Story by MC1 Collin Turner, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 Public Affairs Office
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 held a change of command ceremony on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, May 7.
Cmdr. Dean Allen assumed command of NMCB 11 from Cmdr. James Brown, bringing an end to Brown’s two-year assignment as the battalion’s commanding officer.
The ceremony’s guest speaker and presiding officer, Capt. Tim DeWitt, commander, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2, took a few minutes to praise Brown for his leadership during his time with NMCB 11.
“When you look at NMCB 11’s accomplishments over the last few years, it’s apparent that under your leadership, your NMCB 11 team contributed greatly to the Naval Construction Force, NECC, and the fleet,” said DeWitt. “Whether here on deployment, or homeported in Gulfport, your battalion has been recognized across the globe for everything from forward-thinking concepts to troop readiness.”
During the ceremony, Capt. DeWitt presented Brown with a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding achievements while leading his battalion through two highly successful deployments from August 2016 through May 2018, in support of various task force commanders world-wide.
NMCB 11 is on deployment and augmented by Seabees from NMCB 22. Between the two deployed battalions, there are more than 14 Det. locations distributed across five continents.
Since Brown took charge of the battalion in 2016, the Seabees of “Lucky Eleven” have performed exemplary work, as recognized by the back-to-back Navy Battle “E” awards the battalion has received. The two awards under Brown, and the two previous under Cmdr. Jorge Cuadros, Brown’s predecessor, are a true testament to the leadership within NMCB 11.
Brown was quick to defer the credit for the success of the battalion to the troops he led.
“All of the accolades Commodore DeWitt mentioned regarding NMCB 11 are because of you,” said Brown. “I’m being recognized, only because of all your hard work.”
Allen’s Naval service began after graduating from Arizona State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Allen has served at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, NMCB 4, 1st Naval Construction Division, U.S. Army Garrison Vincenza, Italy, NMCB 133, Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, and most recently as the Shore Readiness Budget Analyst at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller).
“Since the day I got the call to come to NMCB 11, every senior Civil Engineer Corps officer and Seabee that I spoke to about this job, and there were many, told me that this is the premiere battalion today,” said Allen. “That is no doubt due to the many talented men and women sitting here [in the audience] and across the globe right now.”
DeWitt spoke of his confidence in Allen.
“While skipper Brown is departing, NMCB 11, you can be rest assured that you will be gaining a truly great leader in Allen,” said DeWitt. “Dean brings a wealth of experience in both expeditionary and engineering disciplines. He respects and values his team, and I have no doubt he’ll bring great ideas and enthusiasm to NMCB 11.”
NMCB 11 will remain deployed until they are relieved later this year and have delegated project responsibility to the Seabees of NMCB 1.
NMCB 11 is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). The NCF is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and is comprised of deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support in support of regional partners and combatant commanders.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb11/.