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Welcome home: NMCB 1 returns to Gulfport

After six months abroad, the remaining 150-plus sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 returned home to Gulfport on Sunday.

The battalion deployed 270 sailors in February to 12 detail sites throughout the United States and Southeast Asia, and several hundred more in May to support ongoing deployment operations globally.

"You should be proud of the work you did in support of one of the most demanding of (National Construction Force) missions," said Capt. James Meyer, commodore of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment. "Having initially deployed as a battalion minus under financial constraints across the largest combatant command's area of responsibility and operating independently in eight different countries, NMCB 1 provided commendable support to our supported commanders. 

"Your ability to to meet strategic and operational objectives advanced the cause of the Seabees in the Pacific."

During the deployment, NMCB 1 worked alongside armed and defense forces for multiple agencies. Seabees helped build three maternity wards "capable of providing care to more than 40,000 people in impoverished and remote areas of Cambodia," Meyer said.

The Seabees also did work in Timor Leste, Okinawa, Guam and in Gulfport and California.

In addition to construction work, the Seabees also weathered two natural disasters in Okinawa, participated in Cooperation Readiness Afloat 2014 -- an annual bilateral exercise series between the U.S. Navy and the naval forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- during a coup in Thailand and changed commanding officers in June.

"Through our global partnerships, our efforts helped develop strong partnerships, grounded in trust with our partner nations and helped carry on the Naval Construction Force's legacy," said NMCB 1 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kemit Spears. "I couldn't be more proud of my sailors' accomplishments and perseverance throughout this deployment and thank our families and friends for their unwavering support."