Tuesday, January 09, 2007

To Be ... the host of the navy's top officer and enlisted

By LCDR Michelle Breaux, NMCB 22
Photos by LCPL Sheila Brooks, 2nd Marine Air Wing (shown in post below)

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion TWENTY-TWO (NMCB 22) recently hosted the navy’s top officer and enlisted, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chief of Naval Operations and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Terry Scott on their visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

In a whirlwind tour around Iraq, Admiral Mullen visited many sailors supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. His stop in Al Asad included a site visit of the runway repair project, an all hands call and an impromptu visit with some Seabees wounded by an IED.

Mullen had many great things to say about the Seabees efforts, “The things you are doing here are important. We are helping to take some of the strain of off the army and the marines.”

Steelworker Third Class Christopher Moran of NMCB 133, one of the wounded Seabees Mullen visited said, “At the hospital they told us that the CNO was going to come by but I didn’t think he would actually come by to see us but we’ve got a picture so I guess people will believe us.” When asked about the coins he and his fellow Seabee, Engineering Aide Constructionman James Cannon received from the CNO and the MCPON, he said, “They were really cool. I’ve never got a coin before and now I have two.”

Admiral Mullen flew from Al Asad to visit other Navy units at various locations. His final stop was “the moon,” a dusty combat outpost being built by Seabees for the Iraqi Security Forces. The nickname comes from the talcum powder-like sand, which they call moondust, that covers the plot of desert they are building a camp on.

LT Richard Windham, the OIC of the project gave Mullen and Scott a situational brief on the important construction project they are working on. He then briefly toured the immense camp that was little more than dust in the wind a mere two months ago. Mullen and Scott then joined Seabees and Army Engineers in a tent for lunch. The only indication that it was a VIP lunch were the cans of soda not normally present for the troops 3 a day MRE meals. Mullen and Scott enjoyed the company and the lunch, although they were not completely familiar with the ins and outs of eating MRE’s, but, of course, the Seabees gave them directions.

This was written by Rich's XO. She's the one that kept in touch with Karen when Richard couldn't. Thank you LCDR Breaux.


Anonymous said...

The MCPON is Joe Campa, if the visit was recent it was probably MCPON Campa, not former MCPON Scott traveling with the CNO. EQCM(SCW) Mike K

De'on Miller said...

Thanks for reading and for your comment! I'm not sure the exact time this was written by LCDR Breaux, but Karen or Richard will know.

I believe this was their last mission before leaving Iraq, and I know they were there at COP South at Christmastime 2005.

Sorry, I should have made it clearer that this is part of a series of LT Windham being in Iraq during that time frame of October 2005-March 2006. MY goof, and thanks for being a sharp reader! Navy?

aunt karen said...

If I remember right, this was written sometime in January 2006, because during the Admiral's visit, COP South was pretty close to completion. I remember this because after his visit, NMCB 22 was under pressure to build a scullery and a few more things to finish by February. Thank you for reading, Mike K, and for your interest.