By Lt. j. g. Meredith Martin, NMCB 133 Public Affairs
BUCN Jordan Lloyd, NMCB 133, practices laying corner blocks during a Concrete Block Technical Trainer course, Gulfport, Miss., Aug. 1, in preparation for an upcoming deployment to the Marshall Islands. Lloyd is a member of a 20-person CCAD that will undertake several humanitarian projects in Kwajalein this fall. U.S Navy photo
Two Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Marshall Islands attended a concrete block technical training course in Gulfport, Miss., in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Kwajalein Atoll.
Builder Constructionman Jordan Lloyd and Builder Constructionman Douglas Yocom, NMCB 133, attended the week-long class, taught by Builder 2nd Class Rafael Whitson, also a member of the battalion. Lloyd and Yocom, along with the other 18 members of CCAD Marshall Islands, will build a new 130-square-foot concrete block restroom for an elementary school on the upcoming deployment. The six-stall facility will be fed by a rainwater catchment system, also installed by the CCAD, tremendously improving the quality of life of more than 100 students on the remote Marshallese island of Enniburr.
The Seabees from NMCB 133 who participated in the trainer practiced laying out a building, mixing mortar, laying corners and lintels, keeping courses square and flush using stringlines, and striking (finishing) the joints in the block. Yocom hopes that the training will not only benefit his own technical abilities, but also allow him to help other members of the CCAD improve their masonry skills.
“It wasn’t a trade I used all the time, so it was nice to get a refresher,” Yocum said. “I feel confident I will be able to pass on what I learned in the trainer to my fellow Seabees, which will increase our overall quality of work.”
Chief Builder Chris Locke, CCAD’s senior enlisted leader, sees the tech trainer as an important part of the pre-deployment training pipeline.
“The block trainer allows Seabees to hone their skills in a controlled environment before mobilizing overseas to the project jobsites,” Locke explained. “They can take their time and make sure they understand all the moving parts during training, then move to the field and execute the real project with added confidence and technical expertise.”
CCAD Marshall Islands will spend approximately five months on Kwajalein Atoll later this fall and winter, completing four humanitarian projects on two different Marshallese islands over the course of the deployment.