The Naval Construction Forces (NCF) - also known as Sea-Bees are an engineering fighting force. Their history dates back during the days immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when the military needed Construction Battalions (CB) to build bases, airfields, and ports throughout the Pacific and Atlantic. They also needed to be soldiers too and are trained to fight. The motto of the Sea-Bees is "See-Bees Can Do" as well as "We Build - We Fight".
There are many jobs within the Naval Construction Forces from Builder, Electrician, Equipment Operator, Steelworker, Engineering Aide, Utility Man, as well as Underwater Construction Teams who are diverse, underwater welders, and work with explosives. All can be used in combat operations if needed.
Construction Electricians (CE)
Construction Electricians are first responsible for producing the electric power needed to build and operate airfields, roads, barracks, hospitals on other needed buildings on a base or forward operating base. Construction Electricians build, maintain, and operate power production facilities and electrical distribution systems for Naval installations. The Construction Electrician enlistment tour is a 5-year program mainly due to the long school required to make competent Construction Electricians.
The duties performed by CEs include:
- installing, maintaining and repairing telephone systems and high and low voltage electrical power distribution networks, both overhead and underground;
- splicing and laying cables, erecting poles, stringing wires and installing transformers and distribution panels;
- installing, repairing and maintaining street lighting, fire alarm, public address, inter-office and telephone switchboard systems;
- installing, maintaining and repairing interior wiring for lighting and electrical equipment;
- working with batteries, electric motors, relays, solenoids, and switches;
- operating electrical generators;
- reading and interpreting blueprints and preparing sketches for projects;
- making estimates of material, labor, and equipment requirements.
Chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) response including individual and unit protection and decontamination. They coordinate disaster recovery teams (DRT) and airfield damage repair (ADR) teams and also perform camp security. They will build obstacles to prevent base or camp destruction, stand guard duty in observation posts, go on patrols with squad/platoon-sized elements, and drive in convoys. Sea-Bees are small arms qualified as well as crew-served weapons systems and trained in advanced first aid.
CEs may work in a variety of conditions, independently or as members of a large team. Their many different duties may be performed in climates ranging from tropical to arctic.
A-School (Job School) Information
For combat training that set the new Sea Bees apart from regular construction employment, the newly boot camp graduate will attend a four-week course known as Expeditionary Combat Skills (ECS) at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, and Port Hueneme, California. At ECS, the Sea Bees will be taught basic combat-skills learning land navigation, basic medical first aid, mission planning, security planning, and many other combat-related skills.
The Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Detachment is located at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. The mission of the Navy detachment at Sheppard is to train and inspire Sailors, Airmen, and Soldiers in their chosen career fields as electricians and utility men. The CE course is 20 weeks long.
- 60-month service obligation
- Must have normal color perception
- 20/20 correctable vision
Advancement (promotion) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).
Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating
- First Sea Tour: 48 months
- First Shore Tour: 36 months
- Second Sea Tour: 42 months
- Second Shore Tour: 36 months
- Third Sea Tour: 36 months
- Third Shore Tour: 36 months
- Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
- Forth Shore Tour: 36 months