scenario during a team building workshop at the Highlander Hotel in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 9, 2014. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Master Sgt. Jamain Braxton, Pacific Air Forces Regional Training Center flight chief and the anti-terrorism officer for Pacific Unity 14-8 deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, critiques a group of security guards after watching them complete an interactive training scenario during a team building workshop at the Highlander Hotel in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, Sept. 9, 2014. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Maj. Nathaniel Duff, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Medical Group and Pacific Unity 14-8 medical officer, shows a group of students how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a basic first-aid clinic at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Maj. Nathaniel Duff, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Medical Group and Pacific Unity 14-8 medical officer, shows a group of students how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a basic first-aid clinic at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

Maj. Nathaniel Duff, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Medical Group and Pacific Unity 14-8 medical officer, demonstrates the proper way to wrap an injury during a basic first-aid clinic at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)
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Maj. Nathaniel Duff, Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Medical Group and Pacific Unity 14-8 medical officer, demonstrates the proper way to wrap an injury during a basic first-aid clinic at Togoba Secondary School in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. PACUNITY helps cultivate common bonds and fosters goodwill between the U.S. and regional nations through multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and civil military operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden/Released)

MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea -- As Pacific Unity 14-8 wraps up this week, additional construction projects have begun at Togoba Secondary School in Papua New Guinea.

Pacific Unity is a bilateral Engineering Civic Action Program conducted in the Asia-Pacific region in collaboration with host nation civil authorities and military personnel. This year marks the fourth iteration of the operation, with efforts focused on the construction of two new dormitories for female students.

With the primary goal of building the dorms nearing completion, the 34-manned team of U.S. Air Force construction craftsmen and support personnel from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, alongside U.S. Air Force active duty Airmen, Papua New Guinea Defense Forces and local workers, have turned their attention toward additional functional and cosmetic projects that will enhance the overall condition of the school.

According to Capt. Nhut Dao, Pacific Unity 14-8 mission commander, the needs of the school were too great not to use the additional time and resources to benefit the entire the school.

In addition to building the dormitories, which included tear down of the old structure and site preparation, the Pacific Unity team is also upgrading the electrical system in the school's administrative building, painting, renovating the dining hall, adding gravel to the school's entry road, reconstructing the covered walkway and building new basketball goals for the school's recreation area.

"There are many logistical challenges to working here in the highlands, but so far because of the collaboration of all the organizations and all of the functions that we have here things have been going great," Dao said. "We are on schedule to get everything done before the closing ceremony and all the additional work that we are currently working on will also be complete so things are going great here."

Once complete, the dormitories will enable hundreds of girls from the surrounding communities the opportunity to attend school, while the additional construction will improve the infrastructure and learning environment for the more than 2,500 students and teachers who use the facilities each day.

"This is a dream come true," said Simon Opa, Togoba Secondary School principal. "It's something that we have not yet expected and it's something we have yet to come to terms with and the fact that we have two new girls' dormitories is incredible."

Though there are currently two occupied female dormitories on the campus, Opa said the new dorms will not only provide space for additional female students in grades 11-12 to attend the school, but also cut down on the cost and risks associated with traveling to school.

"The number of boarding girls will double," he said. "More girls living on campus will cut down on the number of girls coming as day students, which will go a very long way in helping them. There are a lot of risk involved in traveling and a lot of time. Money for them to pay for their transport every day back and forth is a big problem. Sometimes the rivers flood and they may not be able to cross and the public transport system is not always reliable. It will go a long way for our girls to be living on campus."

Though the primary beneficiaries of Pacific Unity 14-8 will be the new female dorm residents, Opa expressed gratitude on the school's behalf for all of the work being done.

"This is a very unique project and we did not expect this," he said. "I really thank the people of the U.S. and the Airmen here doing the construction; we owe them so much. Out of all the schools in the country out of all the schools in this province our school has been selected and our prayers have been answered. It will go a very, very long way so we thank you all."