By Lt. j.g. Hugo Cabrera, NMCB 22
Lt. Christopher Vincentti, training officer, NMCB 22, teaches the fundamental operations of Combat Operations Center to Charlie Company during Operation Sea Hornet, Camp McGregor, Fort McGregor/Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.
Approximately 350 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22 participated in a first-of-its-kind training evolution – Operation Sea Hornet – at Fort McGregor/Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.
Training on the U.S. Army installation through a modified Unit Level Training Readiness Assessment (ULTRA), NMCB 22 worked through 10 distinct training regimes designed to increase battalion and individual readiness and proficiencies through planning, communication and logistics. Goals were set to achieve a balance between combat and construction skills within the battalion.
“I was extremely impressed with the battalion and its ability to meet my intent for achieving the established training objectives while balancing construction/engineering skills with combat/military skills in a realistic desert training environment,” said Cmdr. Daryll Long, commanding officer, NMCB 22.
Lt. Christopher “LT V” Vincentti, training officer, NMCB 22, made sure that the entire battalion was engaged in all aspects of the two-week training from the classrooms to the Command Post Exercise (CPX), with a strong emphasis on PQS requirements, Seabee Warfare qualifications and NMCB 22 attainment levels.
“This is the first of many unit-level training evolutions that reserve battalions will be conducting without the assistance of a Seabee Readiness Group [SRG] or regiment,” said Vincentti. “This training was a complete success, and we were able to drill down to the individual Seabee level…to improve the skills required by all battalions.”
Classroom training included Basic Combat Skills I & II, Combat Operation Center Fundamentals and required tent set-up, 3M Training, CPX training, Weapons Familiarization and qualification shoot, Communications Fundamentals, First Aid and Chemical-Biological-Radiation (CBR) Training. A Super Squad training evolution evaluated Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Hotel companies’ individual performance and a CPX drill where all companies worked seamlessly together to achieve scenario objectives.
UT1 Gilbert Garza, project leader, Charlie Company, NMCB 22, supervises his crew for the Homeland Security Range 11 concrete pour during Operation Sea Hornet, Fort McGregor/Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.“My participation during ULTRA’s CPX and Super Squad evolutions was a great learning exercise,” said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Alberio Cantu, NMCB 22. “It provided in-depth exposure to what is required for a successful completion. LT V trained us on a series of evolutions needed before being deployed into theater. This was a great training evolution for all hands.”
In addition, while in support of the Army, Team Bliss G3, NMCB 22 completed numerous projects consisting of the remote combat town training site electrical renovations and infrastructure improvements, interior partitions and construction in Building 60 at Fort Bliss, remote combat town training site helipad grading and Camp McGregor timber tower removal. For such significant accomplishments, NMCB 22 was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from Commanding General Dana J. H. Pittard, Fort Bliss.
NMCB 22 also completed a 6-cubic-yard concrete pad at Firing Range 11, operated by the Border Patrol. The pad extends the firing line to eventually add more targets and enhance training for Border Patrol Agents. Seabees from Charlie Company ran 150 feet of underground cables to locations from the nearest power source and installed all electrical components to make two Conex boxes, fully functional climate-controlled environments with lighting and required outlets.
NMCB 22 is comprised of nine detachments throughout Texas and Oklahoma including Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Harlingen, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Waco, Texas.