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‘Lucky Eleven’ Advance Party Arrives Home From Deployment

By Ensign Via Ronic Snow-Hill, NMCB 11

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Family members of NMCB 11 proudly show off the personalized signs created for their returning loved one onboard Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss., July 27.  While deployed, NMCB 11 executed operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Via Ronic Snow-Hill/150727-N-XZ945-025)

Members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Eleven’s (NMCB 11) advance party successfully returned home from deployment, July 27.

Friends and family met their returning “Lucky Eleven” Seabees at the Training Center onboard Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss., where the command’s Family Readiness Group (FRG) and the base’s Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) held a reception to welcome them home.

“This deployment was one of the most challenging command and control deployments tasked to a battalion,” remarked Lt. Cmdr Kenneth Sowell, operations officer of NMCB 11. “The battalion continues to execute construction projects with the highest levels of quality, in any environment.”

Throughout the deployment, the battalion executed over 30,000 man-days of construction, mission support, and direct labor training. This also included 59 projects, 11 recurring missions, general engineering and camp maintenance in 35 countries and territories on four continents. This not only speaks to the diligence, but also the mobility of NMCB 11 and their hard work.

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Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jon Higdon, NMCB 11, reunites with his daughter onboard Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss., July 27.  While deployed, NMCB 11 executed operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Via Ronic Snow-Hill/150727-N-XZ945-047)

Costumed posters with heartfelt messages readily expressed the long, overdue return of “Lucky Eleven” personnel, as they filed off the buses transporting them from the Air National Guard flight line. A waiting mother asked her toddler, “Why are we here?”  “We’re here to see daddy!” exclaimed the toddler in excitement. This excitement and energy was a shared sentiment that perfumed the reception area, as families waited to be reunited with their precious “cargo.”

And even barracks-residing single Seabees were pleasantly surprised by rooms pre-staged with made beds and mints left on pillows, compliments of NMCB 11’s FRG.

While this only marks the beginning of a new and longer than normal homeport, the focus for many is getting readjusted to being home. The battalion begins its post-deployment stand-down, and resumes their training schedule in early fall.

The advance party was comprised of roughly 150 ‘Bees; approximately 400 others will arrive home from deployment later next month.

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Lt. j.g. Michael Scaplehorn was received with a kiss from his wife onboard Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss., July 27.  While deployed, NMCB 11 executed operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Via Ronic Snow-Hill/150727-N-XZ945-066)


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