Seabees Build and Train with Israeli Defense Force

Story submitted by NMCB 11

NMCB 11 Deployment 2015

Seabees assigned to NMCB 11 erect a king post truss as part of a SWA hut project, Camp Adam, Israel, March 15. Photo by CECN Keith Spoon

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) welcomed 14 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 to Camp Adam, Israel, to construct a Southeast Asia (SEA) hut and perform electrical upgrades from February to March 2015.

The Seabees’ primary project was constructing a SEA hut for Camp Adam, an IDF training site. A SEA hut is a 16-foot by 32-foot wood­-framed tent modified with a metal roof, extended rafters and screened-­in areas. It will be used as a command center for IDF training, as well as joint training between U.S. and Israeli forces. The Seabees also installed electrical upgrades in eight tents used to house Israeli soldiers during their three-­week training course at Camp Adam. The tents previously had no lights or electrical outlets, so the upgrades significantly improved quality of life during training.

In addition, Seabees upgraded the tent camp bathrooms with new showerheads and shower hooks. The IDF and construction team were all pleased with the final product.

“It was an amazing experience, being able to better the living and training conditions of an allied military force,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Steven Delarosa, NMCB 11.

“Working on this project was good for power distribution training and good in­-rate training for the junior troops,” added Construction Electrician 3rd Class Achilles Ison, NMCB 11.

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EO3 Kenneth Ellett, NMCB 11, uses a pick axe to dig a trench to place electrical as the Seabees construct a SWA hut for Camp Adam, an IDF training site in Israel, March 15. Photo by CECN Keith Spoon

For the Seabees, the deployment was a chance to experience similarities and differences between U.S. and Israeli military forces. U.S. military personnel regularly deploy worldwide to provide forward presence; Seabees were surprised to learn that IDF personnel typically remain in Israel year­-round. The crew also received a firsthand experience of IDF training methods, specifically training on an IDF firing range with the IWI MicroTavor assault rifle.

“The weapon felt easier to maneuver and handle in close quarters to mid­range combat. It was a very fun and exciting experience,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Kenneth Ellett, NMCB 11. We’re grateful that they gave us the opportunity to operate the weapon system and train with IDF instructors.”

NMCB ­11 is a Naval Construction Force battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss. NMCB­ 11 is currently forward deployed to multiple locations in support of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility.


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