GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - They're called "Fearless 74." During the past five decades, the men and women of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 have left their mark around the world.
Now, that well known Seabee battalion is about to be decommissioned.
"It is a bittersweet day, but it's also an opportunity for us to think back and reflect on the storied history of NMCB 74," said Cmdr. Dave McAlister.
McAlister said while Friday's decommissioning ceremony will be somewhat sad, there is also much to celebrate and remember. NMCB 74 has deployed around the world over the past five decades during times of war and times of need.
"Served in every corner of the world, doing every type of Seabee mission, whether that is supporting major combat operations or disaster recovery, humanitarian assistance, hurricane recovery. All different types," said McAlister.
You'll recall NMCB 74 was decommissioned in Gulfport two years ago. Restructuring Seabee battalions is part of the larger naval reduction and reorganization.
"Rather than keeping the same number of units and having them under manned with force reductions, they chose to decommission units and have those fully manned," said McAlister.
Those involved closely with the unit say it is the "can do" spirit of the men and women of NMCB 74 that they'll remember the most.
"No matter what you put in front of them, they've always been able to overcome. Whether it be material shortages or the lack of food and water or conditions that are just hard to work in, they're always able to produce fantastic results," said Frank Carroll, Executive Officer for NMCB 74. "We have a great bunch of troops. They've done a fantastic job, both in mission and personal behaviors. Through my time here, some of the best people I've ever worked with."
NMCB 74 was first commissioned in 1943 for World War II, but it was deactivated just two years later in 1945. The battalion was then re-commissioned in Gulfport in 1966, where it's been active ever since.