Naval Station Guantanamo Celebrates Seabee Birthday


Story Number: NNS100318-10Release Date: 3/18/2010 7:44:00 PM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Bill Mesta, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- More than 200 U.S. Navy Sailors and their guests celebrated the Seabees' 68th birthday in the Windjammer Ballroom at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mar. 13.

The event also celebrated the 168th anniversary of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and the 143rd anniversary of the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC).

NAVFAC, which was previously known as the Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks, was established in 1842. CEC was established in 1867.

Capt. Dwyn Taylor, a guest speaker at the event and the operations officer for NAVFAC Southeast, shared personal stories with guests, focusing on the Seabees' "Can Do" spirit, demonstrated through their support of military and humanitarian assistance around the world.

"It takes a lot of work and effort to put together an event like this," said Taylor. "As you all know, Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay) is one of the best places to have a Seabee ball in the world."

Taylor asked the attendees to, "Remember the thousands of service members who are deployed and are operating in harm's way."

Currently there are more than 3,000 active duty and Reserve Seabees deployed to over 30 locations worldwide including Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Haiti and Guantanamo Bay.

"These deployed service members are actively supporting the War on Terror," said Taylor.

Taylor praised the Seabees from Guantanamo Bay for their contributions to the recovery effort in Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the region Jan. 12.

"I am sure that every single person in this room has contributed to the efforts in support of Operation Unified Response," said Taylor.

The NAVFAC team was credited with providing planning, support for emergency operations, providing critical utilities and augmenting personnel for Combined Task Force 48.

"I would like to thank you all for a job well done," said Taylor.

In addition to contributions supporting the crisis in Haiti, Guantanamo Bay's Public Works Self Help Team has been instrumental to improving base facilities and maintaining a high quality of life.

"This is who we (Seabees) are, what we stand for," Taylor said, "You can't put a price on the opportunity to build freedom."

Attendees enjoyed dinner, dancing and a traditional cake-cutting ceremony led by the oldest and youngest Seabees in attendance.

The junior officers attached to NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay's Public Works department provided one of the highlights of the event when they led the audience in singing "The Song of the Seabees."

"The ball was held in honor of all Seabees, Civil Engineer Corps officers and NAVFAC staff, past and present, who paved the way to victory," said Cmdr. Wendy Halsey, NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay's public works officer. "In addition, it honored all of those who are following in their footsteps."

For more news from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, visit www.navy.mil/local/guantanamo/.

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