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NMCB 74 Deploys to Whidbey Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061113-13
Release Date: 11/13/2006 8:07:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicar, Northwest Fleet Public Affairs Center Detachment

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 deployed to the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) Sea Plane Base Nov. 7 to start a six-month deployment.

The Whidbey Island Sea Plane Base is the detachment site for 15 Gulfport, Miss.-based Sailors who were selected by their commanding officer to deploy.

“The unit sent a solid crew. It will be challenging here because the rest of the battalion is deployed to Iraq and Guam,” said Steelworker 1st Class Don Farwell, NMCB 74 Whidbey Island detachment’s petty officer in charge.

Major projects expected to be completed include the construction of several pre-fabricated buildings on the NASWI flight line.

"The Seabee detachments build critical facilities for operational commands deploying to the Middle East. Three Flightline Pre-engineered buildings (PEB) were constructed for the Electronic Attack Wing and Patrol Wing squadrons. Three additional PEBs are being finished by NMCB 74, including one to support the EA-18G transition," said Cmdr. Scott Smith, NAS Whidbey’s public works officer.

"These projects could not have been completed through contract methods given current budget constraints. Their 'Can Do' attitude has gained base-wide respect and recognition,” said Smith.

“The unit is excited about finishing the first project and starting up the next,” said Steelworker Constructionman Thaddeus Newton.

“Continuous construction is the main focus of the Seabees. The primary purpose for our visit here is to complete the buildings on the flight line,” said Farwell.

The Seabees are also planning to build magazine storage lockers on NASWI, as they show off one of the myriad of skill sets they bring to the table.

“We have a good selection of Sailors here, which are easy to work with,” said Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Paul Willette. “My goal during this deployment is to keep my vehicles up and running with zero mishaps.”

The Seabees will also participate in annual flood training, provide disaster recovery support and complete general maintenance repairs.

NMCB 74, or “Fearless 74," has been named "Best of Type" among the Atlantic Fleet battalions nine times during its history. The battalion is currently deployed to sites worldwide in support of the global war on terrorism.

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