By Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg
Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Chief of Engineers
This year we celebrate the 74th anniversary of the establishment of the Seabees. During World War II the Seabees were established and performed now legendary deeds in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of Operation. Seventy-four years later the patch of the Seabees is still present throughout the Pacific and worldwide. What Seabees did seven decades ago, they continue to do today.
The “Can Do” spirit, of our fighting Seabees was certainly busy in 2015 in support of various component commanders such as U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Africa Command. Seabees operated globally completing critical tasking and participating in named exercises and multi-national exercises in 2015 ranging from Flintlock, Saharan Express, African Lion, Baltops, Pacific Partnership, Balikatan, Cooperation Assistance Readiness and Training and Key Resolve. Seabees also strengthened bonds among our Pacific regional allies, operating with the U.S. Marine Corps, Australian Army and United Kingdom’s Royal Engineers for Exercises Olgetta Warrior 2015 in Papua New Guinea and Exercise Harii Hamatuk 2015 in Timor-Leste.
Today, Seabees are directly supporting the Theater Security Cooperation Program and provide that visible reminder of the United States global commitment and friendship. Seabees are a critical piece to building relationships and trust with not just their local communities, but also with local governments and organizations that can open doors for future U.S. interaction with partner nations.
Currently, Seabees today are forward deployed worldwide providing engineering and construction support while promoting regional stability and improving lives through engineer civic action projects in Africa, Europe, South America and the Pacific working on projects that range from renovating schools, build bridges and drilling water wells.
Not only are Seabees improving local communities and increasing partner nation capacity with their construction efforts, but they are also playing a large role in building and sustaining relationships between and among nations, non-government organizations and international organizations as they provide a persistent and meaningful, forward presence on these continents.
If you know a Seabee, thank him or her for their Service. Happy anniversary Seabees!