History of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE
Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE (NCHB 1) was established 1 October 1949. Its organization was based on the World War II Special Construction Battalions and Logistics Support Companies that established forward area supply bases in the Pacific theater. Originally homeported at Davisville, RI, NCHB 1 relocated to Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, VA in 1953. In 1970 the unit's name was changed to Navy Cargo Handling and Port Group and then changed to Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE on 17 July 2003. NCHB 1 reports to Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group.
NCHB 1 is the Navy’s only active duty cargo handling battalion and is a rapidly deployable operating unit of the U.S. Fleet Forces capable of loading/discharging ships and aircraft in all climatic and threat conditions. NCHB 1 specializes in instream cargo handling with the capability to perform air and terminal freight operations.
NCHB 1 is capable of providing independent mission tailored detachments, or fully deploying as a self sustaining unit anywhere in the world. At full strength, in support of an amphibious assault, NCHB 1 can operate around the clock, simultaneously discharging a full Maritime Prepositioning Squadron. Operations can be conducted through an established port or utilizing lighterage during instream operations.
Significant missions include annual deployments to Antarctica since 1956 and OPERATION DESERT STORM 1991. In December 2002 the entire Battalion made a wartime deployment to Camp Patriot, Kuwait where it remained for 11 months offloading and later backloading USMC combat gear and ammunition. Significant achievements during that deployment include offload of two Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadrons; simultaneous six ship operations at two remote locations; air cargo operations; break-bulk ammunition operations; instream offload of the Elevated Causeway System; Joint logistics over the shore operations; camp security; and safe execution of hundreds of armed convoys. Between 2006 and 2008, the Battalion sent detachments to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of air cargo missions for the Army and Marine Corps.
Recently, NCHB 1 deployed to Haiti and Guantanamo Bay for disaster relief in support of OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE and deployed an air cargo detachment to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in support of Marine aviation logistics squadron.
NCHB 1’s versatility and unique capabilities make it a critical asset in solving the challenge of expeditionary logistics support to U.S. operating forces around the globe.