A Fairhope native and 2008 Fairhope High School graduate is building bridges and roads around the world as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, based in Gulfport, Miss. Constructionman Leon Wynn is a construction mechanic with NMCB 11, a unit specializing in building structures in areas of conflict.
Sailors attached to NMCB 11 and other similar units, nicknamed “Seabees,” are a unique group in the Navy whose motto is “We build, we fight.”
“I use the Navy’s maintenance system to maintain the equipment used for construction,” said Wynn.
Seabees are trained as builders and fighters. They not only build bridges, roads, runways and other structures in war zones; they also defend those structures after they’ve built them.
Wynn and the rest of the sailors assigned to NMCB 11 are part of the Navy’s construction force that has been around for more than 70 years. Seabees have built entire bases and bridges and bulldozed and paved thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips for the U.S. military all over the world, playing a vital role in every major conflict the U.S. has been involved with since World War II.
“I like making light of situations to help boost morale,” said Wynn.
With nearly 600 personnel assigned to the battalion, jobs are highly varied and every job plays an important role in keeping the battalion ready to deploy around the world to defend America wherever needed.
Wynn’s commanding officer said he’s proud of the hard work and dedication from the battalion over the past 12 months preparing for their next deployment.
“It has been a true honor and a privilege to serve and lead this group of Seabees,” said Cmdr. Jorge R. Cuadros, commanding officer of NMCB 11. “They’re ready to deploy to the most demanding locations, ready to serve America anytime, anywhere.”
Working with NMCB 11 and serving in the U.S. Navy, Wynn said he is learning about himself as a leader and person.
“The Navy has provided me with the ability to have financial stability for my family,” said Wynn.