NMCB 3 Seabees Visit Shipboard 'Steelworkers'

Story Number: NNS130905-02Release Date: 9/5/2013 7:21:00 AM
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By Builder Constructionman Laine Pulfer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs

OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Roughly 20 Seabee steelworkers from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 met the "Steelworkers" of USS Stethem (DDG 63) during a tour aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Sept. 4.

According to tour guide Fire Controlman 1st Class Travis Boatwright the visit provided an opportunity for Seabees to see the dynamics of shipboard life and pay homage to DDG 63's namesake.

"It was great to be able to show some actual steelworkers the ship," said Boatwright. "It's an amazing crew that does its best to live up to the Seabee steelworker name."

For the Seabees, seeing coffin lockers, tunneling through scuttles and water-tight doors provided a classic Navy experience for a group more accustomed to jungle warfare, desert patrols and Marine Corps-guided combat training.

"The junior warfighters who have never seen a ship were blown away by the customs, tight living conditions and the basic compactness of shipboard life," said Steelworker 1st Class Avery Thomas. "It gave them some true appreciation for their chosen career path and a rare chance to identify with a side of the Navy they may never fully experience."

Stethem is part of Destroyer Squadron 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

One of the first battalions commissioned during World War II, NMCB 3's legacy stands strong in its ability to build and fight anywhere in the world as either a full battalion or as a group of autonomous detachments, simultaneously completing critical engineering and construction missions.

For this deployment, NMCB 3 has split into 9 details to perform critical construction projects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Philippines. The teams will also conduct operations in Atsugi, Yokosuka and Okinawa, Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea and China Lake, Calif.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They provide deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.

NMCB 3 provides combatant commanders and Navy component commanders with combat-ready warfighters capable of general engineering, construction and limited combat engineering across the full range of military operations.

For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb3/.

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