More than 200 Seabees return home after nearly a year abroad

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) – As the sun came up on a cold, Friday morning at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, a small crowd gathered, waiting for the best Christmas present a military family could hope for.  Family, friends, and children all stood with signs, shivering partly from the cold and partly from excitement.

Soon, the erupted into cheers when busses rolled in, carrying more than 200 Seabees who have been deployed all over the world for since February.

The Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 is made up of more than 600 Seabees.  All were deployed earlier in the year to more than 20 areas, including Spain, the Horn of Africa, and Haiti.

The largest group returned early Friday morning.  The rest of the battalion should return in a few days.

While deployed, NMCB 7 built schools, dug water wells, constructed roads, and more tasks to provide support.  The battalion was also awarded the Battle Efficiency Award which is given to groups who demonstrate and overall readiness of the command to carry out its tasks.

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