GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was a decommissioning ceremony complete with the pomp and circumstance the U.S. Navy is famous for.
The Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 was commissioned in 1943. It has played a significant role for our armed forces, specifically during war times, building air fields, bridges and temporary bases for our troops all over the world.
"They serve because they are fearless , because they care more about their country than themselves, because they want to ensure their friends and family never lose the freedom we all cherish and hold so dear," said Capt. J.J. Adametz, Commander of Naval Construction Group 2.
NMCB 74 lost six soldiers in its 50 year history. Most were killed in Vietnam. The most recent seven years ago in Guam. Jared Krutke and five others were remembered before the battalion's decommissioning.
"It's always nice to see guys return home, but it's sad to see them decommission. They really are a great group of people," said Jared Krutke's widow, Nicole Krutke.
This is the second time the battalion has been decommissioned. It was deemed inactive in 1945 and re-commissioned in 1966.
Gordon Schley commanded the group during two tours in Vietnam.
"It was hectic. We had a lot of big jobs, a variety of jobs building roads. You name it. It was very gratifying of what we were able to accomplish. It's sad to see it go, but I recognize time marches on," said Schley.