Seabees, Civil Engineers on Guam Celebrate Legacy at Seabee Ball - 03/19/2012
Story Number: NNS120319-17Release Date: 3/19/2012 10:02:00 PMA A A By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Corwin Colbert, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
TUMON, Guam (NNS) -- The 2012 Guam Seabee Ball took place at the Hotel Nikko Guam March 17.
Seabees and service members attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40, civilians and service members from U.S. Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC), Marianas, service members from other military branches and distinguished guests took part in the casual event recognizing the many contributions of Seabees and civil engineers throughout history.
NAVFAC Marianas' commanding officer, Capt. John Heckmann spoke about the importance and relevance of the Seabee force in today's Navy.
"This is the can-do legacy that continues to inspire everyone today; whether it is supporting combat operations or winning the hearts and minds of oppressed people from around the world, this is what Seabees do best," he said.
Following Heckmann's speech, Don Farrell, a Guam historian, shared some of the Seabees' history.
"Vice Adm. Ben Morell set about the task of creating a new branch of the Navy; composed of enlisted men and officers specially trained in heavy building work but also taught to fight," Farrell said. "These men would advance in the vanguard of every attack with a shovel in one hand and a rifle in the other. They would fight their way to the foot hold of enemy shores then level the jungles and build the airfields for the combat fields close behind them. On March 5, 1942, Adm. Morell was granted the authority to establish a naval construction force and officially called them, Seabees."
Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Jerry Yance, of the 30th Construction Regiment, said he was honored to attend the event and looked forward to the evenings events.
"I've been working with the aviation community and this is the first time I've been exposed to the Seabees," Yance said. "I've been in for 12 years and this is my first time attending the Seabee ball."
Construction Mechanic Chief (SCW/EXW) Andrew Wood has been to more than 15 Seabee celebrations. He said the event recognizes his fellow Seabees contributions and makes him proud to be a part of the legacy.
"The best part about being a Seabee is going out and helping people from fellow nations; we not only help them, we build for them and turn around and defend what we built," he said.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.