More Seabees Head For Overseas Deployment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/18/03

More Seabees Head For Overseas Deployment

As the countdown to war continues, more Gulfport based Seabees are headed overseas.

The second of three groups from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven left Tuesday.

The Seabees looked determined as they climbed aboard the DC-10. Many had watched the President's speech Monday night, which left little doubt about the impending attack.

These two hundred plus Seabees are ready to do their part. They're anxious to serve their country and return safely to their loved ones.

Large stacks of desert gear got loaded before the Seabees arrived. Tons of equipment will support the troops during the upcoming mission in Southwest Asia.

An hour later, the first of the outgoing Seabees bounded off the first of seven buses.

"Ready to go, hoo rah," shouted one Seabee as he boarded the plane.

The nervousness didn't show as these "can do builders" prepared for a long plane ride and a somewhat uncertain mission.

Many had watched President Bush's speech, which outlined the argument for the necessity of war.

"Whether I agree or not, it's not whether I agree or not. I've got a job to do. And that's what we're going to do," said one Seabee.

The base commander would rather not send his Seabees to war. It's tough to say good bye and good luck.

"It's very tough. But they're ready. They're cocked. They're ready to go," said Captain Brian Kelm.

One of our colleagues will document the Seabees' mission. Reporter Nathan Mihelich looks forward to the trip, although the uncertainty is a bit unnerving.

"I'm a little bit nervous. I don't really know what to expect. But the Navy has given me a pretty good briefing and I'm ready to go," he explained.

The Seabees are also ready. They're well trained and definitely determined.

"We really don't have much to think about not except just getting over there and doing our job. Getting back home safe," said one Seabee, as he waited to board the plane.

The length of this deployment is unknown. The troops only know the sooner the mission gets underway, the sooner they'll return.

Nathan will be filing reports from the Middle East on our web site. You can keep track of the Seabees' mission right here.

By Steve Phillips

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