By Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Myers
Equipment Operator Constructionman Taylor Conner of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, removes soil from his squad’s pit during the 2013 Black Hell Squad defensive position event. The event had each squad completing a two-man fighting position and an automatic weapon T-shaped pit. Photos by MC1 Steven Myers
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 Charlie Company’s Second Platoon received the pennant for winning the 2013 Black Hell Squad competition within the battalion May 22.
Steelworker 1st Class Joshua Baker led his squad of 14 to a win in the competition, held May 13-16, that commemorates the proud heritage of NMCB 133, named for 133rd NCB who participated in the landing on Iwo Jima and ensuing battle during World War II, while honing small unit leadership and increasing esprit de corps through events that showcase tactical Seabee skills.
“[The squad] did an excellent job,” said Baker. “Because [the competition] was about leadership, I took a step back and allowed them to discover their leadership strengths and weakness so they could come together as a team.”
Steelworker Constructionman Kee Chang of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Charlie Company low crawls during a timed Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test. The test was one of several events held during the battalion’s 2013 Black Hell Squad competition.
The competition events and scenarios designed to test the knowledge, team work, and leadership of the squad and were conducted in two phases. Phase one was a timed Marine Corps combat fitness test; a relay race with timed chemical, biological and radiological protective suit donning; defensive position construction; and a patrol brief.
Phase two kicked off the classroom refresher training that included Black Hell Squad history, medical and first aid, operational risk management, safety, chemical, biological and radiological environments, convoy security operations, communications, defensive operations, fighting positions and patrol maneuvers.
Builder 3rd Class James Doherty said he thought the hardest event was the defensive position placement while the most fun was the combat fitness test.
“I enjoyed the fitness test because it was the first real event we did together as a squad,” said Doherty.
Builder 3rd Class Jacob Port differed in his opinion of the hardest event, the combat fitness test, but agreed that the squad really pulled together during the competition.
“We did it as a team,” he said. “As the events went on, we came together more as a team.”
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Command Master Chief David Garcia places the Black Hell Squad pennant to the Charlie Company guide-on during an awards at quarters ceremony. The pennant recognizes the accomplishment of Charlie Company’s Second Platoon, who had the winning squad from the 2013 Black Hell Squad competition.