Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seabees Deploy Two Units to Haiti

By Daryl Smith, 1st Naval Construction Division Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Eighty Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 are deploying from Gulfport, Miss., and 14 Seabee divers from Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 will deploy from Virginia Beach, Va.

NMCB 7 Seabees will help remove debris, clear roads, and provide construction support. The battalion received the tasking Jan. 14 and immediately began preparations to get the 690 short tons of cargo ready to roll.

Personnel from Construction Battalion Center Gulfport and the 20th Seabee Readiness Group began pulling more than 40 pieces of civil engineer support equipment and other items from warehouses and preparing them to fly out with the detachment late Friday or early Saturday. The heavy equipment includes graders, front-end loaders, excavators and dump trucks.

UCT 1 Seabees will deploy Friday from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story. Their mission will be to inspect waterfront facilities such as piers and docks as part of efforts to help get relief supplies into the earthquake-ravaged nation.

They will deploy along with other Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 and Naval Sea Systems Command, and engineers from Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

Seabees are well known for their humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery efforts around the world, having recently provided support for victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters.

In 2005, Seabees deployed to Pakistan to help clear roads and remove debris to help relief workers get to isolated areas following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005, nearly 3,000 Seabees repaired more than 100 schools, removed 20,000 tons of debris, cleared 750 miles of roads, and delivered more than 100,000 gallons of fuel and water. Seabees also deployed to Indonesia, Thailand and Sri-Lanka to provide humanitarian support in the wake of the massive tsunami that devastated the area in December 2004.