Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4, homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif., transferred authority of Camp Mitchell and ongoing Seabee missions throughout Europe and Africa to NMCB 11, homeported in Gulfport, Miss., during a ceremony held aboard Naval Station Rota, Spain, Aug. 12.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Kilian, commanding officer of NMCB 4, exchanged salutes with Cmdr. Steve Stasick, commander of NMCB 11, in front of Capt. Gregory Sandway, Commander, Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa, during the ceremony.
The ceremony marked the end of NMCB 4’s deployment to Europe and Africa, which began in February.
Sandway congratulated NMCB 4 for a job well done.
“Looking back at your entire tenure of great leadership, you’ve certainly made a difference and then some,” said Sandway, directing comments to Kilian. “The work that your folks did will have impacts on years to come.”
Sandway called on NMCB 11 to make a similar impact.
“NMCB 11, you’ve got your work cut out for you,” said Sandway. “I charge you with the same thing because my motto here at my task force is we want to make a difference, we want to be impactful, and we want to operate at the operational and strategic level and have those impacts.”
NMCB 4 accomplished constructions projects in countries such as Georgia and Croatia in Europe and Tanzania and Cameroon in Africa. Their work helped build operational capacity with the U.S.’s partners while also building interoperability. In places like Cameroon, Seabees were able to work with their counterparts on a medical health outpost that will enable civilian health professionals to better service the community.
“We’ve been very pleased with the support of the Naval Station Rota community at large,” said Kilian. “It enabled us to operate in 27 countries in three COCOMS [combatant commands].”
NMCB 11 will continue with similar projects as NMCB 4, partnering with civil engineering counterparts in Mozambique and Ghana on clinic renovations to accomplish civil-military capacity building in those areas.
“I want to thank NMCB 4 for a very professional turnover,” said Stasick. “You have set us up for success.”
NMCB 11 is forward-deployed to build partnerships and capacity in the Europe and Africa theater.
Press Release, August 14, 2013; Image: US Navy