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Lone Star Battalion Mobilized, Ready to Deploy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050816-05
Release Date: 8/16/2005 3:56:00 PM

By Journalist 1st Class Leslie A. Shively, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 22 Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Close to 500 Reserve Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22, with detachments across Texas and in Oklahoma, mobilized and are now preparing for deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in September.

As the Navy’s construction force, the Seabees of NMCB 22 will be working for the II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF). Their taskings will include building schools, bridges, roads and other infrastructure, such as a city’s utilities system, as well as providing security detachments for equipment and supply convoys overseas.

“We’re going over there to help rebuild and get the civilian population on their feet, which is something the U.S. has always done,” said Legalman 1st Class Denise LaCaze, who is part of NMCB 22’s administrative staff."

Mobilization transitions Reservists into active duty and is where overseas or assignment-specific gear is issued and medical and dental visits qualify members for duty. After a weeklong in-processing period is finished, an intense regimen of preparation for deployment follows, which includes rigorous physical training, a review of military skills and weapons qualifications.

Military strategies are taught both in the classroom and through hands-on exercises in areas such as combat maneuvers, patrols, riot control, field medicine and chemical, biological and radiological weapons defense. NMCB 22 will also be participating in a two-week field exercise, Operation Bearing Duel, prior to deployment.

Adjunct classes, such as communications and radio operations certification or an additional class in martial arts are offered during evening hours, and deployment meetings and planning sessions are ongoing. Although the days are long and the workload is tremendous, NMCB 22 members have an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward their duties and deployment.

“We’ve got a heck of a mission,” explained Capt. Steven Young, NMCB 22’s commanding officer. “I’m really pleased that we’ll be doing construction, because that’s what we’re very good at.”

A contingent of 129 Seabees from NMCB 22 was mobilized for deployment during Operation Noble Eagle in 2003, and the Battalion also served on active duty during 1968 and 1969 in Vietnam.

 



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