The final contingent of U.S. Navy Seabees is scheduled to leave its Port Hueneme base today for Somalia, where the 350 Seabees will join 200 other members of their battalion clearing airstrips and campsites for U.S. Marines and other allied forces stationed there.
The Somalia-bound members of U.S. Naval Construction Battalion 40 are to board a Boeing 747 aircraft at 3:40 p.m., said Doris Lance, a spokeswoman for the Seabees.
The Seabee troop movement comes at a time when the first of 25,500 American troops stationed in Somalia, most of them Marines, are beginning to pull out.
On Tuesday, more than 550 Camp Pendleton-based Marines left the city of Baidoa, where they have been helping to feed starving Somalis and ducking sniper fire.
However, 25,000 Marines remain, and a shipload of building supplies and heavy equipment dispatched from Port Hueneme on Dec. 17 just arrived in Somalia this week, Lance said.