By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran, NAVFAC EURAFSWA Public Affairs
NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Seabees assigned to Public Works Department (PWD) Naples, Italy, and their guests celebrated the 73rd birthday of the Seabees at the Seabee Ball held at Hotel Gli Dei in Naples, Italy, March 7.
The Seabees, founded by Rear Adm. Ben Moreell in 1942, rose to fame during World War II when the Navy's construction battalions or "CBs" provided combat support for the Allied war effort. They assisted in constructing an artificial harbor at Normandy after D-Day, supported Marines on Iwo Jima and transformed countless islands and outposts into workable bases for the Allied march to victory.
The ball highlighted the Seabees and their birthday but also recognized the 148th anniversary of the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) and 173rd anniversary of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).
The CEC, established in 1867, is made up of the Navy's engineering and architecture officers. They are responsible for executing and managing the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Navy's shore facilities. Ports, piers, warehouses, shipyards, airfields, and other facilities have been provided through their leadership and personal efforts.
NAVFAC was established in 1842 as the Bureau of Yards and Docks before it was reorganized as NAVFAC in 1966. The command originally had responsibility only for the design, construction, and maintenance of Navy yards and a few other shore stations. Now, NAVFAC manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental, and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities around the world.
"Seabees, NAVFAC and the CEC consist of a proud history while bringing unique skills to today's challenges and shaping tomorrow's future," said NAVFAC Europe Africa Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) Commanding Officer Capt. Robert McLean.
The events at the ball included a cake-cutting ceremony, recognition of the oldest and youngest Seabee, the fallen comrade ceremony and singing the Seabee Song.
Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia Rear Adm. John C. Scorby Jr. served as the guest speaker during the celebration and spoke of the importance of having Seabees in today's Navy and the benefits of having the PWD Naples Seabees in the Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia region.
"I truly believe that any success we have as a Navy, is in no small part due to the work of our Seabees, Civil Engineer Corps and NAVFAC personnel," said Scorby. "...I just want to thank all the men and women of all our public works departments, who provide outstanding support every day to the fleet, our warfighters and their families, by improving the quality of life at all of our installations in Navy Region EURAFSWA. Your technical skills and experience, your practical knowledge and your people skills, your sense of pride and tradition; all these things add up to the legacy of the Seabees and that legacy is a big part of what makes our Navy the greatest in the world."