Seabees Strengthen Community Relations with Remodel in Wiggins

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexa Trafton, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1

WIGGINS, Miss. – Twelve Seabees are remodeling Wiggins Police Department in Wiggins, Mississippi, March 13.


Construction Electrician 3rd Class Tyler Benvie, from Porter, Maine, runs electrical wire at the Wiggins Irregular Training Project, in Wiggins Mississippi, March 13. (Photo by MC3 Alexa Trafton)


The remodel by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 will provide the town of Wiggins a police department with administrative offices and a holding room, and the building will also serve as the town’s emergency operations center.

In December 2017, NMCB 1 took over the project from NMCB 11. The Navy is augmenting the local contractor workforce and executing rough-in plumbing and electrical work, framing new walls and installing ceilings throughout the building.

“Working on this project has been a truly positive experience for me in battalion,” said Utilitiesman 3rd Class Matthew Konopka, from Chicago, Illinois. “We have been able to revisit and refine our skills and learn with newer methods of construction and material. Having this type of exposure is awesome, and I am enjoying it.”

Since turnover, NMCB 1 has run over 3,100 feet of electrical wire, 1,600 feet of pipe for plumbing, installed a shower on the second floor of the building and put up just over 600 sheets of drywall.

“Overall, the project has been running smooth for us,” said Builder 2nd Class John Eckert, from Grangeville, Idaho. “The crew has been performing amazingly, and they are learning a lot from the project and each other’s experiences in the construction field. On top of that, we are able to give back to the local community, which is a great feeling. Giving the town a functional building with the Seabee name on it, means a lot to us out here.”


Utilitesman 3rd Class Nickolas Karpavicious, from Chicago, Illinois, sands down dry wall on the Wiggins Irregular Training Project, in Wiggins Mississippi, March 13. (Photo by MC3 Alexa Trafton)


NMCB 1 is homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi and specializes in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. NMCB 1 is a part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF) and is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime strategy. The NCF offers deployable battalions capable of rapidly providing contingency construction, disaster response and humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

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