For the Navy’s Seabees, everything old is new again
By DAVE RESS | The Daily Press | Published: March 7, 2021
(Tribune News Service) — For a military history buff and
For the past eight decades, since that frightening March after
Eight decades ago, they built those facilities in the Galapagos islands, at the
With the Navy’s new emphasis on what it calls distributed maritime operations, Wallace said the work Seabees have been doing for decades is assuming a new prominence.
“We’re doing what we’ve always done, enabling the fleet to do its job,” he said. “But I think that work’s even more important now.”
Distributed maritime operations means thinking about sailors and ships going beyond the Navy’s traditional blue-water operations. The theory, as some
Seabees are still doing things like that, if not under fire. In recent months, Seabees have built a road on the Pacific island of Tinian and a new airfield on California’s Catalina island.
Last month, the Seabees at Little Creek-based Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 worked on a sand dune restoration project in
“I think the project I remember the most was building a medical clinic on Trinidad,” said Capt.
“I got to see how the children were living as we built the clinic, and how they looked when we finished and the clinic was there for them,” she said.
Projects like that can show the flag in a way that seems less threatening than other military operations, she said. And sometimes, that less threatening posture means Seabees are the first into dangerous places, since they’re less likely to alarm potential adversaries.
But Seabees are warfighters, she said.
Little Creek Seabees now, like their counterparts across the country, are hitting the books and practicing skills for airfield and port facilities repair work, preparing for the Navy’s global large scale exercise this summer.
A key part of the summer exercise will be drilling and refining a key task — getting their equipment, from bulldozers to computers, onto and off of
“I’m into military history, I’m passionate about engineering and I wanted to serve,” Wallace said. “What could be better than being a Seabee?”