By 31st SRG Public Affairs
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE (NMCB 5) launched an Air Detachment of 110 Seabees on Nov. 4 to aid in relief and recovery efforts on the East Coast following the devastation caused by Super Storm Sandy Oct. 30.
The unit, which has been preparing for an upcoming Pacific deployment, flew to New York and New Jersey where they are currently slated to stay for a month as part of Commander Task Force 86.
The initial task is to assist with the dewatering operations in the most critical areas, said Construction Electrician Chief Petty Officer Rajon Martin, NMCB 5 Air Detachment Operations Chief. We will provide the labor force to set up, operate, and maintain all equipment required for this mission to include 30 pumps, 20 tactical generators, and a few light plants for night time operations.
While Seabees typically deploy outside of the United States, members of the unit feel its a privilege to be able to help our own country.
I feel like I need to give back to my community, said Utilitiesman Second Class Petty Officer Javier Rivera, a member of the Air Detachment who was born and raised in New Jersey. We spent a lot of time overseas and it is a great opportunity to help out this country.
The last time NMCB 5 was called upon for hurricane disaster relief effort was in 1989 to support Hurricane Hugo relief efforts in Charleston South Carolina, Antigua and Puerto Rico.
Seabee Battalions have traditionally been called upon to serve Americans in need during natural disasters to include Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 among others.
NMCB 5s Air Detachment is also on standby to provide additional support to Reserve Seabee Battalions that are already deployed to the region.