Story Number: NNS140219-19Release Date: 2/19/2014 9:53:00 PM
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kim Martinez, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 relieved NMCB 3 of engineering operations in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility during a relief in place and transfer of authority (RIP/TOA) ceremony at Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan Feb. 14.
NMCB 3 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Gordon Meek III turned over authority for Camp Shields to NMCB 1 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Chad Brooks and his Sailors from Gulfport, Miss.
"Today culminates a year of training and preparation for this opportunity to operate forward, engage our partner nations throughout the Pacific and conduct construction operations across the globe," said Brooks as he addressed the officers and crew of NMCB 1. "As I look across the [detail], today I see every tenant of our command vision and leadership philosophy on display as we serve in the world's greatest Navy and sustain our proud seabee heritage. We place the mission first as we remain ready to win our nation's wars, invest in people, excel as a team, manage risk, work safely, and achieve high quality."
Aligned with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' four priorities of people, platforms, power and partnerships, NMCB 1 will deliver the Navy's forward presence through its work with several host nations at its Construction Civic Action Details in the Pacific Command and will continue to conduct construction operations in the Northern Command.
"This is an exciting deployment for NMCB 1 with details now operating from Virginia to Diego Garcia with hubs in Gulfport, Guam and here in Okinawa," said Brooks.
The ceremony's guest speaker Capt. Michael Michel, commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa, said the seabees' presence in Okinawa is needed due to the demand for humanitarian and civic assistance in the region, most recently seen with the typhoon in the Philippines last year.
"As a naval aviator, it is great having the opportunity to be around seabees," said Michel. "After 30 plus years in the Navy, from a young enlisted man to now being a CO of these bases, I had never had the chance to work with seabees, so I am so glad I have this opportunity to work so closely with them. The seabees are a critical part of our Navy and I don't think they get enough credit for all they do. They are quiet warriors...and I am just so glad that I have this chance to spend so much time with them."
In closing the ceremony, Brooks thanked the officers and crew of NMCB 3 for a professional and diligent turnover preparation and congratulated them on a successful deployment.
"Good luck to you as you return to Port Hueneme to continue readiness training for your next mission," said Brooks.
NMCB 1 provides combat-ready engineer forces in response to Combatant Commander and Naval Component Commander requirements and provides planning and operational support for seabee employment. The continued operations in the Pacific Command help demonstrate the U.S. commitment to developing enduring relationships, and strengthening local institutions and communities throughout the region. At U.S. locations, seabees will perform missions to prepare for disaster support and civic assistance missions. NMCB 1 is homported out of Gulfport, Miss. and has 13 global details deployed throughout the United States and Pacific area of operations in Japan, Korea, Diego Garcia, Cambodia, Philippines, Timor Leste and Guam.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb1/.