By EOCN Blake Farnsworth, NMCB 11
EOCN Blake Farnsworth, NMCB 11, operates a front-end loader to remove soil from a demolition berm, Naval Station Rota, Spain, April 3. (Photo by MC1 Michael C. Barton/150403-N-OR477-042)
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 renovated a demolition range and access road earlier this year on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, in support of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8.
The range and access road, also known as Site 470, is utilized by EODMU 8 to conduct training evolutions and dispose of explosive devices. The site is comprised of a 40,000-square-foot area with an earth berm and a 1,400-foot access road. To the EOD technicians, Site 470 is referred to as the “EOD pit.” The term stuck in part due to the worn condition of the facility; the access road was in need of repair and the berm needed grooming.
“The debris was just a small hurdle that we jumped in this current mission,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Benjamin Dixon, project crew leader, NMCB 11. “I had the utmost faith in my crew that they could shift the debris out with no time delays.”
The crew’s first task was to demolish the berm. This was accomplished in three days utilizing a front-end loader and a tracked loader.
Once the berm and debris were removed, the newly cleared area was graded with a slope to ensure appropriate drainage. Directing rainwater away from the site helps minimize erosion and washout, prolonging the life of the repairs.
“With the amount of work and debris, I was sure it was going to extend our deadline and possibly overrun our budget,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Brice Nash, project supervisor, NMCB 11. “Not surprisingly, these Seabees lived up to their ‘Can Do’ spirit and this was completed on time.”
The last step was to replace the berm with barriers, which are prefabricated bins each holding 6.5 cubic yards of fill. NMCB 11 ‘Bees placed and filled 100 barriers, providing an effective earthen wall for protection against explosive detonations. The newly constructed demolition pit expands the site to 10,000 square feet and improves site access and safety. It will provide a far more suitable and durable demolition pit for EODMU 8 to conduct training for years to come.
NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss. The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, offering deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
EOCN Blake Farnsworth operates a front-end loader with assistance from EOCN Kurtavius Davis, both assigned to NMCB 11, as the battalion renovated a demolition range and access road, Naval Station Rota, Spain, April 3. (Photo by MC1 Michael C. Barton/150403-N-OR477-122)