Happy Birthday, Seabees!


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Today we celebrate the 68th birthday of the “Can-Do” construction battalions. Happy birthyday to all the brave men and women who have been a part of this honorable heritage. 

Did you know:

  • The earliest Seabees were recruited from the civilian construction trades.
  • Because of the emphasis on experience and skill rather than on physical standards, the average age of WW II Seabees was 37.
  • More than 325,00 men served with the Seabees in WW II on six continents and more than 300 islands.
  • Between 1949 and 1953, Naval Construction Battalions were organized into two types of units: Amphibious Construction Battalions and Naval Mobile Construction Battalions.
  • The Seabees were part of the Inchon landing.
  • Providing much needed assistance in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Greece in 1953 was among the first missions that led the Seabees to become “The Navy’s Goodwill Ambassadors.”
  • The Seabees began their largest peacetime construction on Diego Garcia in 1971. This project took 11 years and cost $200 million.
  • More than 5,000 Seabees served in the Gulf War. In Saudi Arabia, Seabees built 10 camps for more than 42,000 personnel; 14 galleys capable of feeding 75,000 people; and 6 million square feet of aircraft parking apron.
  • While their history is still being writte in OIF and OEF, the Seabees have proven to be of immeasurable worth. They have built numerous 20-acre aircraft-parking aprons, munitions storage areas, bridges and bases. 

You can read more about their history here and here.


About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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