Additional Seabee Battalions Deploying to Afghanistan


Story Number: NNS091222-01Release Date: 12/22/2009 7:58:00 AM
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By Daryl C. Smith, Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Two battalions of Navy Seabees will deploy to Afghanistan in coming months as part of the 30,000 additional U.S. forces deploying to the region.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 will deploy from Port Hueneme, Calif., and NMCB 133 will deploy from Gulfport, Miss. Each NMCB contains about 580 Seabees.

Seabees are a vital enabler required for the buildup of additional troops in support of President Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan. The Seabees' mission is to help provide infrastructure such as bases, berthing facilities, roads and airfields for the increasing number of U.S. forces in country.

Both battalions will deploy by March, but may deploy as early as January. As part of their normal rotation cycle, NMCB 4 and NMCB 133 were originally scheduled for deployment in February. NMCB 133 was scheduled to go to Afghanistan, and NMCB 4 was originally scheduled to deploy to the Pacific region.

"Since World War II, the Seabees have supported the Marine Corps in every major conflict. This is our legacy, and we are proud to be part of this important mission," said Rear Adm. Mark Handley, Commander, First Naval Construction Division.

Both battalions had already completed their required homeport training in preparation for deployment.

"Our Seabee battalions receive extensive training in both construction and defensive skills, so this mission is exactly what we have traditionally trained for. Seabees have a vital role to play as they work to provide the infrastructure necessary to complete our country's objectives in Afghanistan," Handley said.

"After a successful homeport training cycle, NMCB 133 stands ready to answer the president's call to surge additional forces into Afghanistan," said Cmdr. Christopher Kurgan, commanding officer of NMCB 133. "We appreciate all the responsive support that we have received from across the Naval Construction Force to finalize our training and equipping. We also deeply appreciate the understanding and support of our families as they continue to sacrifice and allow us to answer our nation's call."

The deployment of these two battalions will require adjustments to the deployment schedule of other Seabee units. These adjustments are currently pending approval by the chief of naval operations.

Various vehicles, equipment, tools and materials are also being prepared to be shipped from Gulfport and Port Hueneme to support their mission. Naval Facilities Expeditionary Logistics Center (NFELC) and Seabee Readiness Group personnel are breaking out containers and preparing them for shipment from Gulfport, Miss., and Port Hueneme, Calif. Construction equipment is also being broken out from warehouses, de-preserved and operationally checked. This gear will be staged for shipment when it is ready. Some items will be shipped by air, but most will go by ship transport.

Many of the pieces of heavy construction equipment will be armored before they are deployed. NFELC has active contracts to armor construction equipment in Gulfport and Port Hueneme. Mobile Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVRs) are also being armored at other locations in California, North Carolina and Florida.

Troops are being outfitted with the latest in Personal Gear and Combat Equipment including ballistic protective eyewear, body armor, hydration systems, extreme cold weather gear and fire resistant clothing.

About 2,600 Seabees are currently deployed to about 20 different countries around the globe supporting a variety of humanitarian missions and contingency operations.

Seabees were among the first forces in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks to upgrade and repair airfields. Portions of two battalions have been deployed there since January 2009.

For more news from Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division, visit www.navy.mil/local/1ncd/.

STORY COMMENTS15 COMMENTS
1/21/2010 8:52:00 AM
Our son is a seabee with the 133rd. He will deploy in Feb. God has truly blessed us with the child he was and the man he has become. Down through the years, our family has been represented in all branches of the military. Take care of yourself and your fellow seabees. Go with God. Love and Prayers

1/16/2010 6:15:00 PM
My son is also SeeBee, who I am very proud of. He has been to Afghanistan and Iraq and is going back again to Afghanistan. I served in Vietnam as a Combat Medic so I know what being in a combat zone feels like. Our thoughts and prays go to all who serve and to their family as well. Return home safe.

1/8/2010 11:00:00 PM
God speed and come back home to us safe and sound.

1/8/2010 12:30:00 PM
God's speed to NMCB4, including our son as travel to Afghanistan. We know you're ready, trained, focused and eager to serve your country. Your Grandpa, Navy WWII vet (USS Tennessee), who passed into Eternity when you were home over Christmas is so proud of his Navy Grandson. We'll remember the huge bear hugs you gave each other in the hospital. Stay safe young man. Mom and Dad are so very proud of you and how you are using your God design for your Lord in service to your country.

1/7/2010 4:38:00 PM
NMCB 4 - Be strong and courageous! As you leave today for Afghanistan, may God go before you and bless you. To my son: I have never been more proud of anyone in my whole life. God has truly blessed you.

1/6/2010 11:34:00 AM
God's speed to all the fine young men and women serving in our mighty navy. And to my son, contune to be a leader and look out for your fellow seamen. And remember, God stands on one side and me on the other.

1/5/2010 9:59:00 AM
Go Seabees! My brother was a Seabee during the VietNam war, stationed in Danang. I was so very proud of him:) My youngest daughter, Gina, is now a Mass Communication Specialist and is on deployment with the "IKE" Let's keep all of our military in our prayers. Go Gina, Go Gina!!!

1/4/2010 8:42:00 AM
to all the seabees i will be joining you soon, finishing up my training be strong, work hard. seabee hurah!

1/3/2010 1:41:00 PM
The deploying Seabees have my prayers; my son was one of them (Afghanistan also) not too many years ago. Come home safely, sailors.

12/31/2009 6:20:00 AM
From a former fellow Seabee - My prayers are with you and hope that you have been blessed with as good of quality leaders and teachers that I had. I am gratefull to those that helped me stand tall and those I mentored when it was my turn. Now that it is yours, my prayers are that those I mentored and taught have in turn returned and exceeded the favor. Be safe and be proud as we are and always will be SEABEES!

12/29/2009 11:21:00 PM
Provide your man what they need to succeed and bring them home safe and sound!!

12/29/2009 11:08:00 PM
Do your best and get home safe!

12/29/2009 3:28:00 PM
God Speed to our son Zack and all men and women serving our country.

12/22/2009 8:46:00 PM
Simply OUTSTANDING !!! GO SEABEES !!!

12/22/2009 1:57:00 PM
Good luck and come home safe!!

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Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 bury two kilometers of fiber optic cable for their new camp in the expansion area of Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
091029-N-4440L-162 HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Oct. 29, 2009) Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 bury two kilometers of fiber optic cable for their new camp in the expansion area of Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. NMCB-74 is deployed to Afghanistan supporting the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Lindsey/Released)
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