By MC2 (SCW) Ace Rheaume / NMCB 5
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 has become the first battalion in the Naval Construction Force to use the Seabee Tech Trainer (STT) at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Port Hueneme.
Seabees used the trainer for the first time in October.
“The Seabee Tech Trainer was constructed to replace the Seabee F-classes — or Special Construction Battalion Training (SCBT) classes — from Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC),” said Steelworker 1st Class Gerald Lis, the 31st Seabee Readiness Group (SRG) Seabee Tech Trainer manager.
Training modules in the STT range from construction masonry and roofing to sheet metal fabrication, interior wiring and light framing. Seabees will then use these skills on future deployments.
The skills learned at the STT are put in the Seabee’s service record.
Battalions can schedule with the 31st SRG to use the facility and arrange to obtain any materials needed.
“There are 12 different modules, so we can practice the basic construction that we do on deployment,” said Builder 1st Class Moses Silva of Charlie Company, NMCB 5.
The modules are taught by subject matter experts (SMEs) within the battalion who are qualified in that specialty.
“We decide which course of instruction we’re going to teach, we develop a plan for it, we do classroom for about three to four days and then we come out here and do the practical application,” said Charlie Company Builder 2nd Class John Llewellyn.
Lis said the STT offers many benefits.
“I think it is good to give more responsibilities to the SMEs of the units,” he said. “NCTC is a great place to train, but unfortunately the instructors there don’t deploy that unit. It also gives the crew leaders, project supervisors and their chain of command the ability to evaluate their personnel and identify their strengths and weaknesses.”
He sees those benefits increasing as time goes on.
“The facility will benefit the battalion by being able to incorporate all aspects and skills need for the upcoming deployment,” he said. “It will bring back skills like planning and estimating a project, project supervision and management, and utilizing quality control and safety inspectors to make the units successful in their missions.”
Seabees with NMCB 5 will now have more valuable skills in their toolbox while constructing projects in their upcoming deployment to Pacific Command (PACOM) early next year.