PORT HUENEME, Calif. — “We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the “Seabees,” for the past 75 years.
Troy native and Troy High School graduate, Constructionman Tabitha Mckitrick, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Mckitrick works as a constructionman in the Navy.
“I do construction and humanitarian assistance around the world,” Mckitrick said.
The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, according to Lara Godbille, director of the U. S. Navy Seabee Museum.
“We are a tight-knit community helping people in need, which is something I take pride in,” Mckitrick said.
For the past 75 years Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“I am proud of the hard work that Seabees do every day,” said Rear Adm. Bret Muilenburg, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “Their support to the Navy and Marine Corps mission is immeasurable, and we look forward to the next seven decades of service.”
Seabees around the world will take part in a yearlong celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
“Seabees deploy around the world providing expert expeditionary construction support on land and under the sea, for the Navy and Marine Corps, in war, humanitarian crisis and peace,” said Capt. Mike Saum, commodore, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1. “Seabee resiliency, skill, and resolution under hostile and rough conditions prove our motto ‘We Build, We Fight.’ The Seabee patch we wear on our uniform signifies to the warfighter and civilian alike that they’re in good hands.”
Serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Mckitrick to continue learning about herself and the legacy she wants to leave to future Seabees.
“Tradition is a large part of being in the Navy, so 75 years is a long time to carry on our Seabee tradition,” Mckitrick said. “It’s humbling to think about all those Seabees who served before me.”