The original Mobile Construction Battalion 28 (MCB) was activated during World War II. MCB 28 was at La Havre Harbor, France right after D-Day for the reconstruction of the harbor after it was destroyed by retreating Wehrmacht, the German defense force. In the aftermath of the war, the battalion was recommissioned as a reserve battalion and was homeported in the Northwest region of the United States. Some time in the 1950’s after Korea, the Battalion was decommissioned. In 1962, the Battalion was reconstituted as RNMCB 28, one of six at Port Hueneme, California. RNMCB 28 was awarded best of type in the six week recommissioning training. Following the 1968 call up of Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 22 to Vietnam, the southeastern United States battalion area of responsibility was divided and filled in with RNMCB 28. Its area of coverage constituted Seabees in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The headquarters of RNMCB 28 moved around several times in its early years as a southern battalion. The initial location was at Naval Ammunition Depot McAlester; Oklahoma, then located at Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, and finally to its current location at Barksdale Air Force Base, Shreveport, Louisiana. Groundbreaking for the current location at 5731 Range Road was held in September 1978.
From its humble beginnings on 10 acres of wetland, which was used by the Army Air Force during World War II as a bombing range, RNMCB 28 "bootstrapped" its headquarters out of the muck to encompass 10 hardened structures within a secured fence line. It has been consistently selected as one of the best Readiness Support Site (RSS) in the Naval Construction Force (NCF).
Today, NMCB 28 consists of one of the largest geographic coverage areas in the United States consisting of over 450 Seabees from the seven states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. NMCB 28 and her sister battalions NMCB 15 and NMCB 25 make up the Ninth Naval Construction Regiment (9NCR), headquartered at Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas. 9NCR reports to the First Naval Construction Division (1NCD) headquartered at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Virginia.
Over the years NMCB 28 has provided mobilization training and contributory construction support in Europe, the Atlantic realm and the Pacific rim, including Iceland, Spain, Panama, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Guam, Japan, Okinawa, and Adak, Alaska. In Stateside construction support "The Old Pros" have left their mark at Kilauea Military Camp, Barbers Point, Hawaii, Camp Pendleton, California, and various Arkansas locations. NMCB 28 has earned the nickname "The Old Pros" for carrying on the proud Seabee tradition of "Can Do" and navy professionalism over a long period of time. In 1993, NMCB 28 was awarded Best of Type in the Third NCB. In 2003, NMCB 28 was again awarded the Battle Efficiency award and named the Best of Type in the Third Brigade.
From February to August, 2003, an airdet of 158 personnel deployed to Guam in support of the Global War On Terrorism. These members backfilled the positions previously occupied by an Active Duty battalion’s personnel who rotated into the Southwest Asia theatre of operations. In 2007, NMCB 28 mobilized and deployed 500 Seabees to Southwest Asia, in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for a six month tour. The battalion was operationally assigned to the 30th Naval Construction Regiment and maintained detachment sites within the Al Anbar Province, at Baghdad, and at Bagrum in support of II Marine Expeditionary Force and several Special Operations Task Forces. Most recently, in October 2010, the battalion deployed an Air Detachment of 85 personnel in support of SOUTHCOM operations. The detachment was headquartered out of Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Details were forward deployed to Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Primary mission was humanitarian civic assistance providing repairs to existing facilities, building new facilities and construction efforts to provide fresh water supply to undeveloped areas. The detachment also provided detachments that served aboard the USS Swift and USS Comfort.