Seabees from NMCB-3 work on the roof of a structure in September being built in the Federated States of Micronesia as part of the Typhoon Maysak Reconstruction Project. (U.S. Navy/IT1 Gregory L. Parker)

OKINAWA, Japan - U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 assumed charge of Western Pacific Naval Construction Force operations during a Relief in Place/ Transfer of Authority ceremony on Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 14.

NMCB 4 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. James Cho received authority of Camp Shields from NMCB 3 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Joseph Harder.

"The past few weeks have been a reminder that it's the people of the organization that drive success," said Cho. "The turnover between both battalions highlighted this further, reflecting a unified team, one naval construction force, working closely together, displaying the utmost professionalism, level of respect and constant demonstration of the 'Can Do' spirit."

In his speech, the guest speaker of the ceremony, Commodore, 30th Naval Construction Regiment, Capt. Jeffrey Kilian, highlighted NMCB 3's accomplishments during their deployment and welcomed NMCB 4 to the area of responsibility.

"The support you provided to the combatant commanders and various task forces has been critical and supports their ability to execute time critical mission objectives," said Kilian. "These commanders rely on the Seabees for your flexibility, technical competence and the famous "Can Do" initiative. I want both battalions to know that your work directly contributes to the defense of our nation and our allies in the region."

A weeklong inspection and review was conducted on all equipment, supplies, projects, facilities and civil engineering support equipment (CESE), prior to the ceremony.

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.

NMCB 3 is redeploying with a comprehensive list of accomplishments including the completion of 33 projects, valued at seven million dollars in 20 locations across ten countries; and they expended thousands of man-hours maintaining the largest table of allowance in the Naval Expeditionary Force.

"You have made a difference in the Pacific, and you have added your own personal chapter in the legacy of NMCB 3," said Harder. "You embraced my guidance and orders and you have exceeded my expectations."

Cho stated NMCB 4 stands ready to defend whenever and wherever they are needed.

"The current security environment is faster paced, more complex and increasingly competitive." said Cho. "I am humbled and honored to be serving with you. You have inspired me and led throughout our homeport, going above and beyond, to ensure that we set the proper conditions, take care of our Seabees and make a difference during this deployment. We are ready."

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 out of Port Hueneme, California, NMCB 4 has 10 detachment sites deployed throughout the United States and Pacific area of operations, including Diego Garcia, Guam, Japan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Timor Leste.

Seabees from NMCB-4 place the battalion's emblem on their building at Camp Lenhoff in Dili, Timor Leste, earlier this month. (U.S. Navy/CE3 Ji Han)