By Daryl Smith, Public Affairs Officer, 1NCD
Commander First Naval Construction Division (1NCD) recently announced the winners of the Naval Construction Force (NCF) Battle ‘E’ award, also known as the ‘Best of Type’ award, which recognizes outstanding operational performance of its Naval Mobile Construction Battalions.
Atlantic Fleet winners are Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11(Active) and NMCB 27 (Reserve). Winners from the Pacific Fleet are NMCB 4 (Active) and NMCB 25 (Reserve).
While supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, NMCB 11 supported engineering operations for three supported commands operating in 77 dispersed locations throughout six regional commands. Based in Gulfport, Miss., the battalion completed more than 70 projects and 46,000 mandays of construction, counter-insurgency operations and training support to Afghan engineer forces. “Your efforts improved force protection, enhanced freedom of movement, and improved quality of life for U.S. and coalition forces, and set the stage for the surge draw-down of U.S. and coalition forces and the eventual transfer of the mission to the Afghan forces,” wrote Rear Adm. Mark Handley, Commander 1NCD.
Headquartered in Brunswick, Maine, NMCB 27 was commended for accomplishments in preparation for and during its deployment to U.S. Southern Command. “The ‘Skibees’ have clearly demonstrated that you are deserving of selection as ‘Best of Type,’ and I congratulate you on a job well done,” Handley wrote. Their unit-level training included two command post exercises, embark training exercises, a communications exercise and a field training exercise involving 376 battalion personnel. They completed more than 31,000 mandays of training and 19,000 mandays of homeport and contingency construction. They deployed an 85-person Air Detachment to Guantanamo Bay and also completed projects in El Salvador and Peru.
“Throughout a challenging year, NMCB 4 has consistently and unequivocally proven their commitment to excellence and an uncompromising ‘can-do’ attitude,” wrote Handley. During its fourth consecutive CENTCOM deployment, NMCB 4 worked at 72 sites across all six regional commands in Afghanistan. They provided mobility support by establishing and improving low-water crossing sites, emplacing bridges and building roads. The battalion completed 72 projects consisting of more than 42,000 mandays of tasking. Returning to homeport in Port Hueneme, Calif., they executed a solid homeport training plan for preparation for the next deployment to Europe and Africa.
NMCB 25 ramped up its training schedule to account for a six-month acceleration of the deployment timeline. Headquartered at Fort McCoy, Wis., the battalion completed 20,000 mandays of construction support and training, and attained more than 790 new technical skills. They maintained 100-percent accountability in their supply outlets. “Through commitment and focus on personnel programs you have been successful in dramatically improving metrics in all program areas and setting the mark for foundation training,” Handley wrote.
“My congratulations to the Seabees of NMCB 4, NMCB 11, NMCB 25 and NMCB 27. Your efforts in helping our supported commanders achieve their desired effects were truly inspirational and exemplified the Seabee can-do motto.”