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Necc in the_news_22_march13 for web

  1. 1. NAVY EXPEDITIONARY COMBAT COMMAND IN THE NEWS Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in the News is a service of the NECC Public AffairsOffice and is used to provide senior leadership and interested NECC personnel around the Fleetwith news about the Navy‟s expeditionary forces. Please do not repost the Clips to any publicly accessible website since we must maintain the integrity of copyrighted material. Friday, March 22, 2013Navy divers remembered Lt. Nathan Potter Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group TwoMobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 held a memorial service for two navy divers aboardJoint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story, March 14.Task Force Anchor’s Aweigh Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Myers NMCB 133U.S Navy Seabees in Afghanistan transferred authority for the country‟s Navy engineeringoperations mission during a ceremony at Camp Leatherneck March 19.EODMU 2 holds change of command Petty Officer 3rd Class Randy Savarese Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group TwoExplosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 held a change of command andretirement ceremony March 15 on the waterfront of Harbormaster Unit, Joint Expeditionary BaseLittle Creek-Fort Story. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Charles B. Eckhart relieved Cmdr. GregoryW. Hubbard as Commanding Officer of EODMU 2.NMCB-11 Seabee Receives Navys Annual Stethem Award Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael, Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 11A Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Seabee was awarded the Steelworker 2ndClass Robert D. Stethem Award during a ceremony in Crystal City, Va., March 9.Commander rewards top PFA performers, promotes Navy culture of fitness Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan CarmichaelTen sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, were awarded 1
  2. 2. certificates by Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, on March 12th in recognition ofoutstanding physical achievement and exceptional dedication during the first cycle of the 2013U.S. Navy official Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA).Navy Conducts Boot Study for Expeditionary Forces MC2 Steven Hoskins Navy Expeditionary Combat CommandNavy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) sailors are participating in a boot study to helpdetermine an official desert boot to be worn with the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type IIand III.Guam Seabees Celebrate 71st Birthday Shaina Marie Santos, Joint Region Marianas Public AffairsService members from the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines gathered in an explosion ofenthusiasm and pride to celebrate the Seabees 71st birthday during this years Seabee Ball at theHotel Nikko Guam in Tumon March 16.NMCB-11 honors female veterans at Armed Forces Retirement Home Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan CarmichaelSeabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 honored female veteranswith a visit to the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) where they had lunch with femaleveterans and presented a plaque to be displayed in the home.Navy divers remembered by Lt. Nathan Potter Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group TwoVIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 held a memorial servicefor two navy divers aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story, March 14.The ceremony honored two navy divers who died while conducting dive operations at AberdeenProving Grounds in Maryland last month.Honored during the memorial service were Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, 2
  3. 3. Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Mo. Reyher and Harris diedwhile diving at Aberdeen Proving Ground‟s Underwater Explosion Test Facility also known asthe Super Pond, Feb. 26.Cmdr. Michael Runkle, commanding officer, MDSU 2, spoke of the challenges Navy Diversface and offered words of comfort to the crowd of more than 400 service members, civilians,families and friends."We come together to honor ND1 James Reyher and ND2 Ryan Harris, two extraordinary menwho made the ultimate sacrifice serving as Navy divers," said Runkle. "These heroes and thoselike them understand and accepted dangers, not for fame or fortune, but for their friends, for theirfamilies, and for their country."The memorial included remembrances and sea stories of Reyher and Harris from fellow NavyDivers and concluded with the playing of taps.An investigation to determine the cause of the accident is currently ongoing and is beingconducted by Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2.MDSU 2 is an expeditionary mobile diving unit homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base, LittleCreek-Ft. Story in Virginia Beach, Va. and has successfully conducted salvage operations tosupport TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, andthe Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. Return to Top StoriesTask Force Anchor’s Aweigh by Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Myers NMCB 133CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - U.S Navy Seabees in Afghanistan transferred authorityfor the country‟s Navy engineering operations mission during a ceremony at Camp LeatherneckMarch 19.Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Task Force Anchor, turned over with NMCB 15, TaskForce True Grit.“We would like to with fair winds and following seas to the Runnin‟ Roos as they begin theirjourney home,” said U.S. Army Col. Nicholas Katers, commander, 555th Engineer Brigade,Joint Task Force Triple Nickel. “What you have done in the last six months rivals the greataccomplishments of the past. You have made your impact felt across the theater.” 3
  4. 4. During their deployment, NMCB 133 supported engineering operations throughout the region,directly supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and supporting the U.S. 5thFleet with construction operations in Tajikistan, Bahrain and Kuwait.The battalion, while operating in six different countries, completed more than 70 projects. Itshorizontal construction efforts alone resulted in moving one million cubic meters of earth bypushing more than 18 kilometers of force protection berms and anti-vehicular ditches, clearingfields of fire for roughly 130 acres, re-grading a three kilometer strategic connector road on theside of a steep mountain and constructing a 325 meter causeway. The battalion providedengineering expertise and construction effects in five of the six regional commands forAfghanistan‟s International Security Assistance Force.Throughout its tenure as Task Force Anchor, the battalion conducted two named operationfreedom of movement builds, Afghan National Army Engineer development, 17 life, health andsafety improvement projects that were instrumental to improving the quality of life and forceprotection infrastructure for more than 12,000 Marines and soldiers, five coalition forces waterwell drills, and twice completed a convoy movement of 1,300 km, the farthest Afghanistanground movement in the history of the naval construction force.“I couldn‟t be prouder of what we have accomplished,” Cmdr. Nicolas Yamodis, NMCB 133commanding officer told his Seabees. “You are an indelible piece of history.”Cmdr. Anthony Spindler, NMCB 15 commanding officer, Task Force True Grit, said the taskforce name was an obvious one for the vast and difficult missions ahead.“We are the modern day remake of the movie,” said Spindler. “The essence is loyalty: to ourfamily, to ourselves, to our mission.”With NMCB 15‟s assumption of the Afghanistan engineering mission, NMCB 133 will shift itsfocus to homeport training in preparation for their next deployment. Return to Top StoriesEODMU 2 holds change of command by Petty Officer 3rd Class Randy Savarese Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group TwoVIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2 held achange of command and retirement ceremony March 15 on the waterfront of Harbormaster Unit,Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Charles B.Eckhart relieved Cmdr. Gregory W. Hubbard as Commanding Officer of EODMU 2."I believe my sailors are some of the hardest working people in the Navy and I can never praisethem enough for being the consummate professionals they have proven time and time again tobe," said Hubbard. "Our technicians expose themselves to dangerous situations in some of the 4
  5. 5. harshest environments to save service members lives and they and their families should berecognized for their selfless dedication to others."Hubbard assumed command of EODMU 2 in June 2011. During his tour at EODMU 2, Hubbarddeployed units to South America, Europe, Africa and throughout the Middle East in support ofboth Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn."Being forward deployed with my sailors in the Middle East was especially rewarding for me.We made a strategic impact but most importantly we saved lives and thats what its all about,”said Hubbard.Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare Division (N95B), was theguest speaker for the ceremony and spoke to the crowd of over 100 service members, civilians,families and friends.Morneau first thanked Hubbard for his 20 years of service and spoke about EODMU 2leadership past and present saying, “they stand on the front lines and use all their guile andauthority to face down the enemies of freedom of this country.”Morneau then addressed the command and said that while EODMU 2 is a small unit, the menand women have made a tremendous impact saving thousands of lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.“Mobile Unit 2 sailors have always, always been out in the front line,” said Morneau. “Whereverthere are sailors, special operations forces or anyone in harm‟s way on the battlefield, you‟ll findNavy EOD technicians. You‟ll find the men and women of EOD Mobile Unit 2.”Hubbard is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign in May of1993. After changing command with Eckhart, Hubbard officially retired from the Navy."My command tour with EODMU 2 is the pinnacle of my career and something I will alwaysremember," said Hubbard. "Its not easy leaving a group of Sailors this talented but I know theyare in good hands with CDR Eckhart."Eckhart enlisted in the Navy in 1992 and earned his commission in 1997 under the Seaman toAdmiral Program while serving aboard tank landing ship USS La Moure County (LST-1194) asa Boatswains Mate 2nd Class.“The opportunity to serve a command as commanding officer is an honor and to serve in thatcapacity at EODMU 2 is a dream,” said Eckhart. “Navy EOD is the ultimate team sport and Ilook forward to being on the roster at EODMU 2.”EODMU 2 provides operational explosive ordnance disposal capability as required for thelocation, identification, rendering safe, recovery, field evaluation and disposal of all explosiveordnance, including chemical and nuclear weapons.U.S. Navy EOD is the world‟s premier combat force for countering explosive hazards and 5
  6. 6. conducting expeditionary diving and salvage. Return to Top StoriesNMCB-11 Seabee Receives Navys Annual Stethem Award Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael, Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 11GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- A Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Seabee wasawarded the Steelworker 2nd Class Robert D. Stethem Award during a ceremony in Crystal City,Va., March 9.Builder 1st Class (SCW) Nicholas R. Mileham, a native of Oakfield, N.Y., was selected for theaward based on his exceptional meritorious service in connection with combat operations againstthe enemy while serving as a member of the Construction Management Training Team (CMTT),the first of its kind, for NMCB-11 from February to August 2012, during a U.S. CentralCommand (CENTCOM) deployment in Afghanistan."Winning the award has been kind of humbling," said Mileham. "It makes a person wonder howthey would have acted in the same situation as SW2 Robert Stethem found himself in."Stethem was killed by terrorists on board TWA flight 847 while returning from an underwaterconstruction team project in Greece in 1985. He was posthumously awarded the bronze starmedal and advanced to Steelworker 2nd Class. One recipient is chosen each year for the awardwhich recognizes outstanding individual moral courage in support of the traditions of theSeabees while in the course of actual operations.As a CMTT member, Mileham trained 22 civil affairs Marines, local Afghan contractors andcrews, and a quality control inspector with the government of the Islamic Republic ofAfghanistan (GIRoA) in construction methods and management of six infrastructure projectsvalued at more than $1.6 million.He also led more than 19 foot patrols and served as vehicle commander and team navigator on72 mobile convoys to assess remote construction sites.Among the projects Mileham was instrumental in successful completion of, were two schools, asports complex, a health clinic, a bridge connecting two small villages, and the Nawa DistrictAgriculture Training Center.After the Taliban destroyed two schools in the Nawa District, Mileham was a key player insurveying this as well as the replacement of a U.S. Military bridge, both considered to be futurestabilization and quick-impact projects for local construction. 6
  7. 7. Mileham also assisted in the quality assurance of the Nawa-Lash, a critical road connecting theNawa district to Lash Kar Gah district.Milehams actions in the days following a suicide bomber attack and multiple improvisedexplosive devise strikes in the Nawa District, built trust with the civilian population andenhanced security and overall health and well-being of the local people when he participated insix security shuras and assisted in the training and installation of two operational solar poweredreverse osmosis water purification and power generators for the local health clinic.When he completed his work in the Nawa District Mileham, he instructed 120 members of theAfghan National Armys (ANA) Engineering Kandak, the first of its kind, in construction safety,quality control, tools and their uses, framing and security fencing. Mileham also mentored themin managing their manpower, material, equipment and tools.The assistance Mileham provided to the ANA was done as a member in the multinationaltraining team on Camp Black Horse in Kabul, Afghanistan, during a time of high tensionsbetween locals, ANA trainees, and multinational military trainers, and he greatly impactedcurrent and future Kandaks ability to complete expeditionary construction and survivabilityprojects in a combat environment."Looking back at the CMTT mission and the ANA training missions from deployment, I hopethe impact that I made was a lasting one," reflected Mileham. "Teaching the people ofAfghanistan, and the ANA to be self-sufficient hopefully improved their quality of life at least alittle, and I hope training the contractors and the Quality Control Inspector helped build trustbetween the people of Afghanistan and the legitimate GIRoA government."Mileham has made six deployments to date during his 11-year Navy career: two to Okinawa,Japan; two to Iraq; Detail San Diego, and Afghanistan. Before being assigned to NMCB-11Mileham was a member of NMCB-133, and Navy Recruiting District Pittsburgh.NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, andhumanitarian assistance. The battalions homeport is in Gulfport, Miss. Return to Top StoriesCommander rewards top PFA performers, promotes Navy culture of fitness by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan CarmichaelGULFPORT, Miss. – Ten sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11,were awarded certificates by Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, on March 12th in 7
  8. 8. recognition of outstanding physical achievement and exceptional dedication during the first cycleof the 2013 U.S. Navy official Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA).The certificates were presented in front of the entire battalion during morning quarters to the topfemale and top male PFA performer in each company.Awarded were: Ensign Caroline A. Perruci, from Marietta, Ohio; Builder 1st Class DuranGarcia, from Sundown, Texas; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jenesia A. Ordonia, from Girardeau,Mo.; Construction Mechanic 1st Class David A. Sitone, from Kismet, N.Y.; Builder 2nd ClassMegan E. Dunton, from Columbus, Ohio; Builder 2nd Class Belinda T. Walker, from Chicago;Builder 3rd Class Remie Acosta, from Lawrence, Mass.; Intelligence Specialist 3rd Class LayneW. Duras, from Hillsboro, Ore.; Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Mitchell, fromChicago; and Builder 3rd Class Anna L. Parcher, from Jamestown, Pa.This ceremony came one week after Aguayo treated 23 Seabees to lunch, fulfilling a promisemade when she challenged her battalion to beat her run time on the recent one and a half -milePhysical Readiness Test (PRT) portion of the PFA.“I challenged my Seabees to beat my run time to incentivize them to push themselves and set theexample for others to follow,” said Aguayo.The time to beat was nine minutes, 46 seconds, and 30 of the battalion‟s roughly 580 men andwomen met Aguayo‟s challenge although some of them were not available to attend the lunch.With a run time of 8:42, Builder Constructionman Apprentice Andrew T. Door, originally fromBillings, Mont., laid claim to having the fastest run time in the battalion. Door was followedclosely by Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Jeffrey A. Mitchell, from Chicago, and SteelworkerConstructionman Joshua A. Sallee, from Paris, Ky., with run times of 8:46 and 8:47 respectively.During the lunch, Aguayo encouraged her Seabees to mentor and motivate others who mighthave difficulty meeting the Navy‟s PFA standards stating that, “often it just takes someone whocares with a little extra motivation to get folks on the right track.”Aguayo‟s challenge serves as an example of the level of importance the Commanding Officerplaces on the physical readiness of her battalion.“There is no denying it; Physical Fitness is essential to our mission readiness,” asserted Aguayo,who cites the physical demands placed on Seabees during NMCB-11‟s recent deployment toAfghanistan in 2012 as an example.“Our Seabees endured extreme temperatures, physical labor with the additional weight of all ourprotective gear, and missions that often lasted more than 18 hours straight with minimal breaks.These environmental demands required our Seabees to be in top physical shape with theendurance to withstand such pressures on the body.“Additionally, exercising is proven to help manage stress, which is ever so present in our line of 8
  9. 9. work,” concluded Aguayo.According to Chief Builder Daniel Sherman, NMCB-11‟s Command Fitness Leader (CFL), 19percent of the Seabees in the battalion improved their overall PFA score enough in cycle-1 of2013 to move into the next higher category as compared to the previous cycle‟s PFA results.Additionally, the battalion‟s PFA failure rate improved from 10 percent in the previous cycle tofour percent in this most recent cycle. Sherman, a native of Pittsburgh, attributed multiplereasons for the improvements including “a well-structured Fitness Enhancement Program whichfocuses on properly counseling members on dietary issues and ways to improve personalfitness.”“A targeted approach to weight reduction through quality training routines has paid hugedividends,” said Sherman.Another program he credited is Ship Shape which, according to the Navy and Marine CorpsPublic Health Center official website (, provides active-dutypersonnel with basic information regarding nutrition, stress management, exercise and behaviormodification techniques to lower and maintain an acceptable body weight within NavyStandards.Sherman also praised the command leadership and the Assistant CFLs (ACFLs).“The ACFLs do a phenomenal job structuring the company-level work out routines, motivatingpersonnel and ensuring that they put forth maximum effort each session. They are critical inassisting me with carrying out the commanding officer‟s intent when it comes to physicalreadiness.“They are the ones that are implementing our unique fitness approach down to the deck platelevel and are largely responsible for our command success,” stated Sherman.Sherman also mentioned implementation of the Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series(NOFFS) as a key to success in physical readiness. Perhaps the most fundamental key to thephysical readiness of any command is in this statement Sherman made:“In order to achieve overall success there has to be a true culture of fitness implemented andpracticed on a daily basis. Leaders at all levels have a unique responsibility to encouragephysical fitness among members and to push them to do their absolute best in this critical area ofreadiness.”It seems that this „culture of fitness‟ has been implemented in NMCB-11.“Monthly mock PFAs result in fewer official failures,“ claimed Yeoman 1st Class Maria A.Manchion, an ACFL in the command, in reference to the practice of testing individuals once permonth to assess physical readiness as opposed to waiting until the semi-annual official PFAcycle. “NMCB-11s PT program is very aggressive, and it benefits all of us.” Manchion is 9
  10. 10. originally from Parkersburg, W.V.CFLs, ACFLs, and leaders at all levels within the command continue to maintain the intensityand daily practice of physical readiness by carrying out the commander‟s intent and a provenapproach toward consistent improvement and physical fitness.NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, andhumanitarian assistance. The battalion‟s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss. Return to Top StoriesNavy Conducts Boot Study for Expeditionary Forces by MC2 Steven Hoskins Navy Expeditionary Combat CommandVIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) sailors areparticipating in a boot study to help determine an official desert boot to be worn with the NavyWorking Uniform (NWU) Type II and III.The purpose of the boot study, which started March 1, is to identify the requirements for bootsused by Navy Expeditionary Forces and to certify a family of desert boots.Sailors participating in the study conducted by Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility(NCTRF) were issued different styles of boots manufactured by Bates, Belleville and Rocky,which they will wear and evaluate for six months."The purpose of the boot study is to define the salient characteristics of the tan and brown desertboot worn by the Navy Expeditionary Forces," said James Martin, NCTRF footwear and insigniaproduct manager. "Footwear is an essential component of the Type II and Type III NWU. Thedesert combat boot is authorized as per the NAVADMIN 259/11, but the descriptionrequirements are too vague."Along with NECC, Naval Beach Group (NBG) units are also participating in the survey.Between the two commands, there will be 200 sailors evaluating two styles of safety-toe bootsand 200 sailors evaluating three styles of non-safety-toe boots.Testing sailors were issued a users guide for wear of the brown boots with detailed instructionson how to evaluate the boots, properly wear them and care for the boots. Included in the guide isa wear schedule for each boot with dates to switch to the next boot.Sailors have begun voicing opinions about participating in the brown boot study, but nodecisions will be final for official changes to NAVADMIN 259/11 before each study iscomplete. 10
  11. 11. "So far, I only have good things to say about my first boot," said Chief Navy Counselor JamesSnowden, assigned to NECC. "The last thing you want to happen is to be out in the field with aboot that does not wear properly or causes blisters."NECC sailors are excited to have the opportunity to voice their opinion on a uniform item,especially one that will be worn daily."I think it is a great idea to compare multiple boots and brands to see which one provides the bestcomfort," said Construction Mechanic 1st Class Tony Rowe, assigned to NECC. "NECC was agood choice. We have versatile commands, like the Coastal Riverine Force, wearing the boots inand out of water. Some of us work in an office environment, while Seabees will wear them indirt, mud and water, which will allow the study to get a broader opinion of all the different typesof boots."NECC units participating in the boot study are: Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group,Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support Unit Two, Coastal Riverine Squadron Two,Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One,Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 and NavalConstruction Group Two.At the end of the six-month test period, NECC and NBG participants will fill out evaluationforms and submit their opinions and comments about the boots.Results from the survey will be provided to Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC),Expeditionary Programs Office (NEPO) before the end of calendar year 2013 to make theofficial changes to NAVADMIN 259/11. Return to Top StoriesGuam Seabees Celebrate 71st Birthday Shaina Marie Santos, Joint Region Marianas Public AffairsTUMON, Guam (NNS) -- Service members from the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marinesgathered in an explosion of enthusiasm and pride to celebrate the Seabees 71st birthday duringthis years Seabee Ball at the Hotel Nikko Guam in Tumon March 16.The event paid homage to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB), or Seabees, CivilEngineer Corps and Naval Facilities Engineering Commands (NAVFAC) rich histories with thetheme, "Preserving our past, forging our future."Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, Commander, Joint Region Marianas, highlighted the significance of 11
  12. 12. celebrations, such as the Seabee Ball, which uphold an organizations history."Preserving your history is important because the history of an organization is what forms theculture," he said. "Its what forms the reputation. Its the legacy of all those who have gonebefore."Capt. John Heckmann, NAVFAC Marianas commanding officer, echoed Paynes remarks andadded that the celebration of the Navys history connects todays Seabees and Sailors with theirpast."Having anniversaries like this give us a sense of belonging and a connection to ourpredecessors, and those predecessors are very important to us," he said. "Because thats a legacywe want to continue as we go into the future."Heckmann also highlighted that the event was not exclusive to the Navy, but also included otherbranches in their celebration. Recently, the Armys 84th Engineer Battalion (EN BN) tookcontrol of Camp Covington on U.S. Naval Base Guam and became the first Army battalion to bestationed at the camp."We have a large contingent of Army engineers here," he said. "Im very happy to see that jointatmosphere of military engineers coming together tonight to help us celebrate."84th EN BN Sgt. Clarissa Wood said the ball was a great opportunity to share the camaraderie ofthe Navy and Army."I think its a really good experience for us to unwind with the Navy since weve been working sohard with them," she said. "Its kind of nice to decompress from all the work load we have goingon."Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Derek Ellis said heappreciated his first Seabee Ball."I joined to be a Seabee," he said. "So being here, representing the Seabees is a great opportunityfor me, I really enjoy it."Heckmann said he hoped for all Seabees to enjoy their day in celebration of their history andhard work."We worked very hard throughout the year, so having this opportunity to stop and pause all ourwork events, and just go out and celebrate the legacy and the traditions that we have is veryimportant to us," he said. "Happy birthday all the Seabees, happy birthday to all the civilengineer corps officers and finally, happy birthday to all the NAVFAC professionals out there,weve earned an evening to celebrate." Return to Top Stories 12
  13. 13. NMCB-11 honors female veterans at Armed Forces Retirement Home by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan CarmichaelGULFPORT, Miss. – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11honored female veterans with a visit to the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) where theyhad lunch with female veterans and presented a plaque to be displayed in the home.The visit to honor the 54 female veterans residing in the AFRH came, fittingly, during Women‟sHistory Month.Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, commanding officer of NMCB-11 attended and spoke directly to theveterans on behalf her battalion.“What an honor and a privilege it is for those of us currently on active duty to be able to be herewith you today and enjoy this wonderful lunch with you. In the 20 years that I‟ve been in theNavy I‟ve seen tremendous progress for women in the military, and I can only imagine, fromyour observation when you first came in, what you‟ve seen to date,” said Aguayo.Both groups, veterans and active duty members, appeared humbled as they shared stories withone another, realizing their common bond.“We have come such a long way, and you all started it for us. Thank you sincerely from thedeepest part of our hearts we are in a debt of gratitude to you for what you did so that the rest ofus can do what we do,” added Aguayo.Navy veteran Marion Ritchie, who had recently celebrated her 96th birthday, accepted a plaqueon behalf of the female veterans in the Gulfport AFRH.The plaque read, “Thank you for paving the way for us. From the Women of NMCB 11; March7, 2013."Women‟s Wellness Council leader, Yeoman 1st Class Maria A. Manchion, originally fromParkersburg, W.V., organized the visit.“Sitting in that room with all that history and experience was very emotional for all of us aswomen on active duty. It gave me new insight and appreciation of the things they experiencedand what they went through as females in a male dominated military.”It seems that the appreciation was mutual.“The ladies at our table kept telling us we made them look good and to keep it up. We kepttelling them we wouldnt be here without them,” added Manchion. 13
  14. 14. The common sentiment expressed by sailors immediately following the visit was that of aheightened sense of responsibility to continue the progress forged by the veterans in regard towomen serving in the military.NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, andhumanitarian assistance. The Battalion is home-ported in Gulfport, Miss. Return to Top Stories 14