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CLDJ Seabees Celebrate 81 Years of Legacy

05 March 2023

From Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Maria Olvera Tristan

CAMP LEMONNIER, DJIBOUTI (March 5, 2023) - Seabees deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, celebrate their birthday in style along the coast at the Kempinski Hotel, Djibouti, while wearing leis and tropical shirts to remember their proud Pacific island hopping heritage, March 4.
For 81 years, the Seabees have repeatedly demonstrated their skills as fighters and builders, exemplifying their “can do” spirit in all corners of the world, and Camp Lemonnier is not an exception.

"Acknowledging our legacy and our contributions to the Navy is our responsibility," said guest speaker Capt. Joe Harder, commanding officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe, Africa, and Central. "We have 81 years of legacy and tradition, and we are counting on the younger generation to continue to build that." 

Since March 5, 1942, the U.S. Navy has employed an elite cadre of construction battalions, more commonly known as Seabees that inspired the logo, which represents a buzzing bee holding construction tools and a rifle.

“Seabees at CLDJ learn and perform work completely outside of their rate, adapting and excelling at every level," said Lt. Yasser Ortiz, CLDJ assistant public works officer.

Throughout the celebration historical moments were honored and current Seabee efforts at CLDJ were highlighted as the heart of the Public Works Department on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

“They are the on-site government representative who assesses the contractor performance for power, water, wastewater, solid waste and transportation operations, among others,” said Ortiz.

Seabees trained in equipment mechanics, building, steel work, electric, and utilities work hand-in-hand with civilian GS employees and supporting contractors on delivered services, provide quality assurance, and maintains performance records.

They dedicate their highly specialized trade skills and military capability to protect our nation and are consistently involved in public works projects, disaster recovery initiatives and humanitarian efforts.

About 60 Seabees provide facilities and asset management support, space allocation and real property monitoring. They are the PWD's representatives and leads for all supported tenant commands within CLDJ, ensuring the facilities meet mission requirements as well as leading the work induction process, from the early conception of a project and later on the acceptance of completed facilities.

“Thanks to them we are able to enjoy warm showers, drinkable water, trash pickup, cool spaces and electricity to stay in touch with our loved ones in the home front”, said Ortiz. “Our simple motto tells the story, ‘We Build, We Fight.’”

CLDJ is an operational installation that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where and when they are needed to ensure security in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

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