Story by MC3 Alexa Trafton, NMCB 1 Public Affairs
Seabees completed a two-week Field Training Exercise (FTX) on board Camp Shelby, Mississippi on February 22, 2018.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 operated across Camp Shelby’s rugged terrain while the FTX simultaneously tested the battalion’s ability to enter and secure hostile locations, execute expeditionary construction, and defend against enemy attacks.
“It demonstrated our ability to operate in a forward deployed location to accomplish contingency engineering and support for mission commanders,” said Senior Chief Constructionman Timothy Weisenburg, operations department chief. “The Seabees of NMCB 1 performed stellar across the board and set high standards throughout the exercise.”
During the exercise, NMCB 1 completed multiple site “jumps” where the entire battalion and its equipment moved from an established base to a non-secure area. Seabees provided their own security, while moving to and setting up the new Forward Operating Base.
During FTX, separate detachments operate independently from the main battalion, each having different assigned missions over the span of the exercise.
Bridge Detachment, an independent detachment, was comprised of 89 personnel, including 10 Marines assigned to Bridge Company of 8th Engineer Support Battalion from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that were temporarily assigned to NMCB 1 during the exercise. Together the Marines and Seabees erected a Medium Girder Bridge and a Mabey Johnson Bridge, and completed two other construction projects at their detachment site.
“The bridge mission of the exercise really gave us the chance to learn from the Marines, and have the Marines learn from us,” said Builder 2nd Class Katherine York, from East Grand Forks, Minnesota. “We worked together to learn patrol techniques and building techniques as a team. It was a fantastic experience for both sides.”
Seabees also employed tactical weapons systems, operated armored vehicles, and employed heavy construction equipment in hostile environments throughout the exercise.
NMCB 1 is a Seabee Battalion, homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, that specializes in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance.