Seabees Conclude Deployment that Built Partnerships Around the World

By MC1 Brannon Deugan, NMCB 1 Public Affairs

Turnover ceremony

Cmdr. Miguel Dieguez, commanding officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, speaks to Seabees during a turnover ceremony between NMCB 1 and NMCB 133 at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 16, 2016. The turnover marked the beginning of the NMCB 133 deployment to Camp Mitchell, Rota’s Seabee camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michaela Garrison/160216-N-MW990-093)

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 and NMCB 27 turned over detachment sites and oversight of worldwide construction projects to NMCB 133 during a ceremony aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 16, 2016.

The turnover concluded a seven-month deployment for 760 Seabees assigned to NMCBs 1 and 27, and it demonstrated the transfer of authority of deployment sites and projects to NMCB 133.

“I could not be prouder of the work the Seabees from NMCB 1 and 27 have done this deployment,” said Cmdr. Kemit Spears, NMCB 1 commanding officer. “They have performed brilliantly and without fail literally across the world.”

NMCB 1 had 23 details that supported 57 different sites across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, and in the Pacific. During the deployment, the battalion provided construction readiness operations, exercise related construction, and mobile outstation support while building partnerships around the world.

“The missions we have supported have spanned the globe and combatant commands including U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Europe Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and U.S. Southern Command,” said Spears. “We have executed key missions supporting U.S. interests and our supported units couldn’t be happier with our execution.”

With the deployment of personnel all over the globe, members of NMCB 1 collectively experienced a large spectrum of challenges.

“Many of our Seabees operated in challenging climates, work environments, and locations with unique logistics challenges,” said Spears. “In every case, our Seabees never let obstacles get in their way, but overcame them in the proudest tradition and heritage of the Naval Construction Force.”

The battalion supported and participated in 11 exercises across Africa, Europe, and the Pacific including: Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2015, Saharan Express, Sea Breeze, and Trident Juncture 2015.

During Exercise Trident Juncture 2015, NMCB 1 deployed five task-tailored details to provide general engineering and logistical support for Special Operations Command Europe, U.S. Marines Corps Forces Europe, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe in various locations throughout Spain and Portugal.

While working with partner and allied nations during exercises, the Seabees completed 55 community relations events with more than 2,750 hours of volunteering. Seabees volunteered to tutor students at a high school in the Republic of Marshall Islands, and helped support special events, such as a Breast Cancer awareness run and Special Olympic Bowling event. Other community relations events included working with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts on projects, and assisted the Rota Animal Welfare League by walking animals and cleaning cages. While being deployed during the holidays, NMCB 1 Seabees spent the holidays volunteering for events such as Veterans Day ceremonies, haunted houses, trunk or treats, Thanksgiving parties, and going Christmas caroling on Guam.

“Doing community relations does three things for the Seabees,” said Lt. Aaron Bell, chaplain and community relations manager for NMCB 1. “It gets Seabees out of the barracks, provides a chance to build relationships with the community, and it gets the Seabees’ name out there. Everywhere we’ve volunteered this deployment, the local community couldn’t help but recognize and appreciate us.”

NMCB 1 is a Seabee battalion that specializes in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. It offers deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.

Turnover ceremony

Seabees assigned to NMCB 133 raise the unit’s colors during a turnover ceremony between NMCB 1 and NMCB 133 at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 16, 2016. The turnover marked the beginning of the NMCB 133 deployment to Camp Mitchell, Rota’s Seabee camp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michaela Garrison/160216-N-MW990-081)

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Story by MC1 Brannon Deugan, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1