By MC1 (SW) Michael Gomez, NMCB 3 Public Affairs
Seabees assigned NMCB 3 transport Civil Engineer Support Equipment (CESE) collateral gear on to a pallet during a mount-out exercise at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6. The mount-out exercise tests the ability of a battalion to deploy Seabees, materials and equipment within a 48-hour period. NMCB 3 is currently deployed to Japan and several countries in the Pacific area of operations conducting construction operations and humanitarian assistance projects. (Photo by MC1 Michael Gomez/151006-N-YG415-053)
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 conducted a 48-hour mount out exercise (MOX) at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6-8.
The MOX simulates the battalion’s ability to deploy an 89-person air detachment (AIRDET) within 48 hours to support any mission required by a supported commander. The mission could range from major combat operations to humanitarian and disaster relief. The MOX requires moving heavy construction equipment and large quantities of support materials.
The embark team conducted a series of tasks, from weighting and balancing, shoring, palletizing materials, collecting data for each piece of equipment and prioritizing the order of shipment in a staging area.
NMCB 3 Seabees prepare to weigh a pallet of meals ready-to-eat (MREs) during a mount-out exercise at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6. (Photo by MC1 Michael Gomez/151006-N-YG415-103)
According to Engineering Aide 2nd Class Heather N. Salzam, it starts from the lowest person to all the way up. If the math isn’t correct on the data sheet, it ends with the load planner not being able to place an item on a plane.
“It couldn’t be done if we weren’t on the same page,” said Salzam. “Communications was the key element in executing the task.”
The evolution requires coordination and teamwork to build pallets, weigh and measure each piece of equipment to locate its center of balance. Load planners input the information into a computer program called Transportation Coordinators’ Automated Information for Movements System (TCAIMS) to determine where everything will be placed in the military aircraft. If the load is not properly planned, it could unbalance the airplane and endanger the flight.
Seabees assigned to NMCB 3 measure and mark a medium tactical vehicle replacement during a mount-out exercise at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6. (Photo by MC1 Michael Gomez/151006-N-YG415-164)
“Our personnel [embark team] did an outstanding job with the 48-hour mount-out exercise,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Francis Villareal, NMCB 3. “We had a motivated group of Seabees who executed and performed their tasking with accuracy at every phase of the MOX. Each team from the weighing and marking to the pallet building and load planners worked in unison that led to an efficient process. The deckplate leadership from the first classes to the chiefs was present throughout the process, but it was the troops that made it all happen.”
At the final stage of the exercise, personnel from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 conducted a joint inspection to determine the accuracy of the information for the items to be placed on the aircraft.
“It was definitely a successful evolution,” said Engineering Aide 1st Class Adrian Floy, NCG 1 embark evaluator. “The Seabees were very well trained; it was one of the better exercises I’ve seen completed.”
The exercise was based around a humanitarian scenario. NMCB 3’s AIRDET was hypothetically ordered to fly to Palawan, Republic of Philippines, to assist in disaster relief efforts following a super typhoon. AIRDET leadership conducted detailed mission planning for tasks such as search and recovery, clearing debris, delivering emergency supplies, constructing a tent camp, and repairing the airport and seaport to open the way for further relief efforts.
NMCB 3 is homeported in Port Hueneme, Calif. Its mission is to support Navy and joint forces throughout the U.S. Pacific Command with construction projects and humanitarian missions in more than 13 different geographic locations.
Seabees assigned to NMCB 3 secure a pallet of bottled water during a mount-out exercise at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 6. The mount-out exercise tests the ability of a battalion to deploy Seabees, materials and equipment within a 48-hour period. (Photo by MC1 Michael Gomez/151006-N-YG415-059)