Story by HM2 Jeremy Ferrer, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. – Seabees of Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 departed from San Diego to Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. to complete a very important training evolution in order to test the command’s ability to execute its mission. Completing this exercise successfully is a very important milestone to the commands readiness.
During the exercise CBMU 303 manned an Entry Control Point (ECP) around the clock, executed two Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) site surveys, constructed a vertical take-off landing pad and made significant progress on Fort Hunter Liggett’s underground electrical distribution system.
The command faced many challenges, both mental and logistical. Multiple projects were being constructed simultaneously as well as multiple jobs were assigned to some of the Seabees. Engineering Aide 1st Class Petty Officer Faitala’s dual responsibilities during the exercise were that of a Convoy Commander and a Construction Site Surveyor. When asked about the challenges that she faced during the evolution she stated, “Relearning and brushing up on some skills I haven’t used in years. I even learned new information and how some things are done now versus then.”
The command was evaluated on its capabilities as the enemy aggressors attempted to disrupt operations. Construction projects and other essential tasks were completed under constant enemy attacks. During the evolution, the command assessed its strengths and discovered some areas of improvement. CBMU 303 Seabees that took part in the exercise consisted of various levels of experience and newer Seabees turned to the more experienced for help.
Among the CBMU 303 Sailors that took part in the training exercise was CECR Lee. He was appointed to be the Project Supervisor of the underground power distribution system project. “One of the challenges I encountered was being put in a project position I never ran but I had many folks who helped me.” Lee said.
“FTX is an invaluable opportunity to train our Sailors on the various aspects of our contingency capabilities.” said commanding officer Lt. Cmdr. Lopez-Martinez “It is also a great opportunity to validate various planning and execution procedures.” Lopez-Martinez added.
CBMU Seabees demonstrated to more than 40 evaluators from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 and Naval Construction Training Center (NCTC) how to respond to simulated civil unrest, enemy prisoner of war handling and engage simulated attackers using the M4 assault rifle and M2 .50-caliber machine guns.
CBMU 303, based at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., provides specialized public works support for naval shore activities, forward operating bases and expeditionary medical facilities during wartime or contingency operations.