ROTA, Spain - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West visited the Seabees deployed to Camp Mitchell in Rota, Spain, Aug. 23 to conduct a town hall meeting and visit with the troops.
The Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 experienced some rare opportunities during the visit. MCPON West presented Equipment Operator first class (SCW) Douglas Briley the combat action ribbon, Briley received the award during an improvised explosive device attack while driving for a convoy in Kandahar, Afghanistan, during NMCB 1’s last deployment. “It was a good feeling to be able to receive this award from MCPON West, not many people get that kind of opportunity, “said Briley.
The visit to the Seabee camp began with an office call with CDR Chad M. Brooks, NMCB-1 commanding officer, who explained the mission of the battalion at Camp Mitchell and described the ongoing projects. Following the office call MCPON West was given a tour of all the spaces in the camp and introduced to some of the battalion’s top performers.
Immediately following the award ceremony, MCPON West held a town hall meeting with the Seabees attached to Camp Mitchell.
The MCPON fielded questions from the crowd. One of the Seabees wanted to know if there was talk about Seabees going away and the Navy using contractors instead for construction projects. “The importance of what the Seabees are doing is noticed everyday. Believe no rumors, the Seabees and our expeditionary forces are getting the job done for us big time,” said West. “I think the Navy is headed into an exciting time and I think the Seabees are going to be at the forefront of that exciting time and I just can’t imagine what the Navy will be like in thirty years. I just think it’s going to be incredible.”
West ended his visit with “The First and The Finest” by telling them how proud he was of the Seabees, and joining in with them for a motivating Hoorah before departing.
NMCB 1 is currently deployed to 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in support of construction operations throughout Europe and Africa.