Simi Valley, California - Seabees from around Naval Base Ventura County gathered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the 74th Annual Seabee Ball, Saturday.
More than 1,000 active duty, Reserve, and retired Seabees packed two floors of the library to commemorate the Seabee's 74th anniversary, the Navy Civil Engineer Corps' 149th anniversary, and 174 years of Naval Facilities and Engineering Command.
Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Vice Adm. Nora Tyson attended as the guest of honor. Tyson assumed operational control of Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1, based at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, in August 2015.
Tyson spoke of her past experiences with the Seabees, praised their accomplishments, and spoke of their unique mission capabilities.
"The Seabees are unrivaled in building partnership capacity throughout the Pacific," said Tyson. "Every time you deploy, you open doors for future collaboration and access as we look to gain trust and establish mutual respect among partner nations."
Tyson said Seabees improve local communities through construction efforts and also play a critical strategic role in building and sustaining relationships between partner nations, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.
"Whether building facilities for our troops in Afghanistan, helping residents recover from natural disasters, or building clinics and schools in underdeveloped areas, your technical expertise and 'Can Do' spirit provides the presence, partnerships, and purpose our Navy and our nation depend upon," Tyson added.
Following Tyson's remarks, the youngest and oldest Seabees in attendance were recognized with a cake cutting, and after a robust rendition of the "Song of Seabees," the expeditionary engineers celebrated with music and dancing.
Naval Facilities and Engineering Command, established in 1842, is the Navy's oldest systems command. The Navy Civil Engineer Corps was established in 1867 following the Civil War.
The Seabees were created March 5, 1942, after Adm. Ben Moreell, chief of the Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks recognized the need for a militarized construction force. Following Pearl Harbor, the Navy saw the formation of Naval Construction Battalions.
With the motto "we build, we fight" the Seabees have gone on to construct thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, entire bases, and thousands of other projects around the world.
Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 prepares Pacific Fleet Naval Construction Force units to conduct deliberate construction in support of combatant commanders, numbered fleet commanders, Marine air-ground task forces, and other warfighter requirements.
U.S. 3rd Fleet was formed during World War II, on March 15, 1943, under the command of Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey. It leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.