Seabees Deploy In Support Of Operation Iraqi Freedom - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/14/05

Seabees Deploy In Support Of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Called up last year and trained and readied for the past several months at the Gulfport Seabee base and elsewhere, the men and women of NMCB Reserve Battalion 24 are finally on their way.

"I glad to go and do my duty, but it's sad leaving home and friends but I know we'll be back whenever they tell us to come home," says Seabee Donna Sneed of Nashville Tennessee. "So I'm kind of looking forward to it. This is what I've trained for."

This Advance group of reservists will join active duty Seabees in Iraq for approximately 6 months of doing what Seabees do best.

"They'll be serving with 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force," says Lt. Commander Bill Klepac of Pensacola Florida. "A lot of their tasking will be quality of life improvements at the various camps where they'll be located. They'll also be doing force protection improvements. They have some runway type repairs. Maybe some roadway repairs."

Some members of NMCB 24 have seen action in the middle east before, during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

For others this is their first deployment in a war zone.

For all, it's a call to action they're anxious to answer.

"It's kind of like before a big ball game," says Seabee Chris Roberts of Whitesville Kentucky. " You kind of got butterflies, a little jittery, that's what it is. And we're serving our county and doing our part."

A part their commander says they'll perform with pride.

"They're going to make the Seabees proud and we know they're going to make our nation proud, says Kelpac. "They're going forth to do our nations work."

By Don Culpepper

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