By MC1 Chris Fahey NMCB 3 Public Affairs
Seabees kick off the championship round during a battalion-wide military skills competition at Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan, with a memory game that required teamwork and brainpower to complete. Photo by BUCN Laine Pulfer
The fighting Seabee spirit rears itself during times of crisis or need, and between those times, there’s only one way to keep their warrior instincts sharp and ready for the fight: healthy competition.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 split into squads Friday, Jan. 3, to square off in a military skills competition, testing each team’s ability to conduct a convoy, patrol, lay out a forward operating base, provide medical care while taking fire and correctly reassemble different weapons systems.
Each squad was graded on their ability to not only perform each task as a team, but also on their motivation level and attitude.
NMCB 3 ‘Bees demonstrate how to properly lay out a forward operating base. Photo by MC1 Chris Fahey
“Overall, we wanted to challenge each person on their ability to operate the materials and equipment in our table of allowances – all the things we deploy with to do our job,” said EA1 Willie Blanding, NMCB 3’s training supervisor. “Those tools are great in a trained person’s hands, but the right attitude has to go along with it. With the right motivation and energy, troops become warriors.”
During the week prior, the squads conducted round-robin training on each station of the competition. The purpose of this exercise is to help refresh some of the seasoned Seabees and provide the first taste of training to those who just checked aboard.
NMCB 3’s CECN Joshua Bjerkeallen (left) ensures CECN Trey Lafferty’s Chemical Biological and Radiological (CBR) mask is on correctly during a battalion-wide military skills competition at Camp Shields. Photo by BUCN Laine Pulfer
According to BU2 Bo Watkins, squad leader for the winning team, the secret to his team’s success was simple.
“We just had fun!” said Watkins. “These skills can be really essential depending on where you are sent, so we just had a great time with it and are surprised to have won.”
CMC Clarence Boulais (center), NMCB 3, portrays a victim during a mass casualty drill as NMCB 3 squares off during a battalion-wide military skills competition at Camp Shields. Photo by MC1 Chris Fahey
NMCB 3 is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, providing detachments deployed to Okinawa, Atsugi and Yokosuka, Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea; China Lake and San Clemente Island, Calif; Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Republic of the Philippines.
Each detachment operates independently and is capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support, while the U.S. rebalances forces in the Pacific.
NMCB 3 ‘Bees demonstrate proper care under fire techniques during a mass casualty phase of a battalion-wide military skills competition at Camp Shields. Photo by MC1 Chris Fahey