NMCB 133’s Water Well Team Trains to Drill

Photos and story by Ensign Krista Bix, NMCB 133 Public Affairs


NMCB 133’s water well team drills a practice well during field training.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Alfa Company’s Water Well Team returned from 24-hour drilling operations as part of their homeport training at Camp Shelby, Miss., November 15th.

The team started with a week in the classrooms aboard Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport learning water well fundamentals, followed by six days of hands-on training at Camp Shelby. Instructors from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2 taught topics like water quality, well site selection, the hydrological cycle, and well types. Additionally, the class learned about the three well rigs used by the Naval Construction Force; the ISO Air Transportable (ITWD), Atlas Copco T2W, and the Schramm T450MIIA.

After two days in the classroom, students were able to participate in class labs such as the drilling mud program and record keeping. The week ended with classes on well installation and well abandonment.

The class convoyed to Camp Shelby with 11 pieces of support equipment to start the first day in the field where they focused on site setup, rig set-up, and material off-loading and staging. Students then began air drilling with a 16-inch bit to a depth of 10-feet.

Afterward, they installed a 16-inch diameter piece of surface casing, a process called “spudding in”, which helps eliminate the possibility of erosion around the rig. After spudding in, mud pits were dug and mud was purposely created for later use in the well digging process.

The second day was the start of 24-hour drilling operations. The team rotated two twelve-hour shifts with eight personnel on each rotation. Students drilled to a depth of 200-feet at a rate of 3 to 5 minutes per foot with a 12-inch bit. On Day Three, students were able to install well casing and filters. The last day of field operations included installing the pump and performing a draw down test. The completed well provided 12 gallons per minute, a job well done for this water well team. The practice well was then abandoned and the group convoyed back to Gulfport.

Students then graduated from the class after final retrograding and testing.


NMCB 133’s water well team drills a practice well during field training. 

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