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NMCB-5 Takes Command of Camp Shields, Assumes Authority of Naval Construction Force Tasking in the Indo-Pacific

July 28, 2021 | By Petty Officer 1st Class Stephane Belcher NMCB 5
U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 assumed command from NMCB-4 of Naval Construction Force tasking in the Indo-Pacific region during a relief in place/transfer of authority (RIP/TOA) ceremony onboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, July 26.

This RIP/TOA marked the official completion of NMCB-4’s deployment in the region.

Throughout NMCB-4’s deployment, the battalion supported allies and joint military operations. Notably, they constructed bollard foundations at the harbor in Tinian, built a school in Timor-Leste, and a pavilion and theater in the Marshall Islands.

“I want to thank each and every one of the NMCB-4 team,” said Cmdr. Troy Brown, NMCB-4’s commanding officer. “Thank you for embracing our ‘One Team’ philosophy. Your drive and ownership sparked global interest in our capabilities to enable fleet maneuvers as the stand-in engineering force.”

The U.S. Navy Seabees from NMCB-4 executed missions from 10 detail sites across the Indo-Pacific and participated in several exercises, including conducting Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations at Poseidon’s Watch Tower with Marines from 3d Marine Logistics.

“With NMCB-5 ready to assume the watch, I want to personally thank Skipper Olsen for your transparent communication and friendship, which ultimately resulted in a smooth and thorough turnover,” added Brown. “I look forward to seeing ‘The Professionals’ of NMCB-5 take charge and to continue to show the world what the Naval Construction Force can do.”

During NMCB-5’s deployment, The “Professionals” of NMCB-5 will complete littoral engineer tasks, building partnerships with friendly forces and allies. They plan to build schools supporting the local Ministry of Education in Timor-Leste and construct a dental and storage facility, complete with electrical and plumbing systems, in Papua New Guinea.

“My command philosophy is simple, ‘Succeed Together,’” said Cmdr. Andrew Olsen, NMCB-5’s commanding officer. “We will succeed in accomplishing our mission by working together within NMCB-5, together with the fleet, together with our sister services, and most importantly, together with our allies and partners.

“We will seek innovative and challenging opportunities to test concepts and ideas while also constructing infrastructure in fleet-relevant locations throughout the region. We look forward to building upon our relationships with our allies and partners. The U.S. and NMCB-5 are committed to our mutual objectives through coordinated efforts at our detail locations.”

The battalion plans to participate in multilateral and multinational exercises in the Indo-Pacific region. They will construct fleet-relevant infrastructure and carry out littoral engineer tasks. They will help achieve strategic and operational-level objectives by deterring aggressions with other expeditionary forces throughout the Navy and Marine Corps. The Seabees will participate in joint force operations with III Marine Expeditionary Force, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the U.S. Air Force’s 554th RED HORSE Squadron.

“Skipper Brown, thank you for a seamless turnover that showcased our battalions’ teamwork and transparency,” Olsen added. “Your philosophy of ‘One Team’ exemplifies the mindset required for the naval construction force, and more broadly, the naval expeditionary force to enable fleet maneuver, support, and a free and open Indo-Pacific. Trust that we will continue to build on the concepts and reputation that you and the amazing women and men of NMCB-4 have exercised. We will continue to develop the engineering battle space as we build, expand, and repair expeditionary advanced bases and lines of communication throughout the Pacific.”

NMCB-5 is the forward-deployed Indo-Pacific construction battalion. The battalion is ready to support a free and open Pacific by strengthening our network of allies and partners and providing general engineering and civil support to joint operational forces. Homeported out of Port Hueneme, California, NMCB-5 has 10 detail sites deployed throughout the U.S. and Indo-Pacific area of operations.