By MC1 Michael C. Barton, NMCB 11 Public Affairs
Seabees assigned to NMCB 11 secure equipment in preparation for transporting all required gear for the command’s FTX, Gulfport, Miss., Feb. 5. The scheduled two-week evolution will test the battalion’s capability to operate independently in a tactical field environment. Photo by MC1 Michael C. Barton/160205-N-ZZ999-001
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 depart Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Mississippi, Feb. 12, to the unit’s Field Training Exercise (FTX), Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The scheduled two-week evolution will test the battalion’s capability to operate independently in a tactical field environment. Upon successful completion of the FTX and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP), NMCB 11 will be deployment ready.
FTX is an opportunity for the battalion to hone its skills with assistance and guidance from Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2. Throughout the exercise, NMCB 11 will construct several Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and conduct defensive operations and tactical movements simulating deployment to a down range environment. Volunteers from other Seabee units will act as enemy “aggressors,” attacking NMCB 11 lines and executing various scenarios.
“This is going to be my first FTX,” said Steelworker Constructionman Recruit Calyb Goodnight, NMCB 11 Charlie Company. “I’m going into it with an open mind, ready to learn from the exercises and from the senior guys that have the experience.”
During FTX, the battalion will assess its operational and administrative strong points, as well as areas of improvement. Since battalion personnel are comprised of various levels of experience, newer Seabees will rely on the more experienced for help.
“Along with not having to bring our Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) gear, this is the first time main body isn’t digging fighting positions,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Jay Smith, NMCB 11 Air Detachment. “[This] reflects real world conditions…makes sense to train like we fight.”
Seabees assigned to NMCB 11 secure equipment in preparation for transporting all required gear for the command’s FTX, Gulfport, Miss., Feb. 5. Upon successful completion of the FTX and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP), the battalion will be deployment ready. Photo by MC1 Michael C. Barton/160205-N-ZZ999-003
In preparation for FTX, NMCB 11 conducted multiple graded evolutions on CBR defense operations. The battalion successfully passed all portions of the CBR evaluation, which included individual CBR decontamination, operational CBR decontamination, and command and control processor skills. This early qualification eliminates CBR operations from the NMCB 11 FTX, a change from previous years.
“The battalion takes all the tactical, class room and practical exercises, and applies them to FTX,” said Chief Steelworker Justin Rummel, NMCB 11. “That shows our regiment and higher ups that we are ready to conduct projects and get the job done correctly.”
The exercise takes place in various phases, including Receipt, Staging, Onward-Movement and Integration (RSO&I); Operations (Field Training Exercise), Sustainment (Final Evaluation Problem) and retrograde phases.
The FEP portion of the exercise is a graded evolution. It will be immediately followed by an Integrated Exercise (IEX) testing the ability of battalion leadership to conduct complex operations in coordination with other units. Once both evolutions are successfully executed, NMCB 11 will return to Gulfport as the Ready Battalion.