By CM2 Brittney Ebbert, NMCB 11
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11’s Convoy Security Element (CSE) team prepare to convoy through a simulated urban environment at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Dec. 10, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo, released/151210-N-ZZ999-007)
Recently a team of 44 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 pushed out from Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi to conduct Convoy Security Element (CSE) training.
The CSE training, a prerequisite for the unit’s readiness and deployment, reinforced combat mindset and tactical proficiency.
The Seabees trained for 22 days at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The training covered a wide range of scenarios and was designed to test the team’s response under various levels of stress, such as tactical movements through urban environments, breaching of buildings, and locating IED indicators. The CSE team also had the opportunity to sharpen their skills in tactical marksmanship and sending reports.
“This is actually very strenuous training,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Sowell, operations officer of NMCB 11. “The most rigorous in their pipeline.”
The instructors worked hard to replicate likely scenarios the team would experience during their operations. Care for VIPs is a real scenario during deployment and was encountered by the CSE team. Keeping VIPs safe is crucial at all times, and communications, both internal and external, becomes difficult at elevated levels of stress.
“We have been given an incredible skill set, and have certainly come a long way. This training helped us evolve as a team,” said Officer in Charge Lt. j.g. Michael Scaplehorn.
Litter teams were heavily involved in the training evolution. While “self-aid” and “buddy-aid,” are the initial response in a combat situation, the litter teams are the field ambulatory responders.
“There was a ton of great training in regards to aid and litter teams,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brandon Grant.
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11’s Convoy Security Element (CSE) team receive brief at Camp Shelby, Mississippi prior to step-off, Dec. 7, 2015. (U.S. Navy photo, released/1512007-N-ZZ999-003)
Communication is very important to in the effective execution of any mission, and CSE operations is no different.
“I realized the importance of communications throughout the team and especially during convoy operations – probably the best OJT (on-the-job-training) I could have received coming into the battalion,” said Information Systems Technician Seaman Jeffrey Dumag.
Throughout the various stages of training, that idea was constantly reinforced and eventually led to the team’s successful completion of the course.
NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion is homeported in Gulfport, Miss. The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy.