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Utilitiesman Constructionman Joshua E. Coote and Utilitiesman 2nd Class Joshua P. Kondratowicz (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael/Released)

Civil Engineer Corps/Seabees: Expeditionary Support to the Warfighter

“Led by CEC officers, Navy Seabees operate forward around the globe. Able to deploy units within 48 hours, task organize, and operate independently, the CEC/Seabee team provides a wide range of engineering and construction support as an integral part of the world’s greatest Navy.”
Rear Adm. Chris Mossey Commander Naval Facilities Engineering Command/Chief of Civil Engineers

A dust storm approaches a convoy of Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 en route to their forward operating base after a day of work on a road construction project in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael/Released)

Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) officers and Seabees have an enduring legacy of “Can Do” support to our fighting forces. At any given time, more than 2,000 Navy Seabees are forward deployed around the globe providing support for the full range of military operations — from combat and theater security cooperation to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Seabees provide support to operating forces that ranges from building roads, bridges, airfields, and logistics platforms that reach over the shore to underwater construction. They operate forward to build and strengthen partnerships and extend naval operational reach from the littorals to inland gaps. The CEC/Seabee and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) team provide ready, responsive, and interoperable engineering support to meet Navy component commander, Marine Corps, and combatant commander requirements.

Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 receive a pre-mission security brief from Marine Corps Sgt. Eric D. Colley prior to embarking on a road construction project in Afghanistan.

Supporting Warfighters to Win Our Nation’s Wars

  • Since Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 first deployed to Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, all active and Reserve battalions have deployed multiple times in support of overseas contingency operations. Current contingency operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility include construction of combat outposts and force protection upgrades for joint and special operations forces.
  • CEC officers also lead NAVFAC professionals who provide engineering reach-back support for warfighters, as well as rapid response and recovery support as provided during Operation Tomodachi and following the Haiti earthquake.
  • More than 70 CEC officers currently serve as individual augmentees supporting overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and the Horn of Africa.
Utilitiesman Constructionman Joshua E. Coote and Utilitiesman 2nd Class Joshua P. Kondratowicz (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael/Released)

Operating Forward to Assure Operational Access and Foster Cooperative Relationships

  • Seabees from Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 and NMCB 40 are supporting Pacific Partnership 2012 by building schools and medical clinics in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
  • Seabees are supporting Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa by constructing schools and providing forward operating support in Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, Seabee detachments are drilling potable water wells to provide clean water in the Dire Dawa and Shinelle regions.
  • Seabees from NMCB 23 are constructing a women’s medical clinic in Guatemala as part of the Beyond the Horizon exercise.

Facts & Figures

  • The Civil Engineer Corps was established March 2, 1867.
  • The Seabees were officially established March 5, 1942, by Adm. Ben Moreell. The name “Seabee” comes from “CB” – Construction Battalion.
  • Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields received the Medal of Honor posthumously at the White House on Sept. 13, 1966. He was the first Sailor to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam.
  • The Seabee motto is “We Build. We Fight.”

Operating forward at strategic maritime crossroads, Seabees provide high quality construction projects that enable naval operations and provide an enduring reminder of U.S. partnership and commitment. Seabees are a force multiplier to naval and joint operations in both war and peace. CEC officers are warfare qualified, operationally experienced professionals with a unique combination of engineering and acquisition expertise.

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