The U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 commemorated the Navy's 246th Birthday with a cake-cutting celebration onboard Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, on Oct. 13.
Honoring the Navy's 246th birthday theme, "Resilient and Ready," NMCB-5's Commanding Officer Cmdr. Andrew Olsen spoke about the Navy's resiliency before cutting the cake.
"One of our guiding principles in our Command Philosophy highlights the impacts our families have on our command in that 'Our strength is in our teamwork, diversity, and families,'" said Olsen. "With the support of our loved ones back home and the camaraderie and support of our shipmates that we serve with day-to-day, we are resilient.
“We celebrate our Navy's 246th birthday with the battalion spread across the Pacific doing great work building more than just facilities and infrastructure; we are also building relationships with allies and partners that combined make the fleet more ready," added Olsen.
The birth of the U.S. Navy dates back to Oct. 13, 1775, when the Continental Congress established the Navy to intercept British ships. In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt designated Oct. 13 as the Navy's official birthday.
"As we celebrate our Navy's 246th birthday, I think of the Fighting Spirit of the Sailor," said the battalion’s most senior Sailor, Senior Chief Constructionman William Conzo. "I humbly remember our history, Capt. John Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Midway, D-Day, Inchon, River Rats in the Mekong Delta—and always try to connect our past with today's freedom of navigation operations, projection of power ashore, and the coming peer/near-peer fights.”
The battalion stood by tradition and had the most senior Sailor, Conzo, and the youngest Sailor, Utilitiesman Constructionman Apprentice Julie Campbell, cut the cake. This tradition represents the knowledge and experience passed from one generation to the next.
"We must train our replacements to be ready to fight tonight and be resilient! Being the oldest in the battalion and cutting the cake with Skipper Olsen and UTCN Campbell is a great tradition and really felt like a passing of the torch. I am confident that Campbell is ready to step into the breach," said Conzo.
The U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to NMCB-5 are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific, strengthening their alliances and partnerships, 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.