“We Build, We Fight” has been the motto of the U. S. Navy’s Construction Force, known as the Seabees, for the past 75 years.
Today, Hartly, Delaware native and a 2004 Dover High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Weissenfluh builds and fights with the Navy on the East Coast and around the world as a member of the Navy serving at Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 located in Norfolk, Virginia.
Weissenfluh is an equipment operator, which is responsible for operating forklifts and cargo trucks.
“I am responsible for moving large cargo supplies and construction materials," said Weissenfluh. "I can shake the earth.”
The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe, said Lara Godbille, director of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum.
“I enjoy being close to home,” said Weissenfluh. "I'm close to family and friends. I'm also glad we get to support humanitarian missions."
Seabees have served in all U.S. conflicts for the past 75 years. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world after earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
"The amphibious Seabees have a distinguished history, and the men and women of today’s amphibious construction battalions proudly carry on that legacy," said Capt. Christopher Laplatney, PHIBCB Two commanding officer. “The Seabees’ can-do spirit continues to burn bright.”
Seabees around the world will take part in a yearlong celebration in 2017 to commemorate the group’s 75-year anniversary. The theme of the celebration is “Built on History, Constructing the Future.”
Working with the Seabees and serving in the U.S. Navy has allowed Weissenfluh to continue learning about the legacy he wants to leave to future sailors.
“I like being part of something that directly supports the mission,” said Weissenfluh. "Without us, the Marines can't make it to shore. We set up bases, hospitals and schools."