By Daryl Smith, First Naval Construction Division Public Affairs
First Naval Construction Division (1NCD), the headquarters organization for the Navy Seabees, began a realignment initiative designed to improve efficiency by eliminating a headquarters layer, March 1.
1NCD will merge with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and subsequently disestablish 1NCD. This change will improve headquarters alignment and consolidate the direct, formal relationship between the expeditionary forces and Fleet Forces Command/Pacific Fleet.
"Seabees remain an essential component of America's naval force structure and a force multiplier to naval and joint operations," said Rear Adm. Mark A. Handley, commander, 1NCD. "By reducing a headquarters layer, we create efficiencies and an NECC structure that is both functional and equivalent in size with today's smaller Type Commander staffs. We will continue to provide Seabee engineering and construction capabilities that our Navy and the nation vitally need."
As part of the realignment, the 1NCD staff will be integrated into NECC, and the 1NCD commander will be reassigned as deputy commander for NECC. This headquarters change requires realignment at 1NCD's subordinate commands as well. 1NCD currently oversees Seabee Readiness Groups and active Naval Construction Regiments located in Gulfport, Miss. and Port Hueneme, Calif., as well as four reserve Naval Construction Regiments at other locations across the U.S.
Naval Construction Force command and control will be consolidated into two Naval Construction Groups (NCGs), one for the Pacific and one for the Atlantic. This realignment process began in February and will be complete in April. Certain functions performed at 1NCD will transfer to NECC, and other functions will transfer to the NCGs.
The 20th Seabee Readiness Group, located in Gulfport, Miss., was renamed Naval Construction Group 2 on Feb. 26, and the 31st Seabee Readiness Group, located in Port Hueneme, Calif., is scheduled to be renamed Naval Construction Group 1 on March 11. The commander of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment will serve as the deputy commander for NCG 1, and the commander for 22nd Naval Construction Regiment will serve as the deputy commander for NCG 2.
Reserve regiments and active battalions, along with Underwater Construction Teams (UCTs) and Construction Battalion Maintenance Units (CBMUs), will report directly to the NCG. Reserve battalions will still report to a reserve regiment.
The regiments will remain fully-deployable command elements capable of providing command and control of expeditionary engineer forces.
Established in 2002, 1NCD develops and implements policy and requirements to man, equip and train Seabees. The command ensures engineer forces are ready to support continuous combat deployments and is currently responsible for approximately 13,800 Seabees worldwide. A deployable command, 1NCD made two combat deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2006, the Navy stood up NECC to provide a single headquarters for all expeditionary forces.
Both commands are located at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va.
The 1NCD realignment is scheduled to be complete by May 1.
With the motto, "We Build, We Fight," Seabees provide a wide range of military construction, including roads, bunkers, airfields and logistics bases, as well as worldwide humanitarian efforts and disaster response. Nearly 2,000 Seabees are currently deployed, conducting operations in every Combatant Commander's Area of Responsibility.