PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- Seabees from U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 returned from a nine-month deployment to the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) area of responsibility, July 16 - the battalion's final deployment before its September decomissioning.
The Seabee USPACOM theater deployment is an inherently demanding deployment. It is an arduous and geographically dispersed area of responsibility containing its own unique operational, logistical, and communication challenges. NMCB 40 was stretched across the Pacific theater from their main body site in Okinawa, Japan, while supporting 11 detail/detachment sites and nine exercise locations located in mainland Japan, South Korea, Guam, Diego Garcia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Philippines, Palau, and Vietnam.
NMCB 40 executed numerous Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) missions and exercise engagements. These missions and exercises focused on strengthening military to military relationships and enhanced the respective host nation's humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery capabilities.
"Often, the Seabees of NMCB 40 were the only U.S. military presence in these developing nations. The interaction and host nation support provided by the SeaBees from "Fighting 40" further enhanced the positive reputation of the United States while continuing to add to the proud legacy of the Seabees in the Pacific Command," said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Miller, executive officer, NMCB 40.
NMCB 40 carried out all assigned TSC missions and exercises while providing critical support to the USPACOM strategic objectives and the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) operational objectives.
Furthermore, while supporting multiple missions at their many deployment TSC sites, "Fighting 40" executed $8 million in construction readiness projects in support of installation commanders and other military commands. The scope of these projects ranged from remote gravel roads, asphalt projects, and construction of pre-engineered buildings, to the installation of technologically complex solar power and overhead concrete projects.
30 Naval Construction Regiment lauded NMCB 40's efforts recognizing the battalion raising the bar and greatly enhancing the Seabee legacy in the execution of high quality, technically challenging construction.
The 2011-2012 USPACOM deployment is the final deployment for NMCB 40. The battalion is scheduled to decommission, September 12, as a result of U.S. fiscal constraints and the post Afghanistan and Iraqi war drawdown. This, however, is not the first time NMCB 40 has decommissioned. During the post World War II drawdown, NMCB 40 was decommissioned in Okinawa, Japan, only to be reactivated 21 years later in 1966 when the nation needed additional construction support for the Vietnam War.
It seems only fitting that NMCB 40's final deployment was to the Pacific. On July 13, NMCB 40 performed its last turnover at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan. NMCB 40 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Tim DeWitt, said, "As we turn over [to] Camp Shields this morning, our battalion colors will come down for the final time overseas. It's a proud legacy 40 has left in the Pacific."
NMCB 40 is the Naval Construction Force's 2011 Pacific Fleet Battle "E" and Peltier Award winning Seabee battalion. The Battalion deployed throughout the U.S. Pacific command in November 2011, and is scheduled to completely return to Port Hueneme, Calif, in the summer 2012, with the return of all remaining Seabees from Vietnam and Palau.