Gulfport Seabee base builds new construction group
By DONNA HARRIS | The (Biloxi, Miss.) Sun Herald | Published: February 27, 2013
GULFPORT -- Seabees "cased" two colors and unfurled a new one Tuesday at what one Navy official described with the acronym MOAC -- the mother of all ceremonies.
At the historic observance, held at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, several significant changes occurred, including a regiment decommissioning, two changes of command and the establishment of a new construction group -- a first at NCBC Gulfport.
More than 300 enlisted personnel, officers and invited guests watched the two-hour ceremony in which:
- The 25th Naval Construction Regiment was decommissioned.
- Capt. Darius Banaji, commander of the 25 NCR and the 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, turned over command of 22 NCR to Capt. Stephen Revelas.
- Capt. Rick Burgess, commander of the 20th Seabee Readiness Group as well as NCBC, turned over command of the 20 SRG to Banaji.
- Naval Construction Group 2 was established by combining 25 NCR and 20 SRG.
Officials ceremoniously secured the appropriate two flags in cases, and displayed the third, representing NCG 2.
NCG 2 assumes the training role of 20 SRG. The duties of the decommissioned 25 NCR will be assumed by 22 NCR, within NCG 2.
The changes that occurred Tuesday will create more streamlined and efficient operations, Navy spokesman Scott Boyles said.
Banagi will command NCG 2 during training, but if 22 NCR is deployed, Revelas will be its commander.
NCBC Gulfport will be the lead base for all Atlantic Seabees. Port Hueneme, Calif., will serve the Pacific.
Rear Adm. Mark A. Handley, commander of the First Naval Construction Division, said these changes will allow for better support of military forces.
Although the command structure will change, the mission at the Gulfport Seabee Base will not.
NCG 2 will continue the mission performed by 20 SRG, which is to train Seabees so they can provide engineering support to the Navy, Marine Corps and other forces in military operations; to construct and maintain base facilities; to repair battle-damaged facilities; to conduct defensive operations as required; and to meet disaster preparedness and recovery missions.
The restructure eliminated a few civilian employees' jobs, but they've since found other government positions, he said.Burgess will remain the commanding officer of NCBC Gulfport until the base change of command in June, when he will be relieved by Capt. Paul Odenthal.
Burgess praised the Gulfport military and civilian personnel.
"I really could not have asked for a better team," he said. "They do a great job every day."