In California in May 1942, a base for supporting the Naval Construction Force was established at Port Hueneme in Ventura County. The earliest Seabees were recruited from the civilian construction trades and were placed under the leadership of the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps. More than 325,000 men served with the Seabees in World War II, fighting and building on six continents and more than 300 islands. With the general demobilization following the war, the Construction Battalions were reduced to 3,300 men on active duty by 1950. Over the following years and under adverse conditions, Seabees added to their list of accomplishments such things as snow-compacted roads, underground storage, laboratories, and living areas.
During the Cold War, the Seabees undertook a number of other missions, including constructing the Distant Early Warning Line in the Arctic. Seabees were deployed to Vietnam throughout the conflict beginning in small numbers in June 1954 and extending to November 1972. In Vietnam, the Seabees supported the Marines and built a staggering number of aircraft-support facilities, roads, and bridges; they also paved roads that provided access to farms and markets, supplied fresh water to countless numbers of Vietnamese through hundreds of Seabee-dug wells, provided medical treatment to thousands of villagers, and built schools, hospitals, utilities systems, roads and other community facilities.
After Vietnam, the Seabees built and repaired Navy bases in Puerto Rico, Japan, Guam, Greece, Sicily, and Spain. In 1971, the Seabees began their largest peacetime construction on Diego Garcia, a small atoll in the Indian Ocean. As the Cold War cooled off, new challenges were presented by the increased incidence of terrorism.
Seabee construction efforts led to the expansion and improvement of Naval Air Facility, Sigonella Sicily, turning this into a major base for the Navy’s Sixth Fleet aviation activities. A Seabee maintains security by manning an M60 machine gun while his convoy drives through Al Hillah in Iraq.
During the Gulf War, more than 5,000 Seabees (4,000 active and 1,000 reservists) served in the Middle East.
Seabees continue to provide critical construction skills in connection with the effort to rebuild the infrastructure of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2002, Seabees have provided critical and tactical construction skills in an effort to win the hearts and minds of locals.
Seabees supported disaster recovery efforts for victims of the Northridge earthquake of 1994. In summer 1992, Seabees were called on to provide recovery assistance for Homestead, Florida following Hurricane Andrew.
On September 23, 1998, Hurricane Georges plowed through the Caribbean Islands causing millions of dollars in damage and generating thousands of DRT (disaster recovery team) man hours for the Seabees. Shortly after Hurricane Georges ravaged Puerto Rico and most of the Caribbean, the Seabees immediately turned their focus towards Hurricane Mitch, which was the most powerful hurricane of the 1998 season. Seabees deployed in September 2004 in response to Hurricane Ivan’s destruction to the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi suffered damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Seabee units have also been deployed to provide construction support and disaster relief to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Seabees from NMCB-133 deployed to Japan as part of the relief effort after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. There are currently around 17,000 Seabees, active and reserve, serving in the United States Navy.
Designations of other Seabee units have included Construction Battalion Unit (CBU), Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU), Underwater Construction Team (UCT), and Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB), all with numbers following the letters. The newcomers begin "A" School (preliminary training) fresh out of boot camp, or they come from the fleet after their service term is met, spending about 75% of the twelve weeks immersed in hands-on training.
About one-third of new Seabees are assigned to Public Works Departments at Naval installations both within the U.S. Construction Mechanics (CM) maintain and repair the construction machinery used by the Seabees, such as power tools and heavy equipment. Equipment Operators (EO) operate heavy construction equipment and coordinate rigging operations. Utilitiesmen (UT) install, maintain, and operate a building's mechanical and fluid systems. Construction Electricians (CE) install a building's electrical distribution and emergency power systems. Builders (BU) are responsible for general construction, including carpentry, concrete, masonry, and finish work. Steel Workers (SW) are responsible for erecting structural steel and reinforcing steel in concrete construction.
Engineering Aides (EA) are responsible for construction surveying, drafting, soils analysis, and project estimation. The military qualification badge for the Seabees is known as the Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist insignia (SCWS).
The ranks of E-1 through E-3 in the Navy include Seaman (white stripes), Airman (green stripes), and Fireman (red stripes). During World War II, artists working for Walt Disney designed logos for about ten Naval Construction units, including the 60th Naval (Canal) Construction Battalion[5] and the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion,[6] in 1943.


Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered by the Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah when they hijacked TWA Flight 847 in 1985. The Seabee Museum and Memorial Park, in Davisville, Rhode Island, was opened in the late 1990s by a group of former Seabees. The Seabee Heritage Center is located at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi. The 1944 War film The Fighting Seabees, staring John Wayne, tells a heavily fictionalized story of the formation of the Seabees and their first taste of combat.
Seabee — Badge des Seabees Les Seabees sont une unite de genie militaire de l US Navy qui a ete fondee durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. The word Seabee[1] is a proper noun that comes from the initials of Construction Battalion, (CB) of the United States Navy. This base became responsible for shipping massive amounts of equipment and material to the efforts in the Pacific.
Because of the emphasis on experience and skill rather than physical standards, the average age of Seabees during the early days of the war was 37. In the Pacific, where most of the construction work was needed, the Seabees landed soon after the Marines and built major airstrips, bridges, roads, gasoline storage tanks, and Quonset huts for warehouses, hospitals, and housing.
Between 1949 and 1953, Naval Construction Battalions were organized into two types of units: Amphibious Construction Battalions (ACBs) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCBs). The expansion of the Seabees came from the Naval Reserve Seabee program where individuals volunteered for active duty.
Cubi Point in the Philippines was selected, and civilian contractors were initially selected for the project. The first Seabees to arrive were MCB-3 on October 2, 1951; followed by MCB-5 on November 5, 1951. Cubi Point turned out to be one of the largest earth-moving projects in the world, equivalent to the construction of the Panama Canal. From providing much needed assistance in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Greece in 1953 to providing construction work and training to underdeveloped countries, the Seabees became "The Navy's Goodwill Ambassadors". As participants in Operation Deep Freeze, their mission was to build and expand scientific bases located on the frozen continent. One of the most notable achievements took place in 1962, when the Navy's builders constructed Antarctica's first nuclear power plant, at McMurdo Station. Again operating often under extreme conditions, the Seabees successfully completed every mission assigned to them. Also there were ongoing support missions to Diego Garcia, Guam, Okinawa, Navy and Marine Bases in Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guantanamo Bay, Guatemala, the Naval Support Facility for Polaris and Poseidon Submarines in Holy Loch Scotland, Rota Spain, Naples Italy and Suda Bay Crete. All Active and Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCBs) and Naval Construction Regiments (NCRs) have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their efforts have begun to deter the rising influence of radical terrorists in the southern Philippines, most notably the Abu Sayyaf's jungle training area.
Seabees were also vital to the humanitarian efforts in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope in 1992-1993. The Navy provided generators and water trucks that were taken to nearby cities and damage assessment teams were sent to the local islands. Mitch left more than 17,000 people dead due to the high winds and heavy rains that Mitch produced creating mud slides that buried thousands in Central America. The Seabees cleared hurricane debris, repaired roads, erected tents, and otherwise assisted fellow service members. Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) units deploy worldwide to provide power, water purification and technical support at a moment's notice for military and humanitarian missions.
It is issued to both officers and enlisted personnel and recognizes those who have been fully trained and qualified as a member of the various Naval Construction Force (NCF) units. E-1 through E-3 Seabees use the designation Constructionman and wear sky-blue stripes on their dress and service uniforms. Iafrate, a civilian plan file clerk at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, was the artist who designed the original Seabee logo ("Fighting 'Bee") in early 1942.
Stethem was a Steel Worker Second Class (SW2), a Seabee diver and member of Underwater Construction Team ONE.
The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II.
After seeing the forbidding Zambales Mountains and the maze of jungle, they claimed it could not be done.
The $100 million facility was commissioned on July 25, 1956, and comprised an air station and an adjacent pier that was capable of docking the Navy's largest carriers. Seabees built or improved many roads, orphanages and public utilities in many remote parts of the world.
The first "wintering over" party included 200 Seabees who distinguished themselves by constructing a 6,000-foot ice runway on McMurdo Sound. After moving to the Beirut International Airport and setting up quarters there, Druse militia artillery began harassing the Marines. Seabees work along with Army, Marines, and Air Force under Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines.
In 1994, they were again called on to provide assistance to the Haitian Relief effort at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.


The Seabees deployed to Honduras participating in operations with Joint Task Force Bravo providing capabilities to conduct engineer reconnaissance, repair roads and bridges, clear debris, remove bridges and build base camps. Naval Support Unit State Department is where Seabees work, rehab and maintain security areas at US Embassies and Consulates overseas and Presidential Support Duty, which is located at Camp David.
Individual units are distinguished by numbers before the letters (WWII era) or after them (all others).
From "A" School, new Seabees most often report to an NMCB command for their first tour of duty.
While stationed at a Public Works Department, a Seabee has the opportunity to get specialized training and extensive experience in one or more facets of their rating. They fought enormous tides as well as enemy fire and provided causeways within hours of the initial landings. Despite a blizzard that once destroyed the entire project, the airstrip was completed in time for the advance party of Deep Freeze II to become the first to arrive at the South Pole by plane. Shields, part of Seabee Team 1104, was actively engaged at the Battle of Dong Xoai and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions there. This base proved invaluable when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were launched. After consultations with the theater commander and Marine amphibious command and combat engineers, the forward deployed battalion in Rota Spain sent in a work party with heavy equipment. One of their most high profiles tasks in Iraq has been the removal of statues of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. On Christmas Day 1995, Seabees arrived in Croatia to support the Army by building camps as part of Operation Joint Endeavor, the peacekeeping effort in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The SEVEN was the first Navy element to arrive in Central America taking part in their second humanitarian mission on the deployment. While assigned to the State Department, a Seabee reports to a Department of State Security Engineering Officer or directly to a Department of State Regional Security Officer, who both work for the Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security. For training, the new Seabees attend a four-week course known as Expeditionary Combat Skills (ECS) at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, and Port Hueneme, California. The qualifying units include: Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB), Amphibious Construction Battalions (ACB), Naval Construction Force Support Units (NCFSU), Underwater Construction Teams (UCT), and, since the end of 2008, Naval Construction Regiments (NCR). The first verse of the song, however, is usually the only verse to be sung or played at official functions. On August 24, 2010 onboard USS Stethem in Yokosuka, Japan, Robert Dean Stethem was made an honorary Constructionman Master Chief Petty Officer by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.
The new, completely remodeled museum opened on 22 July 2011, located outside the base itself, near the entrance to the Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme, California.
Their action here and at other landings emphasized the role of the Seabees, and there was no Seabee demobilization when the truce was declared. Construction of artillery resistant quarters went on from December 1983 until the Marines’ withdrawal in February 1984. In Afghanistan, the Seabees main task has been the construction of multiple Forward Operating Bases for U.S.
Along with the Marine Security Guard (MSG) program, this is a rare example of an active-duty uniformed member of the U.S. ECS is also being taught to all personnel who report to a unit in the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command. Due to the location, visitors are be able to visit the museum without having to enter the base itself. Camp Thomas, a personnel-receiving station on the base, was established in October of that year.
These "Civic Action Teams" continued into the Vietnam War where Seabees, often fending off enemy forces alongside their Marine and Army counterparts, also built schools and infrastructure and provided health care service. Only one casualty occurred when an Equipment Operator using a bulldozer to clear fields of fire was wounded by an RPG attack.
ECS is a basic combat-skills course where the students spend time in a classroom environment learning map reading and land navigation, battlefield first aid, how to lay out defensive plans, how to conduct patrols, vehicle egress, and many other combat-related skills. Beginning in 1965, full Seabee battalions (MCBs) and Naval Construction Regiments (NCRs), along with other unit types, were deployed throughout Vietnam. The Seabees were proud that the Marines had greatly improved protection from ongoing artillery harassment.
Half of each course is spent at a rifle range where students learn basic rifle marksmanship and then qualify with the M-16A2 and A3 service rifles. On August 11, 1942, the Naval Construction Training Center, known as Camp Endicott, was commissioned at Davisville. Seabees from the Naval Reserve provided individual personnel early on to augment regular units and two battalions, MCB 12 and MCB 22.
Unlike most navy personnel, Seabees wear the M81 Woodland camouflage uniform or the legacy tri-color Desert Camouflage Uniform. Seebee's use ALICE field gear as well as some units working with Marines use USMC issue ILBE gear.



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