“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. Muldrow native and Roland High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane Edwards, builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Edwards works as a construction electrician in the Navy.
“I'm an electrician that's responsible for interior and exterior electricity,” said Edwards. “I've deployed three different times overseas. When I was in Timor, Indonesia, I had the opportunity to assist in building two schools and a medical facility.”
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.
“Traveling overseas for missions has helped to broaden my horizons both personally and professionally,” said Edwards. “I've enjoyed the opportunity to visit new places and experience different cultures. Being a Seabee has allowed me to train in a career I truly enjoy and it's been an awesome experience.”
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 year-long 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 Edwards to continue learning about himself and the legacy he wants to leave to future Seabees.
“The Seabee community is very close and I consider it to be my second family,” said Edwards. “Being a Seabee has given me the opportunity and reason to succeed.”
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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