First Naval Construction Division in Norfolk, Va., said today that the deployment of two additional Naval Mobile Construction Battalions to Afghanistan as part of the 30,000-troop surge will require adjustments to the deployment schedules of Seabee units and that most deployment tour lengths will be increased and homeport periods shortened to meet the requirement.
Seabees from NMCB 4 from Port Hueneme, Calif., are on their way to Afghanistan for a newly lengthened 7 1/2-month deployment. They will be followed by NMCB 133, homeported at the Naval Construction Battalion Center here. NMCB 133, which will leave in March, will have their deployment shortened to about four and a half months.
Battalions normally deploy for six months and are in homeport for 12 months. In order to maintain the two additional deployed battalions, active duty units will shift toward a schedule of deploying for eight months and being in homeport for 10 months. In addition, the increased operational demand on Naval Construction Force reserve units will require 11-month mobilizations and 8-month deployments for the reserve NMCBs.
To achieve the 8/10 rotation, three battalions homeported at the Seabee Center here will be extended. NMCB 1, currently in the Pacific region, will be deployed for nine months, NMCB 74, currently in Afghanistan, will be deployed for eight months and NMCB 7, which deploys in February, will be in the European Theater for approximately 10 months. NMCB 7 also is sending more than 80 people to support relief efforts in Haiti.
NMCB 22, a Reserve battalion homeported in Ft. Worth, Texas, also in Afghanistan, will be deployed for seven months. NMCB 3 from Port Hueneme, Calif., is in the European Theater and will return home on schedule.