Story by MCCS Jeffrey Pierce, 22 NCR Public Affairs Officer
HELL, Norway – Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 expected to gain valuable training during a simple role during Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, and from the very beginning, they would learn much more by becoming an integral role player in establishing and maintaining the bases that would host U.S. troops during the multinational NATO exercise.
The 14 U.S. Navy personnel from CBMU-202 arrived in Hell, Norway, in late September to conduct preparations for Exercise Trident Juncture 18. As a subordinate unit under the 22 Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), who themselves fell under the 2d Marine Logistics Group-Forward (2d MLG-Forward), CBMU-202’s role for the exercise was identified early on in the planning as routine camp maintenance.
According to U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Mark Francis, camp mayor for Camp Frigaard, CBMU-202 personnel were extremely helpful with the initial setup of the camp.
“When we got here there weren’t any people, and the camp had no security,” said Francis. “The personnel from CBMU-202 were instrumental in setting up the security posture here to include placing a double strand of concertina wire around the perimeter of the camp,”
“CBMU-202 also drew up a comprehensive plan for the vehicle control point, which included an external lane for tractor trailers that helped to facilitate vehicle movements in and out of the camp. Their design they drew up is what we moved forward with and will remain that way for the remainder of the exercise,” Francis said.
Once the initial security posture was in place, the personnel from CBMU 202 moved on to other projects, such as building shelves, a ramp, and partition walls for the consolidated aid station (CAS) on Camp Frigaard which provided patient privacy. They also set up and maintained the environmental control unit at the armory. CBMU-202’s efforts did not end there, they also drafted plans and built embark and traffic signs for the base, weapons racks, along with and a 4’ x 4’ patrol display for the camp dining facility.
When Camp Voll was overrun with mud, a four-man team traveled more than 3 hours south and constructed tent floor decking for the medical tent, the camp dining facility and the shower facility. While there, they also constructed benches and walkways for the shower facility and a camp dining facility.
Additionally, CBMU- 202 personnel set up and maintained the power distribution system for 22 NCR’s command operation center (COC) and helped the 8th Engineering Support Battalion set up the power distribution system for 2nd MLG’s COC.
According to Utilitiesman 2nd Class Matthew Kicinski, he has enjoyed being a part of Trident Juncture 18.
“It is great being here in Norway and taking part in the largest NATO exercise I’ve ever been a part of,” Kicinski said. “I feel a sense of accomplishment because I helped make the lives of those living and working here on camp better.”
Similar thoughts were echoed by Utilitiesman 1st Class Kendall Batson, CBMU-202’s leading petty officer for Trident Juncture 18.
“Overall, it was a great experience working alongside the Marines, and we learned a great deal working in a cold-weather environment,” Batson said. “Between the initial camp set up, power distribution and routine camp maintenance, I feel my Seabees knocked it out of the park.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Seth Cochran, 22-NCR’s Operations Officer for Trident Juncture 18 CBMU-202 was essential for getting the camp up and running and he couldn’t be happier with their performance.
“With Hurricane Michael affecting the Marine Corps’ force flow into Norway, CBMU-202 was critical in establishing the base in Frigaard,” Cochran said. “CBMU-202 was able to provide the skill and expertise needed to facilitate the opening of the base. By default, they became the camp support element. I’m extremely proud of their ability to do what needed to be done, their leadership, and their ‘Can Do’ spirit for which the Seabees are known.”