GULFPORT - A 2012 Mifflinburg Area High School graduate and Millmont native boasts a unique distinction: that of serving in the Navy as part of a premier Navy engineer unit in the world today.
Seaman Yvonne Troisi, a culinary specialist, is assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 (NMCB 11), home-ported in Gulfport, Miss., and recently returned from deployment to Guam.
NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in advance base construction, battle damage repair, contingency engineering, humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery support to fleet and unified commanders.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalions, more commonly known as the "Seabees," are the premier military engineer units in the world today. Born out of necessity in the early days of World War II, their exploits are legendary.
This legacy is carried on today by the men and women of the Naval Construction Force who build and fight. For more than 70 years, the men and women of the Naval Construction Force have been deployed around the world around the clock and have defended America at all times.
Troisi and the rest of the battalion returned from their six-month deployment earlier this year, where they were in charge of providing engineering support to four combatant command areas of responsibility.
While deployed, Troisi and the other Navy Seabees of NMCB 11 were responsible for executing a countless number of projects, ranging from security improvements to bases in Africa to the construction of a submarine support facility in Guam.
Troisi said it is an exciting time to be in the Navy.
"I have always wanted to travel. I also like to cook. I have a good time doing my job. So, it's been good so far," she said.
"This deployment was a huge success for the Naval Expeditionary Task Force Europe and Africa, and for us as a crew," said Cmdr. Steve Stasick, commander of NMCB 11. "The sailors did very well executing the mission.
"We've been very pleased with the support of the Naval Station Rota community at large," he added. "It enabled us to operate in 19 countries in four COCOMS (combatant commands)."
"I feel more confident in myself and have become more mature," Troisi said. "I have been able to experience a lot of different cultures and places no one has ever been."
Through concentrated planning and operations, Troisi and other Seabees of NMCB 11 were able to assist the local population and add an unparalleled level of responsiveness and flexibility to our fleet and unified commanders in the area.
When it comes to protecting and defending America, being there matters, and America's Navy Seabees already are there.
Berassa is a Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class.