YOKOSUKA, Japan - On Friday Feb. 8, USS Stethem (DDG-63) hosted a reenlistment ceremony for Utilitiesman 2nd Class Scott S. Combs and provided a shipwide tour for his fellow Seabees from Far East Public Works Department. The detachment, based out of US Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan, is part of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1.
Seabee is derived from the abbreviation of Construction Battalion to “CB” and is now used in reference to those working for the Naval Construction Force. One of the most renowned Seabees was Steelworker 2nd Class Robert Dean Stethem, who was killed in a hijacked flight on June 14, 1985. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his actions against the terrorist hijackers on Flight TWA 847. USS Stethem, the 13th Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer, was named in his honor.
Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Sherwood opened the ceremony by first noting the location, indicating the significance of the Seabee visit to the ship of Steelworkers. Also present at the reenlistment ceremony was Capt. Don R. Chandler, Commanding Officer Navy Facilities Engineering Command Far East.
“It was an honor to have the Seabees onboard,” said Stethem’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Christopher W. Adams, “they share the privilege of upholding Robbie’s legacy.”