On July 25th, the Seabee Battalion in Gulfport decommissioned. Thursday night, a group from their final deployment came home.
Thursday night, Ryleigh's dad comes home from six months of deployment in Europe and Africa with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 (N.M.C.B.). Ryleigh Keller, the daughter of a deployed Seabee, says, “I'm gonna’ kiss him on his nose and hug him on his cheeks.” It's no surprise that life isn't always easy for their families when the Seabess are gone. N.M.B.C. 74 was split throughout four different combatant commands, working in 22 different countries.
David McAlister, the Commander of N.M.C.B. 74, says, “It's bittersweet, it really is. It was a great deployment to come home just knowing that it's the last deployment. Also it was a good opportunity to close this chapter of our history and then with us decommissioning this month, it was just an opportunity for us to go out with a bang for this final deployment.”
They did things such as infrastructure repairs, exercise support, and runway repairs. Commanding Officer David McAlister says overall, the deployment was a success. McAlister says, “With this being our final deployment, it was just exciting to see all their motivation and dedication and push to do a great job.” McAlister also says that even though the deployment was great, there is nothing quite like coming home. He says, “It's always exciting to come in and see the support and signs and see the families when you show up at the homecoming. You really just can't beat a homecoming from deployment.”
Seabee daughters already have plans for what they're going to do with their returning dads. Aundraya Keller, the wife of a Seabee, says, “And you're probably going to get him to climb a tree with you because you've been begging mommy to do that and that is not a mommy thing.”
Another 164 Seabees from N.M.C.B. 74 will return home later this summer.