Gulfport Seabees Leave For Second Middle East Deployment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/05/04

Gulfport Seabees Leave For Second Middle East Deployment

The last hour before leaving to catch their flight brought a little down time to some members of NMCB 74. For others, it was time to get paperwork in order, and some had to roll up their sleeves to get smallpox shots. It was also time to think about the days and months ahead in a very hostile part of the world.

"It's a little scary but we've got to do what we've got to do. Our number one thing will be we got to go to work so, we're ready to go to work," George Arreguin said.

The Seabees will work side by side with the Iraqis to rebuild what the war left in shambles.

"It's always fulfilling helping people out, that's what we're over there to do, this is our mission. We help people that help others, so I'm looking forward to helping all those people. I'm happy about it," Darnell Evans said.

"Just looking forward to getting the job done and come back. Come back to my baby and my husband," Kelly Klerk said.

The battalion's commander says they will build a rapport too with the once conquered people.

"This time it looks like we're going to be deploying with the Marines to the west of Bagdad where the 82nd Airborne Division is currently. There's some troubled areas over there, part of the Seabee triangle, and I think Seabees can make an impact to improve those relations," Commander Clifford Maurer said.

Shortly after 1pm, the buses pulled out of the Seabee Base, taking the men and women further away from home. The plane was waiting when the buses got to the Air National Guard base. They shook hands and said their goodbyes to fellow Seabees, as they boarded the plane that will land in Kuwait 14 hours later.

This is the second deployment for these Seabees. Deployments usually last six months, but that could change to accommodate the mission.

byMarcia Hill

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