The Mississippi state legislature
has honored Mississippi Gulf Coast-based Navy commands for their service to their communities in the Hurricane Katrina evacuation and relief effort.
State Sen. Scottie Cuevas of Pass Christian, Miss., presented the concurrent resolution April 25 to Rear Adm. Timothy McGee
, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. McGee’s command is based at Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The resolution was enacted in the recently adjourned legislative session.
“It was very difficult work that nobody [hopes to have] to do,” McGee said of the recovery work that the members of his command did immediately after the storm.
Also honored were Cmdr. Dave Sasek and his unit, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7, and Stennis-based Naval Oceanographic Office and Fleet Survey Team, both subordinates of McGee’s command. Sasek’s unit is based at Gulfport, Miss.
The resolution commends the officers, Sailors and civilians of the units “for their exemplary conduct and performance rendered prior to and subsequent to Hurricane Katrina's unprecedented destruction on and near the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August and September 2005,” and “offers these military and civilian personnel our thanks for their assistance in providing relief operations during this critical time, as we endeavor to rebuild our state and restore its economy.”
“This was very special to us [in the Legislature],” Cuevas said of the resolution before he read it at the surprise presentation ceremony at Stennis.
McGee said that the Navy leadership also deserve a lot of credit because they overcame a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to help Navy military
and civilian employees who had been hurt in the storm.
Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Aug. 29, leaving an unprecedented path of destruction from east Louisiana to Mobile Bay. McGee’s command provided shelter before the storm and work crews to help area residents following the storm. In addition, the fleet survey team surveyed local waterways in the weeks following the storm to identify obstructions and new hazards to navigation, as relief ships visited the area and as regular commerce was restored.