By MCCS (SCW/SW) Jeffrey J. Pierce, 22NCR Public Affairs Officer
22NCR’s Commodore, Capt. Lore Aguayo (left), and NCG 2’s Commander, Capt. Paul Odenthal (right), receive the battalion perspective on how NIEX 2016 is progressing from NMCB 133’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Miguel Dieguez. (Photo by MCCS Jeffrey J. Pierce)
The 22nd Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) successfully completed Navy Integrated Exercise (NIEX) 2016 on board Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi, Nov. 5.
The Expeditionary Warfare Development Center (EXWDC) from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story, Virginia, ran and graded the exercise. The center created scenarios to test 22NCR’s ability to effectively command and control multiple expeditionary force units working together as a task force.
To create the most realistic situation possible, 22NCR integrated active and reserve personnel to form the Task Force Headquarters. Additionally, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi; NMCB 4, homeported in Port Hueneme, California; and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, homeported in San Diego, California, were tied directly into the exercise as Combined Task Groups supported by liaison officers from NMCBs 4 and 133, EODMU 1, Coastal Riverine Group 2 and Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 13.
The exercise simulated U.S. Navy forces partnering with a host nation facing aggression from a neighboring power, and in much need of military- to-military training and humanitarian assistance.
Over the course of two weeks, EXWDC created scenarios with ever-increasing tensions and escalating threats toward the host nation of “Griffon” and U.S. Navy personnel.
According to EXWDC, many of the scenarios used to test 22NCR’s command and control ability came from real-world events U.S. forces have faced over the past decade.
In the end, 22NCR was successful in meeting its objectives. According to Commodore Capt. Lore Aguayo, the regiment’s success was not achieved by accident.
“We were successful because of the training we held leading up to the exercise. This included command operations center training, understanding the tactical standard operation procedures, staff planning, and knowing the capabilities and limitations of the other expeditionary forces,” said Aguayo. “Our positive attitude and active communication during the exercise, our ability to listen to the feedback from EXWDC, and our ability to adapt to changes and improve every single day contributed to our success as well.”
According to 22NCR’s Operations Officer, Cmdr. Charlie Kubic, there were two reasons the regiment was successful.
“Our skill in managing construction translates well with managing other units,” Kubic said. “The command prepared and worked really hard before NIEX to fine tune our command and control skills.
Aguayo added, “I’m very proud of the men and women of 22NCR to include our reserve augment. 22NCR is a mission-ready force. I have full confidence in their ability to carry out our mission and I’m ready to deploy with them whenever called upon.”