SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Reservists with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 18, Detachment 0918 gathered at Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Guam Feb. 14-1 to prepare for a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
These Sailors are the first unit attached to NOSC Guam to deploy to Afghanistan. They are also the first NMCB group consisting primarily of Reservists from Guam.
The detachment is comprised of about 45 members, 28 of whom will be on a deployment that mobilizes March 25. NMCB 18, Det. 0918 Sailors will join the remainder of NMCB 18 personnel and complete theater training in Gulfport, Miss., before beginning their mission.
"Many of us have prior military service, so this isn't our first deployment as individuals, but this is our first deployment as a Seabee group," Engineering Aide 1st Class Wilson Beatingo, non-commissioned officer in charge of the detachment. "We've trained hard and those of us who have been deployed before are working closely with those who haven't had the experience. I think we're prepared, and I'm confident we'll do a good job out there."
Steelworker 1st Class Steven Bamba, Det. 0918 leading petty officer, said being the first Seabee Reserve detachment on Guam makes it important for him to ensure the group performs well.
"I was one of the first to sign up for the detachment when it first started in 2007," he said. "I watched others join in and we've trained together, working hard to be the best representatives of the Navy and of our detachment. We're excited to be the first Seabees from Guam and we're going to do our best to make our island and our nation proud."
NOSC Guam is the Reservists' first processing site to ensure the active component receives fully qualified members to execute missions. They screen all personnel who are mobilizing to ensure that the members meet medical, dental, legal, and family readiness requirements.
Cmdr. Donald Knaub, NOSC commanding officer, said the detachment's deployment is an example of the growing role of Navy Reservists in today's military.
"Reserve forces reduce the manpower costs associated with maintaining a full-time force while still providing surge capability," he said. "The deployment of NMCB 18 is a prime example of the importance of the Navy Reserves. These members of the Reserve will fill a wartime requirement integrating with the Armed Forces continuing the fight."
NMCBs provide responsive military construction support to Navy, Marine Corps and other forces in military operations, construct base facilities and conduct defensive operations. In addition to standard wood, steel, masonry and concrete construction, NMCBs also perform specialized construction such as water-well drilling and battle damage repair. They are able to work and defend themselves at construction sites outside of their base camp and convoy through unsecured areas. In times of emergency or disaster, NMCBs conduct disaster control and recovery operations.
To learn more about Naval Mobile Construction Battalions, visit https://www.seabee.navy.mil.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.