IN HOOTCHES THAT SEABEES BUILT....
This was a former battalion of mine in Morocco during the late 50's...Chief
Seabee battalion getting ready for Afghanistan
By Zeke Barlow
Monday, December 28, 2009
When the president talks about troop surges, Jim Worcester knows that means he’s going to be busy.
So when Worcester, a Seabees captain at Naval Base Ventura County who helps prepare troops for deployment, heard of President Obama’s plan for a new surge in Afghanistan, he knew his sailors would be headed overseas.
About 260 members of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan sometime before March so they can build bases for the 30,000 additional troops hoping to stabilize the country. The battalion was originally scheduled to go to Japan later in the year.
As more demands are put on Seabees, it won’t be uncommon to have longer deployments and shorter stints at home, Worcester said.
“When you are away from home in a harsh environment and a dangerous country, you get a bit tired,” he said, but “there is a sense of patriotism that is as strong as it has ever been. They know that on the other end, they are serving a good cause and purpose.”
The Seabees will build many of the bases, housing and other infrastructure needed to support the thousands of troops to be deployed in Afghanistan in the coming months.
Chief Petty Officer Shane Montgomery said the Marines and Army are the main beneficiaries of the Seabees’ construction efforts.
Worcester said the Seabees have constantly been adapting the way they construct buildings so they hold up in harsh desert conditions. The Seabees get training on how to build structures that are both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
“We have been at this since 2001,” he said, “so a lot of us are getting pretty seasoned. We can plan much better about what type of facility we have to build, and we know what the environment is like.”
Many Seabees at Naval Base Ventura County were told to enjoy the holidays and be back by Jan. 1, because they could ship out any day after that.