Saturday, March 14, 2009

NMCB 5 Completes Turnover in Afghanistan with NMCB 7

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SCW) Michael B. Lavender

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 arrived in Afghanistan and turned over the main deployment site for Seabees deployed to Afghanistan from NMCB 7.

The turnover lasted for 15 days, with the process concluding with the Transfer of Authority (TOA) ceremony held March 13.

NMCB 5 dispatched more than two thirds of its personnel to the main body site to ensure a steady and safe transition with NMCB 7. Included in the turnover process is the inventory of supply and many other controlled assets, such as crew served weapons.

NMCB 7 continued to play a major role in the procedure, providing information, guidance, lessons learned and experiences to NMCB 5's personnel to give them a thorough understanding of their area of operations.

"I'm proud of all the things NMCB 7 has accomplished this deployment," said Cmdr. John Adametz, commanding officer of NMCB 7. "First, they said we couldn't close out our sites in Iraq. Then they said we wouldn't get to Afghanistan, and even when we did, they said we wouldn't get our projects started. But we did. We succeeded magnificently in ways no battalion has ever done before. We're the premier Seabee battalion chosen to build and fight and this deployment is a fine example why we are."

Adametz went on to challenge NMCB 5's Seabees to continue the mission NMCB 7 began, citing that their professional nature and meticulous attention to detail is a mark of unit pride and accomplishment.

NMCB 7 then hauled down their battalion colors, officially concluding their deployment to Afghanistan. The two commanding officers of the battalions then transferred command of the new forward operating base in a brief exchange.

NMCB 5 Seabees struck their colors, hoisting them into the air, commencing the start of their deployment with the promise to continue the hard work and reputation that NMCB 7 forged this deployment.

"When we first got into this theater, everyone had praises about the work NMCB 7 had accomplished this deployment," said Cmdr. Scott Hurst, commanding officer of NMCB 5. "One warrant officer went so far as to say in simple words that, 'what they're doing over here makes me proud to be a Seabee.' Congratulations NMCB 7 on a fine deployment. To my Seabees, it looks like we've found some work to do. Let's get to it."

NMCB 5 responded with a 'hoorah,' and the two battalions posted, concluding the ceremony.

NMCB 5 will have detachments throughout U.S. Forces Central Command, including sites in Kuwait, Iraq and mainly throughout Afghanistan.

NMCB 5, based out of Port Hueneme, Calif. is deployed to Afghanistan to provide contingency engineering and construction support to alliance forces in support of NATO International Security Assistance Force.