MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Established in 1995, the MCEA was created to commemorate fellowship with all Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force personnel and military engineers from allied nations who served with or were attached to the U.S. Marine Corps engineer organizations. The MCEA promotes an array of occupations within the engineering field and holds annual awards to recognize the outstanding engineer achievements of individual Marines, and Marine Corps and Navy organizations.
7th ESB’s outstanding achievements encompassed nearly all aspects of the engineering field going above and beyond expectations. Their exemplary work includes supporting more than eight named exercises and worldwide deployments such as Summer Fury and Koa Moana 20 as well as two iterations of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command. “The operational tempo of the battalion is incredibly high. We are in a constant cycle of training and deploying detachments throughout the INDOPACOM and CENTCOM, and in support of other I MEF priorities.” said Lt. Col. Melina Mesta, the commanding officer of 7th ESB, on the far reaches of the unit. In addition, 7th ESB supported the National Interagency Fire Center in battling multiple record-breaking fires in Northern California. They helped fight both the Complex Fire and the Creek Fire constructing fire lines in austere environments high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The unit also, through their long-standing relationship and work with the United States Forest Service, conducted and aided in demolition of multiple man-made dams in support of local community projects. “The Marines and Sailors of 7th ESB thrive in this dynamic. They know that each of their MOS’s are critical to providing Engineer and EOD support to the MEF and they train hard to make sure they are ready.” said mesta
Striving for excellence and giving 100% at every moment, 7th ESB keeps itself ready and capable to accomplish general engineering support in expeditionary environments. “The individual Marine and Sailor is the key to success. Each of them is vital to the mission. Every day they show up ready to train, ready to learn, and ready to support. Every day they get better at their profession and grow as a team. This translates into success, regardless of the mission. We are very fortunate to have the caliber of Marines and Sailors that we do; intelligent, innovative, and aggressive.” said Mesta. Keeping true to this, the Marines of 7th ESB carried out their mission statement during their two deployments with SPMAGTF-CR-CC, advising partner nations with concentrated efforts in Iraq and Jordan, and provided a response team and equipment in the wake of a major explosion sustained in the Port of Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, 7th ESB also performed general engineer functions in Saudi Arabia in support of future force posture.
It is this dedication to excellence and constant training that ensures the Marines and Sailors of 7th ESB remain skilled and effective. It is the tempo of exercises and engineering opportunities, such as those previously listed, that allow for unique and challenging scenarios. With training opportunities taking multiple forms, 7th ESB took on a request from the facilities manager of San Clemente Island to assist in repairing the Landing Craft Air Cushion approach at the permanent landing zone after high winds and strong tides had eroded the mostly sand approach to the concrete landing pad. 7th ESB crews worked tirelessly for five days, making several passes to create a level-mating surface with the concrete pad, with some areas of the approach requiring an 18-inch lift to achieve a satisfactory grade for LCAC operations.
“The training opportunities are only limited to the imagination of the leadership in this battalion and we have terrific NCO, SNCO, and Officer leadership that develops challenging training for their Marines. We train at every level. Sometimes it’s as simple as employing equipment in our lot, or the training areas of Camp Pendleton. Other times we train up to Company size units all across Southern California.” said Mesta. For their exemplary performance, 7th ESB was named Engineer Support Battalion of the Year.