Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Henderson
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 welcomed a new Commanding Officer during an official change of command ceremony, July 14, at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Cmdr. Omarr E. Tobias assumed command from Cmdr. Matthew C. Riethmiller, becoming the 41st Commanding Officer of NMCB 5.
“When I was chosen to take command of NMCB 5, I was humbled and excited at being afforded such a rare and meaningful opportunity,” said Tobias. “As we prepare to deploy to the Pacific region, it’s an honor to lead a battalion that is ready, focused and capable of strengthening friendships we’ve spent the past 75 years helping cultivate.”
After being presented with a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding performance while leading the battalion from Capt. Michael Saum, Commodore of Naval Construction Group ONE, Cmdr. Riethmiller addressed the nearly 580 Seabees of NMCB 5 for a final time.
“NMCB FIVE is the kind of place where you just try to earn your spot on the team every day,” said Riethmiller. “Incredible people with an unmatched unity of purpose, as it was when I arrived over two years ago. The rigorous mission preparations are very difficult, but nothing meaningful is easy.”
One of the first battalions commissioned at the start of World War II, NMCB 5’s legacy stands strong in its ability to build and fight anywhere in the world as either a full battalion or as a group of autonomous detachments completing critical engineering and construction missions simultaneously.
While under Riethmiller’s leadership, the battalion deployed two times to the Pacific Command area of operations and worked on more than 83 projects valued at $14 million in 13 different countries.
NMCB 5 provides combatant commanders and Navy component commanders with combat-ready warfighters capable of general engineering, construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations – “We Build, We Fight.”