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Naval Construction Training Center History

Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) Gulfport was originally commissioned on July 13, 1967 as Construction Training Unit, Gulfport. The unit's mission was to train direct procurement petty officers for the Naval Construction Force during the Vietnam buildup.

In early 1968, the activity's mission was expanded to include the training of personnel assigned to battalions homeported in Gulfport as well as the majority of the Reserve Naval Construction Force, in those skills necessary for the battalion to execute its construction mission. A small array of six formal courses was begun in late 1968 with Construction Mechanic "C" course, automatic transmissions, as the first course offered.

The Direct Procurement Petty Officer Program ended in February 1971 after training approximately 10,000 Seabees. Shortly thereafter, the Construction Apprentice Basic Indoctrination Program began for a short period before "A" School training became standard for all construction recruits. With the deactivation of the Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, NCTC Gulfport and NCTC Port Hueneme were established as mirror-image training centers, each offering the same courses and training with approximately the same number of students.

In 1974, construction began on the training facilities needed to support NCTC Gulfport's expanding mission. Additional courses were subsequently brought online in 1975 and 1976. In 1975, NCTC Gulfport became the first vocational technology school in the Navy to gain accreditation by the Council on Occupational Education. Students and staff enjoy the benefits of greater acceptance of their experiences by other vocational and post-secondary institutes.

In 1989, NCTC Gulfport continued to grow with the addition of two subordinate detachments: NCTC Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas and NCTC Detachment Fort McClellan, Alabama. At the time, Det. Sheppard provided support for Navy personnel attending a variety of advanced courses. Det. Fort McClellan supported students attending Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) training courses at the Army Chemical School located there.

In 1995, NCTC Gulfport began a new era with the addition of joint-service training brought about by the initiative called Interservice Training Review Organization (ITRO). ITRO was created to reduce costs in the Department of Defense by consolidating similar training in the Armed Forces. A Detailed Study Group with members from all services found that similar entry-level courses could be combined to save money.

NCTC Gulfport was selected as the ITRO training site for Army, Navy and Air Force students in October 1995 and became the sole carpentry/masonry (Builder "A" School) apprentice training site. Navy Steelworker "A" School was also conducted exclusively at NCTC Gulfport. In addition to these "A" Schools, NCTC Gulfport offers "C" and "F" (SCBT) courses to Naval Construction Force (NCF) units.

Under ITRO, detachments were established at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to train Seabee construction electricians and utilitiesmen, and equipment operators and engineering aides, under the lead of the Air Force and Army, respectively. Since 1997 both detachments received and continue to hold accreditations from the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

In 1999, Fort Leonard Wood assumed responsibility for Disaster Preparedness Operations Specialist, Shipboard Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defense, Military Police Investigations and Protective Services training courses. Additionally, in 2005, the Interservice NonLethal Individual Weapons Instructor Course was added to our curriculum at Fort Leonard Wood in coordination with the U.S Marine Corps detachment.

In 2001, the Navy embarked on what was called a "Revolution in Training." This was an affirmation of a dedicated effort to provide proficiently trained personnel, to provide training in the most effective and cost-efficient manner, to emphasize the human component, and to ensure the personal and professional success of our Sailors. Echoing this, in July 2001, the chief of naval operations established a program called Task Force EXCEL to "change the fundamental processes, policies and structures to institute long-term cultural change." As part of this, NCTC Gulfport became an Echelon V command, with an embedded Training Support Detachment, reporting to the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering (CSFE), the Naval Personnel Development Command (NPDC), the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), and ultimately to the chief of naval operations, respectively. Additionally, in 2004 the detachments at Sheppard Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood were realigned to report directly to CSFE, and only receive training support from the TSD at NCTC Gulfport. The detachments were renamed, CSFE Det. Sheppard Air Force Base and CSFE Det. Fort Leonard Wood.

NCTC Gulfport endured extensive damage in August 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina, resulting in approximately $4 million in temporary repairs. Additionally, Builder and Steelworker "A" Schools were relocated to NCTC Port Hueneme while temporary repairs were underway. NCTC Gulfport resumed full operations of all schools in November 2005. The command underwent a facilities recapitalization program of nearly $100 million, including a Builder and Steelworker Applied Training Facilities, Supply Warehouse, CBR/DRT Complex, and Navy "A" School barracks.

In 2006, NCTC Gulfport saw a 45% increase in "A" School student throughput and supports three homeported battalions.
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