As military cuts go into effect around the United States, the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 at the Gulfport Seabee Base will be decommissioning.
The battalion is historically known for its involvement in all of our nation’s wars since WWII. Lieutenant Commander Frank Carroll has served with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (N.M.C.B.) 74 since last April. He says the thing he'll remember most about the Seabee 74 unit is the strength of its men and women. Carroll says, "I would have to say it’s the men and women every day, no matter what you put in front of them, they've always been able to overcome, whether it be material shortages, or the lack of food and water, or conditions that are just hard to work in, they're always able to produce fantastic results."
N.M.C.B. 74 returned home from their last deployment earlier this month and will be decommissioned Friday. After nearly 50 years of active service, this is second time the unit has dissolved since WWII due the downsizing of the United States military. Commander Dave McAlister says, "It’s being decommissioned as part of a normal armed forces reduction after a time of war when we go into a more peaceful time."
The 74s are leaving behind a long legacy of diversity and skill. They are known for their work in infrastructure repairs, exercise support, and giving back to the community. Carroll also says, "We fought in WWII, we fought in Vietnam, we did four tours there, been in Iraq and Pakistan, humanitarian relief all over the world, and we continue to do great things out in the community."
While many of the Seabees in 74 will remain in Gulfport, some will be transferred around the world to other units. McAlister closes, "It’s bittersweet, but I am so proud of the battalion and what they've done throughout their history, so really tomorrow, while it could be sad because we're decommissioning, it’s also a great opportunity for us to honor the storied past of N.M.C.B. 74."
More than 600 active and retired Seabees will be at the ceremony Friday to honor the past and present Seabee 74s. The decommissioning will not be open to the public. A Navy Admiral will be on hand for the ceremony.