Since World War II, Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCBs or Seabees) have supported the Navy's combat mission and promoted goodwill through construction projects. In 2005 then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld challenged all military services to adapt existing capabilities to advance "U.S. interests and values." Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead responded in 2007 with A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, directing the Navy to deter war and encourage international stability by nonconventional means including economic development, governance, and establishing the rule of law in developing and war-torn countries. Although the Navy does not have official stability-operations doctrine, the CNO has recognized that we must step beyond our blue-water role to embrace 21st-century counterinsurgency and state-building challenges. This is a made-to-order Seabee mission.
Use Seabees for Stability Operations
An Army-type provincial reconstruction team attached to a Seabee battalion gives the combatant commander more assets for more objectives.
By Lieutenant Commander Aaron Park, U.S. Navy