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NMCB 3 Seabees secure the Battle “E” for back-to-back years

March 15, 2023 | By Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Ingram
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) THREE was awarded the FY22 Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific (NECCPAC) Battle Efficiency (“E”) award in January 2023. This was the second year in a row that NMCB THREE was recognized with this honor, Feb. 15.
The Battle “E” competition is conducted among units of each type on both coasts. For West Coast NMCBs the competition highlights the superb performance of Navy expeditionary combat forces in dominating the littorals, reinforcing distributed maritime operational lethality, and meeting the continued demands of today's competitive operational environment.
Capt. LaKeeva Gunderson, Commanding Officer of NMCB THREE had this to say, “The men and women of NMCB THREE have earned the title of BTB^2 (Better Than Best Back to Back) Battle E Battalion! I am beyond proud of this team and ALL that they have accomplished. They had a vested interest as a team, to train, operate, and ultimately be able to execute in any given environment. Returning from a successful US INDOPACOM deployment where they paved roads, repaired piers, and exercised interoperability with Marines, Air Force, and our Host nation partners; this team came home and jumped right in to a homeport where the pace never slowed! The Battalion entered into a compressed 3 month Basic Phase where every member was either in training and formal classes, providing logistical support and resources, or executing multiple exercises that ultimately enabled the successful execution of their FY23 Field Training Exercise certification. This Battalion works together as a true team to do better than yesterday, recognize and go after inefficiencies, and be willing to provide tangible solutions at every level. This IS a HIGH FUNCTIONING TEAM. We have built a culture of excellence where we understand that we have to continue to work hard to stay on top! It is an honor and privilege to witness this team’s exceptional performance and to be able to see them be acknowledged and recognized for the work they have done and continue to do. They are being recognized for their hard work, dedication, and mission success – and I am beyond proud to be a part of such a great unit, an amazing team, THIS Battalion. NMCB THREE has proved yet again, why we are indeed ‘BETTER THAN BEST’. “
From December 2021 to July 2022, NMCB THREE deployed ambitious, proud, respectful and combat-ready Seabee Teams to the USINDOPACOM AOR and executed 31 projects valued at over $25.4 million while remaining ready to support blue water fleet maneuverability during Major Combat Operations (MCO) or aide partner nations through Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) efforts.

NMCB THREE personnel were task-organized into Details and deployed to 18 geographic locations in 14 countries that included Japan, the Republic of Korea, Diego Garcia, Timor-Leste, Guam, Tinian, Palau, and Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Fiji, and San Clemente Island, USA. These sites throughout INDOPACOM supported Phase Zero and One operations through high-quality construction, maintained Phase Two and Three response capabilities, built lasting partnerships through collaboration with host nations, allies, and adjacent units, and maintained the NMCB Table of Allowance (TOA) to combat-ready standards.

NMCB THREE’s deployment was characterized by the re-establishment of enduring Detail sites in previous locations closed down due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the successful execution of complex/high visibility construction projects, and participation in multiple Fleet Level exercises. Highlights from these efforts included the re-establishment of Detail Philippines and Detail Pohnpei, execution of the $9.4M proof of concept “Whole of Engineering” CALA P-762 project on San Clemente Island, construction of the $1.1M Support Facilities for G/ATOR Systems in Okinawa, and execution of five multinational and bilateral exercises to include Combined Command Post Training 22, Valiant Shield 22, Pacific Partnership 21 & 22, Balikatan 22, and the Amphibious Readiness Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) Spring Cruise.
As part of a modified Fleet Readiness Training Plan the battalion completed a successful Field Training Exercise (FTX), only three months into their home-cycle, with camps spread out in multiple Southern California locations. The skills that were sharpened in this field exercise will ensure that NMCB THREE is positioned to support a variety of humanitarian and partner nation cooperation tasking during its future deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, and is also ready to enable the integrated Maritime Force with critical combat construction support.
Receiving this award for the second year in a row is a testament to the technical proficiency and teamwork that the Seabees of NMCB THREE display every day. It is their hard work, dedication, and unswerving commitment to excellence that propels NMCB THREE in delivering Best of Type construction for supported Commanders and strategic partners across the Indo-Pacific. The Seabees of NMCB THREE live up to their motto of “Better Than Best.”
NMCB 3 is homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif., training on high-quality construction, expeditionary logistics, and combat operations to execute construction and engineering projects for major combat operations, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance.