2002-Present, UT-0000, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 23
From Month/Year June / 2002
To Month/Year Present
Unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 23 Unit Page
Rank Chief Petty Officer
Country/State United States
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 23 Details
History of NMCB 23(taken from DECADES, Cruise Book 1961 - 2013)
The 23rd Battalion was commissioned on 1 September 1942 as Naval Construction Battalion 23 (NCB 23). A month later the unit was sent to the West Coast for embarkation to the Pacific Theater during World War II. The 23rd spent most of the duration of the war in the Northern Pacific, building and defending numerous bases in the Aleutian Island chain including Kodiak Naval Base and Naval installations at Adak, Kiska, and Dutch Harbor. It eventually moved to Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam, its final wartime destination. In 1945, after the war ended, NCB 23 was decommissioned.
The 23rd was re-commissioned in 1961 as Reserve Naval Construction Battalion 23 (RNMCB 23). Its first commanding officer was Commander Jerome Wyble and its first Permanent Drill Site (now called Readiness Support Site) was located at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. RNMCB 23 remained at this site until relocating to Fort Belvoir, Virginia in November 1977. Its new headquarters buildings were dedicated in 1979 and have served as the "homeport" for the battalion ever since.
After its re-commissioning as an RNMCB, the 23rd repeatedly distinguished itself in both military and civilian service achievements while preparing for its military construction mission. Over the years, the 23rd was recognized as the "Best of Type" by the Commander, Reserve Naval Construction Forces, winning the coveted RADM John R. Perry Trophy, a distinction marking it as the best of 12 reserve battalions, eight times-more than any other RNMCB.
The 23rd's superb record, combined with its high state of mobilization readiness, led to its recall to active duty in direct support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During its October 1990 pre-deployment training, RNMCN 23 was renamed Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 23 (without the Reserve designation in the name). NMCB 23 mobilized at Port Hueneme, California to once again embark for the Pacific Theater. The battalion deployed its flag and headquarters to Camp Covington, Guam, and further deployed another large detachment to Camp Shields, Okinawa from November 1990 through June 1991. NMCB 23, now fully manned to wartime strength, managed construction projects previously executed by two battalions. Details were also deployed to Adak, Alaska; Midway Island; Sasebo, Misawa and Kami-Seya, Japan, and Pohang, Korea. As an NMCB, the 23rd again served with distinction, providing contingency construction, support for shipment of over 100,000 MK80 series bombs, disaster recovery and community service support in the Pacific Region. NMCB 23 was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal as a unit for its assistance to Typhoon Russ victims on Guam in December 1990 while deployed there and the Meritorious Service Commendation for overall service through the recall period.
Following the return from Operation Desert Storm, NMCB 23 returned to its peacetime mode of construction and mobilization readiness training. Three times the unit has returned to USMC Camp Lejuene, North Carolina to participate in military field exercises. Other years were marked my successful construction support at multiple bases on the East coast ranging from Naval Submarine Base King's Bay, Georgia, to NAS Oceana, and Anacostia Naval Station in Washington, DC. While fully burdened by construction and military training activities, NMCB 23 has managed to exceed goals and expectations by twice conducting Green-Stinger Air Detachment fly-away exercises using USAF C-141 aircraft based out of Andrews AFB, Maryland.
In another first for the Atlantic Fleet Seabees, NMCB 23 successfully completed two Innovative Readiness Training (CIV-MIL) projects during fiscal year 1999. The two projects were the Renovation of the Old Capital Pump house in Washington, DC, and the construction of a Shower/Head Facility for the Outdoor Odyssey Youth Camp at Roaring Run near Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. Though initially viewed as a liability they proved to be a showcase for the talents of the Reserve component of the Naval Construction Force and a source of valuable training for less experienced Seabees.
In July 2004, 375 members of the battalion mobilized and deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of the First Marine Expeditionary Force Engineering Group in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Detachments were located at Al Asad, Al Taquaddum, Al Fallujah, Ar Ramadi, and other locations in Iraq and Kuwait.
In July 2011 the battalion deployed the first of two Task Oriented Detachments (TOD-1) in support of the US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and the US Navy 4th Fleet (NAVSO) theater campaign plans. During their deployment, the Seabees of NMCB 23 constructed facilities in Guantanamo Bay and completed humanitarian construction projects in the countries of South America.
NMCB 23 has been recognized as the outstanding Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion a record ten times. Most recently NMCB 23 was awarded the "Battle E" in fiscal year 1997 and fiscal 1995. Three of this units Commanding Officers, RADM Chiojioji, RADM Gross, and RADM Marlay, have risen to the distinguished rank of Rear Admiral, leading the Reserve Component of the US Navy Civil Engineer Corps.
Those who have served with NCB 23, RNMCB 23 and NMCB 23 in the past and those continuing to serve today share a common bond of devotion to duty, to their country and to their fellow Seabees.