Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez answers questions while addressing Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, Nov. 20. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey)

OKINAWA, Japan - U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Marco Ramirez met with Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, Nov. 20, during a visit to Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan.

Ramirez, the 16th fleet master chief for U.S. Pacific Fleet, answered questions while addressing NMCB 3 Seabees to help share Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Harry B. Harris' vision, guiding principles, and strategic imperatives.

"When you think of the Seabees, you automatically think of the Pacific," said Ramirez. "People see the Seabees, and they bow to them. Seabees visit so many different countries and build friendships with so many different nations. These friendships are so important. They enhance our ability to stay in the Pacific. When these nations think back, they don't remember the ships that passed through. They remember that Seabees came and built a school, a community center, a typhoon shelter or got the water going. So, when they think of the Seabees, they also think of the United States of America, the U.S. Navy and that Seabees 'Can Do.' It instills our presence to remain here as friends and allies."

NMCB 3's main body is deployed to Okinawa but has nine other details performing critical construction projects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Philippines. The teams will also conduct operations in Atsugi and Yokosuka Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea and China Lake, Calif.

Before leaving, Ramirez thanked the Seabees for their hard work, dedication, and legendary work ethic that has contributed to the stability and security of the Pacific Region for more than 70 years.

"My boss, Adm. Harris, always says 'people need to be able to fight tonight,' " said Ramirez. "There is no doubt in my mind that if called upon, the Seabees are more than ready to fight tonight."

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They provide deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.