Navy Lt. Christopher Allen, a 2000 graduate of Wellington High School, along with Seabees\lang9 assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, have returned home to Gulfport, Miss., after providing disaster response support in New Jersey and New York.
NMCB-11 was ordered to support federal, state and local authorities in disaster recovery operations in the New Jersey and New York areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The order came just days after the battalion’s Air Detachment reorganized into its traditional structure of 89 Seabees who are ready on a moment’s notice to respond worldwide to contingency, disaster and humanitarian relief operations.
The Air Detachment was able to mount out a total of 90 people, 94 pieces of civil engineering support equipment including front end loaders, backhoes, pumps, generators and storage containers. Additionally, more than 75 various tool kits and other support equipment were safely loaded for the convoy north.
The Seabees’ first mission saw 45 people with heavy equipment support, involved clearing hundreds of tons of debris from Seaside Heights, N.J. In addition to debris, the team removed more than 80 cars, boats and other large objects that had been swept away and displaced during the storm surge.
They also successfully tackled a more than 210,000-gallon dewatering project to aid local authorities in gaining access to water and gas lines for repair, and to reach roadways inaccessible from sinkholes and storm damage.
In addition to the efforts in the Seaside Heights area, another detachment worked diligently in the Sea Bright area and also worked feverishly to unearth and completely clean up a local World War II veterans memorial in time for Veterans Day on Staten Island.
Elsewhere on New York, a team of 25 Seabees supported cleanup and debris removal operations in and around the Breezy Point area, along with multiple other military and civilian support teams.
While the Seabees accomplished quite a bit in support of relief efforts, moving them 1,400 miles from their home base in Gulfport was a logistical challenge of its own.
NMCB-11 recently returned home to Gulfport, Miss. following a successful eight-month deployment to Afghanistan. The battalion continues training and exercises in preparation for its next deployment less than a year from now.