The team successfully identified and repaired 30 craters in 14 hours, significantly ahead of schedule.
The exercise emphasized command and control integration while experimenting with new techniques and technologies. The interoperability training between the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) enterprise, Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center (EXWDC) and subordinate units will help establish new tactics and procedures to improve the way R-ADR is conducted in the future.
The Damage Assessment Team (DAT) identified craters, spalls, potential unexploded ordnance and the initial evaluation of each location. The crew then determined a minimum-operating strip based on the size and type of aircraft using the runway.
EODMU 2 Sailors flew an unmanned aerial system to identify potential unexploded ordnance and specific crater locations during the airfield assessment, and the 67 Seabees from NMCB-11 analyzed the data then planned and executed the repair.
“Having EOD feeding us data was absolutely helpful,” said Engineering Aide 1st Class David Lawlor. “Being able to gather real-time imagery makes the process of identifying craters and spalls so much faster, and it seems to be much more efficient.”
Once the DAT completed the assessment of the airfield, they relayed the information to the Emergency Operating Center (EOC) to rapidly formulate a plan to repair the damage in the safest, most expeditious manner.
“This exercise tested ‘Lucky Eleven’s’ ADR readiness, skill and knowledge in locating and repairing airfield damage,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Kevin Rapier. “I think we did a great job, and I’m proud of what my team accomplished.”
Since its inception during the early days of World War II, R-ADR, or rapid runway repair as it was formerly known, has been one of the Seabees’ core competencies. During the Vietnam War, the ability to keep runways operational to launch and recover aircraft was vital to mission success.
The United States faces potential threats around the globe where Seabees may be called upon for mission-critical R-ADR.
Homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, NMCB-11 is part of the Naval Construction Force (NCF). The NCF is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy and are comprised of deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.
EODMU 2, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, provides operational explosive ordnance disposal capability as required for location, identification, rendering safe, recovery, field evaluation and disposal of all explosive ordnance, including chemical and nuclear weapons.
Bold Alligator 2017 (BA17) was designed to improve Navy-Marine Corps amphibious core competencies along with coalition, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Allied and partner nations. These partner nations see exercises such as this as a necessary investment in the current and future readiness of their forces. BA17 will take place Oct. 18 – 30, 2017, ashore along the eastern seaboard.