Story by MC3 Alexa Trafton, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1
GULFPORT, Miss. – Seabees completed a 96 hour Command Post Exercise (CPX) on board Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi on Jan. 19.
The exercise prepares Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 for an upcoming Field Training Exercise by deliberately cycling operations and mission planning in order to effectively test command and control between a Combat Operations Center (COC), an Entry Control Point (ECP), Command Posts and detachment sites.
Operations and mission planning watch standers in the COC oversee the status and progression of current and future operations.
“We track the current and future operations,” said Chief Builder Bo Hartley, from Gulfport, Miss. “We need to be able to resource personnel where they are needed based on our vertical and horizontal assets assigned to us.”
According to Equipment Operator 1st Class Jason Brown, the operations board in the COC looks at the battalion’s ability to move Sailors to needed areas and projects to complete the missions assigned to each company, detachment and the battalion overall. The command posts relay all information in regards to projects and personnel to the COC watch stations in order to enabling the COC to develop a real time picture of the battle space.
“Accurate and effective communication with the company command posts is paramount,” said Brown, from Sandpoint, Idaho. “It gives us the ability to accurately feed the plan to provide a working view on how the companies are functioning individually to keep the battalion running overall. It gives the snapshot of what is happening, and how far along the operation has progressed.”
Sailors also trained on mission planning, convoys, occupying objectives, developing fire plans, patrol briefs, patrols and ECP operations.
“The tactical side of the operations board is an important factor in the overall operations picture,” said Engineering Aide 1st Class, Joseph St. Romain, from Denham Springs, La. “Companies need to be able to plan out patrols and give us here in the COC a brief about what they will be doing, and their mission objectives, effectively before they get permission to step off.”
According to St. Romain, patrols aid security in the camp and is a vital element of ensuring successful completion of operations and missions.