Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Mississippi
Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport is located in Harrison County in the city of Gulfport, Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico. The area is pro-military and heavily populated with active duty Navy and Air Force personnel as well as Reservists and retirees. Gulfport is a medium income community and in comparison with some duty stations will be much less expensive to live. Gulfport, along with Biloxi, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs and Bay St. Louis, is one of the cities that line the beachfront of Mississippi. New Orleans, Louisiana is only 90 miles west.
The center supports operating units of the Naval Construction Force and other tenants. The Center prepares for and supports all facets of the mobilization of construction forces including Reserve units.
The Seabees have been the military construction arm of the U.S. Navy since 1942. The first Seabees were civilian construction workers who enlisted early in World War II to continue building for the Navy in the Pacific Theater and in Europe. Their accomplishments during the war are legendary. Nearly 200,000 men, master craftsmen, the most skillful of the nation's skilled workers, are credited with paving the road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe. The work done by the Seabees was work only they could do. Using brains, brawn, blood and "Can Do", they hacked at jungle growth and blasted coral to build the victory road to Tokyo. It appears a certainty that the 10,000-mile accomplishment will always remain the Seabees' greatest masterwork.
The Seabee story did not end with V-J Day. Mobile construction battalions continue to build and fight today. At one time there were nearly 25,000 sons of World War II Seabees in Vietnam building camps for America's armed forces, repairing roads, bridges and airstrips, teaching the tricks of their trade to the Vietnamese and building orphanages, schools, hospitals and market places during off-duty hours.
Seabees were among the first to be withdrawn from Vietnam to be put to work at Navy and Marine Corps stations around the world, which had been neglected because of the higher priority of Vietnam. Seabee Civic Action Teams deploy to the Micronesian islands of the Trust Territories of the Pacific. Naval mobile construction battalions deploy all over the world. Individual Seabees serve with the State Department at embassies throughout the world and a host of specialized assignments as needed.
On August 17, 1990, 10 days after the commencement of Operation Desert Shield, the first Seabees arrived in Saudi Arabia. By October 18, 1990, the entire mobilization of Seabees was complete and encompassed 2,410 Seabees, 1,131 pieces of equipment, and 12,000 short tons of materials. Three full Reserve Seabee battalions and portions of two others were reactivated in support of the Persian Gulf War.
In the summer of 1992, Seabees were called on to provide recovery assistance to the hurricane devastated area of Homestead, Florida, following Hurricane Andrew. Seabees were also vital to the humanitarian efforts in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope in 1992-1993. In 1994, they were again called on to provide assistance to the Haitian Relief effort at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, on Christmas Day 1995, Seabees arrived in Croatia to support the Army by building camps as part of Operation Joint Endeavor, the peacekeeping effort in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Seabees participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. They served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and are still stationed in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
Seabees deployed to Pensacola, Florida in September of 2004 in response to Hurricane Ivan's destruction to the Naval Air Station. The Seabees were greeted with cheers as they arrived with heavy equipment and chainsaws to clear away hurricane debris, repair roads, erect tents and help their fellow service members.