By EO1 Brice Nash, NMCB 11
Seabees assigned to NMCB 11 work on clearing 20 acres of land in Hattiesburg., Miss., Sept. 10, to be used by Sacred Heart High School as a sports complex. The new complex will feature a practice field, football-soccer facility, and softball and baseball fields. Photo illustration by EO1 Brice Nash
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 cleared and leveled 20 acres for a sports complex area, working with the San Antonio Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Hattiesburg, Miss., Aug. 18 – Sept. 20.
The new complex will feature a practice field, football-soccer facility, and softball and baseball fields. Upon completion, the complex will provide a home to the Sacred Heart High School Crusaders. The school has been without a field for the past several years, utilizing city fields in both Hattiesburg and Petal, Miss. It will also support organizations within Grace Temple Ministries and the Mississippi Youth Football Association.
Before any major earth moving could begin, the crew had the task of removing more than 100 dump truck loads of tree stumps and debris from the area, as well as stockpiling over 12,000 cubic yards of existing topsoil. Two scrapers, three bulldozers, one track loader, one roller, two graders and two medium tactical vehicle replacement (MTVR) dump trucks were utilized throughout the duration of this project.
In all, almost 70,000 cubic yards of material were moved to level the site. Despite battling rainy weather, equipment breakdowns and poor soil conditions, the crew managed to exemplify the “Can Do” spirit of the Seabees and not only accomplish extremely valuable training, but also build a lasting relationship with the community.
Tracy Klein, foundation president, said, “The work provided by the Seabees was outstanding. The personnel who participated in the project were prompt, courteous and, most importantly, talented and hard working. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude that we have for the Seabees.”
Equipment Operator 1st Class Brice Nash, NMCB 11, led the 10-person crew responsible for the excavation and leveling of the complex site.
EO2 Keith Reinke, NMCB 11, observes the area cleared by the battalion, Hattiesburg, Miss., Sept. 10. NMCB 11, along with San Antonio Foundation Inc., partnered to clear and level 20 acres for a sports complex for Sacred Heart High School. Photo by EO1 Brice Nash
“The main mission focus is training,” Nash said. “This is an amazing opportunity to create proficient operators and help the community.”
“Working on this project was one of the highlights of my naval career,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Elijah Godbold, NMCB 11. “Seeing the excitement and anticipation in the eyes of the children when they visited the project site gave me abounding amounts of pride to be a part of the United States Navy Seabees.”
NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss.
The Naval Construction Force (NCF) is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. NCF offers deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.