We Build * We Fight
For over 60 years, the men and women of the Naval Construction Force have been giving their all to protect our Nation and serve our armed forces with pride.
SEABEES KILLED IN ACTION IN WAR AND PEACE
Since the outbreak of World War II, 22 Civil Engineer Corps officers and 353 Seabees have been killed in action during wartime. During the last few decades, however, a new peacetime threat has emerged. Various disaffected groups in the world have increasingly made use of terrorism as a weapon. Three Civil Engineer Corps officers and one Seabee are numbered among their victims.
At mid-morning on 3 February 1974 on the northeastern edge of the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay in the Philippines, Captain Thomas J. Mitchell, CEC, USN, Commander of the 30th Naval Construction Regiment, Commander Leland R. Dobler, CEC, USN, Commanding Officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, and Lieutenant Charles H. Jeffries, CEC, USN, Officer in Charge of Detachment WALLABY of that battalion, were riding in a jeep on an inspection tour of a section of perimeter road which was being worked on by Lieutenant Jeffries's detachment. The three officers were driving in an isolated area approximately seven miles from base headquarters in deep jungle along the boundary between the base and Bataan Province when unidentified terrorists ambushed them, cutting the three men down in a hail of fire. Seabees from Detachment WALLABY, who were working about half a mile away, heard the shooting, rushed to the ambush scene, and notified base headquarters. Medical personnel were immediately flown to the scene, but the three men were dead when they arrived. U.S. Marines and Philippine Constables immediately moved into area to locate the attackers, but they were unsuccessful and the attackers were never positively identified. To this day, the three officers remain the victims of anonymous terrorists.
The latest incident of a Seabee falling victim to terrorist activity took place on 15 June 1985. Following completion of a routine repair project at a base in Greece, Steelworker 2nd Class Robert D. Stethem, USN, and four other members of Underwater Construction Team 2 were returning to the United States aboard TWA Flight 847 when Shiite Muslim terrorists hijacked the flight and diverted it to Beirut, Lebanon. The terrorists singled out Stethem and another Seabee for physical abuse. While the aircraft sat at the Beirut airport, the terrorists beat Stethem over a prolonged period, and finally killed him with a bullet to the head. After lengthy negotiations, the remaining passengers were finally freed. The four terrorists made good their escape into Beirut, but one was later apprehended in Germany and convicted of air piracy and murder.
INTRODUCTION. Naval Construction Force (NCF) is a generic term applied to that group of deployable naval organizational components which have the common characteristics of possessing the capability to construct, maintain, and/or operate shore, inshore, and:or deep ocean facilities in support of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps and. when directed, other agencies of the United States Government. Most NCF units are in the Fleet administration chain of command. but a few are under the command of shore activities. Operational control of
deployed NCF units may be exercised by commands other than those which have administrative control such as unified commanders or their component commanders.
Dlrecf support of NCF units is provided by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) through its Construction Battalion Centers. and other principal support organizations.