Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NMCB 7 Returns from Ten Month Deployment

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Yan Kennon, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- More than 600 Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 returned to their homeport of Gulfport, Miss., Dec. 17, marking the completion of a successful 10-month deployment.

During the deployment, NMCB 7 provided contingency construction, humanitarian and civic assistance and exercise related construction projects throughout the European, African and Southern Command areas of responsibility.

NMCB 7 began its deployment in February and exercised command and control of their entire deployment from Naval Station Rota's Camp Mitchell. Once on deck, the battalion began deploying detachments, which completed construction and contingency projects in 33 separate locations in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Central and South America.

More than 120 Seabees were continually assigned to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, as an enduring detachment, with smaller detachments completing projects in Kenya, Comoros, Ethiopia, and the Djiboutian countryside. The battalion also embarked Seabees aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), debarking for projects in several countries on the Pacific shores.

Prior to the battalions scheduled deployment, NMCB 7 was called upon to assist with disaster relief efforts in Haiti, during Operation Unified Response, amidst the aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake which struck the area Jan. 12.

During Operation Unified Response, NMCB 7's Air Detachment made a huge impact supporting the Joint Task Force, while working with Underwater Construction Team 1, Amphibious Battalion 2, U.S. Marine Corps and various other joint forces.

"Though the situation was tragic, our Seabees reinforced the value of the naval construction force to the nation's national security strategy and our partner nations," said Cmdr. Jayson Mitchell, NMCB 7 commanding officer.

NMCB 7 turned over its operational responsibilities to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 during a December 14 ceremony at Naval Station Rota, Spain.

Throughout their 10 month deployment, NMCB 7 deployed Seabees on more than 15 detachments and details spanning locations such as Israel, Morocco, Liberia, Montenegro, Burkina Faso, Latvia, Senegal, Sao Tome and Romani.

NMCB 7 is one of the original ten Seabee battalions authorized by the Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks in 1942. The battalion is homeported at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss., home of the Atlantic Fleet Seabees, and is currently the east coast's Battle "E" Seabee battalion.