By Ens. Krista Bix, BU1 Dean Allen, and LS2 Leslie Schmidt, NMCB 133 Public Affairs
SW3 Logan Fields (left) and EOCA Logan Eppley, NMCB 133 Detail 1, cover their sector in a hasty fighting position for the M-240B machine gun during initial occupation of the defense during the battalion’s FTX, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss., March 23. Photo by Ensign Krista Bix
Facing a variety of tactical training scenarios in preparation for deployment, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 completed its field training exercise (FTX) at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss., April 3.
The battalion deployed details to four different locations in Camp Shelby to execute a variety of construction effects missions. After completing one week of initial field training at an independent location, Detail 1 convoyed through a tactical scenario to a second site where the ‘Bees faced opposition and began occupying a defensive position in the area of operations.
“I like the tactical training environment that we are put into for FTX,” said Builder Constructionman Taylor Moody. “It keeps you on your toes and prepares you for the unexpected.”
CECN Devon Cotz, NMCB 133 Detail 1, maintains his security posture during FTX, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss., April 1. Photo by Ens. Krista Bix
The 76-person detail established a defensive encampment, complete with 360-degree security perimeter, dug-in fighting positions, command post and berthing areas. Upon establishing initial security, a project crew of eight personnel began work on a heavy timber bunker, one of several graded contingency construction projects the battalion planned to complete.
One of the NMCB 133 crew members, Builder Constructionman Logan Klatt, said she thoroughly enjoyed her time spent on the project.
“I feel like my professional knowledge has grown with the projects I was involved in on FTX,” said Klatt.
With the build successfully completed, the crew changed pace and conducted a security reconnaissance patrol to provide additional tactical training for the group.
Construction Electrician Constructionman Devon Cotz, NMCB 133, said he loved being a part of patrols.
“It’s a great way to meet the battalion in a fun learning environment,” said Cotz. “I would say the highlight of my FTX were the patrols and seeing the aggressors first.”
Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Robert Herod remarked the way Detail 1 operated on FTX gave him the opportunity “to do tactical training that I wouldn’t get to do anywhere else in the Navy in my rate. FTX also gives small unit leadership a time to shine.”