U.S. Navy Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Brian Rosette, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4, passes a concrete block to a Republic of Korea Seabee during pier repair training for exercise Foal Eagle in March. (U.S. Navy/MCC Lowell Whitman)

OKINAWA, Japan - Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 assumed charge of all Pacific Region Naval Construction Force (NCF) missions during a Relief in Place/ Transfer of Authority (RIP/TOA) ceremony at Camp Shields, March 19.

“Our number one mission in the pacific area of responsibility is to stand ready to support major combat operations,” said Cmdr. Jeff Lengkeek, commanding officer of NMCB 4. “In homeport, we go through a year-long training cycle that includes military combat and construction skills, preparing us to go into theater ready to take over the watch and respond to combat operations, humanitarian assistance and to perform construction in support of Navy and Marine Corps installations.”

Lengkeek received authority for Camp Shields from NMCB 3 commanding officer, Cmdr. Laurie Scott, officially assuming all duties and responsibilities from the previous battalion.

“I am extremely proud to be at this point in our journey and say without a doubt that you [NMCB 3], lived up to all three challenges I gave you during our deployment, from executing rigorous training and exercises to executing quality construction and doing the right thing,” said Scott. “You superbly executed construction on bases across the Pacific that will continue to enhance our warfighting capabilities and ensure that Sailors, Marines and Airmen have the critical infrastructure to support their mission requirements.”

Before the RIP/TOA could occur, a weeklong inspection and review was conducted on all equipment, supplies, projects, facilities and civil engineering support equipment (CESE).

When a battalion deploys, they do not travel with equipment. Instead, all construction equipment and supplies are already at the deployment sites. A detailed turnover must be completed before the incoming battalion begins work.

CESE, including equipment such as cranes and backhoes, undergoes a more thorough inspection, in a process called the Battalion Equipment Evaluation Program (BEEP). BEEP is designed to transfer all knowledge of CESE maintenance operations and techniques to the relieving battalion. During the inspection, NMCB 4 Alfa Company, consisting of construction mechanics and equipment operators, inspected and received custody of more than 200 units of CESE. These units will be used to complete construction tasking in locations across the Pacific.

“The Seabees of NMCB 4 are excited to be back in Okinawa and are ready to execute our mission in the Pacific,” said Lengkeek. “We stand ready if called to fight tonight, and we will continue to build partnerships across the western Pacific.”

NMCB 4 is the forward deployed Pacific NMCB ready to support major combat operations and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations and to provide general engineering and civil support to Navy, Marine Corps and joint operational forces. Homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif., NMCB 4 has 15 detachment sites deployed throughout the United States and Pacific area of operations, including Cambodia, Diego Garcia, Guam, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste.