By MCC Ryan G. Wilber(SCW/SW/AW), NCBC Gulfport Public Affairs
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 s commanding officer, Cmdr. Gordie Meyer, cased the battalion's colors for the third time in its history in a decommissioning ceremony on board the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Miss., Sept. 5.
Dozens of NMCB 7's former commanding officers and command master chiefs and were on hand to witness this historic event, including Rear Adm. Christopher Mossey, Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers, former commander officer, 1999-2001.
Decommissionings are always bittersweet events, said Mossey. Taking part in the decommissioning of a unit you once were a part of and had the privilege to command only more so.
He continued by explaining the decommissioning of Navy commands is not unusual and that it happens fairly frequently.
In about a month, the USS Enterprise will return from deployment to be decommissioned after over 50 years of continuous service, said Mossey. Over the Navy s history, thousands and thousands of ships have been commissioned; and all but 282 have been decommissioned. We understand this, but we all hope that our command that our battalion will go on forever.
Rear Adm. Mark Handley, Commander, First Naval Construction Division, was also on hand and presented Meyer with a Meritorious Service Medal for his accomplishments during his tenure with the Magnificent Seven.
The ceremony, hosted by Capt. Rick Burgess, commanding officer, NCBC Gulfport, and commander, 20th Seabee Readiness group, was filled with praise for the Seabee battalion which returned in May from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.
But, some of the highest praise came from the battalion s skipper.
To the Seabees of NMCB 7, thank you for everything you have done, said Meyer. You are what makes NMCB 7 MAGNIFICENT. I could not be prouder to be your commanding officer during this final period of our history.
"Your hard work and your amazing accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular," he continued. "You can go to your new commands with your heads held high as the last members of MAGNIFICENT 7 and everything that it represents."
After all the kind words for the Magnificent 7 were spoken and the Navy Hymn played, the battalion colors were brought forward and cased signifying the battalion's decommissioning complete.