Amphibious Construction Battalion One
|Amphibious Construction Battalion One|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Garrison/HQ||NAB Coronado, San Diego, California|
|Motto(s)||"We put the Sea in Seabees."|
Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE (ACB1 or ACB-1 or PHIBCB 1 or PHIBCB One) is an amphibious construction battalion in the United States Navy based in Coronado, California. Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO is its sister unit based in Little Creek, Virginia.
ACB-1s primary mission is to provide Ship to Shore transport of combat cargo, bulk fuel and water, and tactical camp operations supporting Amphibious Ready Group, Marine Expeditionary Force, Brigade sized operations, Combined/Joint Logistics Over the Shore (C/JLOTS), and Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) Operations.
ACB-1 was originally commissioned at Camp Peary, Williamsburg, Virginia, 16 July 1943, as the 104th Naval Construction Battalion. During World War II, the 104th was stationed in many locations, including, Camp Endicott, Gulfport, Mississippi, in 1943; Gamadodo, Milne Bay, New Guinea, and Australia in 1944; and Leyte, Philippine Island, 1945. During these two years, the 104th completed numerous land based construction projects ranging from an airfield on Los Negros Island, in the Admiralties, to Naval Air Station Cubi Point on island of Leyte in the Philippines. The battalion was eventually deactivated in Dec 1945.
In January 1947, the 104th was reactivated and first began their Amphibious mission when the unit was tasked with "the assembly and placement of pontoon structures, beach rehabilitation, harbor development, salvage, and training of reservist in these operations". In October 1950, it was recognized by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Forrest Sherman, that the 104th and 105th NCB were unique units with specialize capabilities that separated them from the rest of the Naval Construction Battalions so they were renamed Amphibious Construction Battalion One and Two.
Korean War – Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE
Through the years, ACB-1 has participated in all major conflicts. ACB-1 was the first Seabee unit ashore in Vietnam and the first Naval Construction Force unit to deploy during Operation Desert Shield.
During the Korean War several detachments were deployed to the Western Pacific in support of amphibious operations. In the September 1950, invasion of Inchon a pontoon causeway was brought into Inchon Harbor on D-Day plus 1 to be used a tide level landing. General Douglas MacArthur came ashore over this pier on D plus 2.
The assignment to build the emergency landing strip on Yo Do, fell to ACB-1s Detachment George. Led by Lieutenant T.E. Rowe, Detachment George was composed of one warrant machinist, six chief petty officers and 69 Seabee enlisted men. Six of these Seabees proudly wore the blue, yellow and red ribbon for the Presidential Unit Citation, which was awarded to ACB-1 for the landing at Inchon almost two years earlier.
A month after 15 September 1950, landing at Inchon, ACB-1 moved to the east coast of Korea and again supported the 1st Marine Division. This time they landed at the port city of Wonsan as part of the 1st Marine Division's shift from the Inchon-Seoul area to the northeast coast of Korea. While the Marines moved north to positions in the Chosin Reservoir area, the Seabees built piers and unloaded ships.
During the Vietnam War, the battalion was the first Seabee unit ashore in the Republic of Vietnam sending detachment to Chu Lai, Da Nang, Huế, and Cửa Việt Base. Projects undertaken in these locations included installing causeway piers, fuels systems, a mono-mooring fueling buoy, building ammo-pontoons and other special purpose structures. 
In 1964 a detachment was deployed to Subic Bay naval base in the Philippines to construct a floating dry dock for PT boats deployed in Vietnam. The unit was loaded aboard the USS COMSTOCK and offloaded in Da Nang harbor where it was anchored for use.
Gulf War – Somalia – Persian Gulf
In August 1990, PHIBCB ONE was the first Naval Construction Force (NCF) unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield. The Battalion assisted in the successful offload of the ships from Maritime Prepositioning Squadron TWO and Maritime Prepositioning Squadron THREE in support of the First Marine Expeditionary Force and provided some limited technical support to other joint units operating in the area.
On 10 December 1992, ACB-1 arrived at Mogadishu as part of the Naval Support Element in Somalia. Within a short time ACB-1 unloaded five of the Marines' Maritime Pre-positioning Force ships, refurbished the port, and provided fuel and water for military forces in Somalia.
In August 1994 and again in August 1995, the command deployed the Offload Preparation Party (OPP) for Maritime Prepositioning Squadron TWO in support of Operation Vigilant Warrior and Operation Vigilant Sentinel in the Persian Gulf due to the threat of resurgence of Iraqi aggression. In each case the personnel returned home after a couple months but were in a 48hr standby until March 1996.
Most recently, in January 2003, ACB-1/2 was deployed to Kuwait Naval Base, Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Moving over 1,200 short tons (1,100 t) of cargo, on nine C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the PHIBs constructed the largest Logistics Support Area (LSA) in ACB history, housing over 4,500 personnel. Additionally, ACBs were instrumental with the complete download of 13 MPF ships encompassing three MPSRONs. ELCAS-M was also deployed to move thousands of ammo containers from ship to shore. A small detachment from ACB-1 also moved forward in Iraq to assist the NMCBs with the anchoring of a floating bridge.
In recognition of outstanding services rendered in the Korean War, personnel of the Battalion received three Bronze Stars, eight Navy Commendations with Combat "V"s, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and numerous letters of recognition for meritorious services. During the Vietnam War, the Battalion was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. Additionally, the command was awarded a Secretary of the Navy, John Howard Dalton, Letter of Commendation for meritorious service from 1994 to 1996.
Unit awards in order of precedence:
- Navy Presidential Unit Citation
- Defense Superior Service Medal
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Meritorious Unit Commendation
- Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal
- Korean Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)
- Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO (ACB-2)
- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (all NMCBs)
- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion ONE (NMCB 1)
- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FOUR (NMCB 4)
- Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme
- ACB-1 website