By Lt. Hugo Cabrera, NMCB 22 Public Affairs
NMCB 22’s Charlie Company sets the timber tower in place during Operation Bearing Duel 04-14, the battalion’s Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., April 12-26. During the FTX, the battalion trained, planned and executed its assigned exercise missions with assistance from NCG 1 and 1NCR. (Photo by Lt. Hugo Cabrera)
More than 350 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22 participated in a successful Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., April 12-26. With the assistance of Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 and the First Naval Construction Regiment (1 NCR), the battalion trained, planned and executed its assigned exercise missions.
“Operation Bearing Duel 04-14 provided NMCB 22 the opportunity to exercise a battalion-level FTX, evaluating mission readiness in everything from tactical command and control to squad– and fire team-level combat and construction skills,” said Cmdr. Douglas Whimpey, NMCB 22 commanding officer.
“We effectively brought Seabees from 84 different NOSCs [Navy Operational Support Centers] around the country, integrated them into functional military orgs, and executed the mission tasks in this highly successful evolution,” Whimpey said.
In order to meet NCG 1 and 1NCR requirements and increase the battalion’s attainment levels, it was critical for NMCB 22 to conduct an FTX that embodied a large exercise in staﬀ planning, communication and logistics. The battalion’s leadership was tasked at the onset of the exercise to include embark and personal gear issue training, and development of the battalion movement from the Logistic Support Area (LSA) to the designated site at Camp Anderson.
EOC Scott Henske gives EO2 Floyd Pugh direction to target the “enemy,” during NMCB 22’s Field Training Exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., April 12-26. (Photo by Lt. Hugo Cabrera)
The ﬁrst week consisted of an array of classes ranging from Electronic Key Management System (EKMS), rules of engagement, enemy prisoner of war and convoy security element (CSE) training that were taught by NMCB 22 subject matter experts and instructors from NCG 1. The second week included the ﬁeld exercise and a series of challenging evolutions consisting of eﬀective use of the Combat Operations Center while maintaining Forward Operating Base (FOB) security, and performing assigned projects.
“CSE was great training, especially with the live pyro for effect,” said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Alberio Cantu.
All four companies – Alfa, Bravo, Charlie and Delta – had missions to be accomplished for a successful evolution. Alfa was responsible for building a helicopter landing zone and providing personnel to the entry control point; Bravo‘s focus was camp maintenance and building the shower and laundry facilities; Charlie was tasked with constructing a timber tower; and Delta Company was assigned with establishing Camp Baldwin and constructing a sentry post.
“This FTX was a lot better organized than previous ones. There was communication going on at all levels,” said Builder 2nd Class Andrew Beamon.
In addition, battalion personnel manning the Administrative, Intelligence and Supply departments, along with the medics at the battalion aid station and the Communications platoon, were instrumental in executing daily operations of the camp.
“NMCB 22 is a unique battalion as it is comprised of Seabees from four diﬀerent battalions: 15, 17, 22 and 28,” said Command Master Chief Edward Schoen. “This was the ﬁrst exercise with all the Seabees together in one group. It was inspiring to see the teamwork and cohesiveness of the battalion to complete a mission to get ready for future operations. The motivation and dedication was evident throughout the entire exercise from everyone. Hoorah, NMCB 22!”
Alfa Company begins grading the helicopter landing area during NMCB 22’s Operation Bearing Duel 04-14, the battalion’s Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., April 12-26. (Photo by Lt. Hugo Cabrera)