By MCCS (SCW/SW) Jeffrey J. Pierce, 22 NCR/NCG 2 Public Affairs
Members of Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) Deployment Processing Team/Fly Away Team assisted Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22 as they prepared for mobilization. ECRC provides processing, equipping, training, certifi cation and proactive family support to ADSW Sailors, Individual Augmentees and provisional units throughout all deployment phases. (Photos by MCC James C. Brown)
More than 200 reservists from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 22 began their mobilization process aboard Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Mississippi, Oct. 19, with an assist from a team of 40 personnel from the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC), headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.
ECRC’s mission is to provide processing, equipping, training, certification and proactive family support to Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW) Sailors, Individual Augmentees (IAs) and provisional units such as NMCB 22 throughout all deployment phases in support of COCOM requirements, contingency operations or national crises.
According to ECRC’s Commanding Officer Capt. Joseph Rehak, this is normally performed in Norfolk.
“We’re here in Gulfport to exercise ECRC’s strategic mission for a large-scale reserve mobilization,” Rehak said. “NMCB 22 gave us the opportunity to move the strategic responsibility out of Norfolk which allows us to shape the mobilization toward the specific mission.”
ECRC assistS Seabees from NMCB 22 as they check in for mobilization processing.
According to Rehak, sending 40 personnel from ECRC to Gulfport instead of sending over 200 Seabees to Norfolk then on to Gulfport, not only saves the Navy money, but also allows the battalion to mobilize as a unit.
Rehak feels that this test of mobilizing a large reserve unit was successful because everyone was engaged in the process.
“This has been a team effort,” Rehak said. “Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Naval Construction Group 2, NMCB 133, NCBC Gulfport and tenant commands on base such as Personnel Support Detachment and the Naval Branch Health Clinic, Gulfport made this effort a success.”
According to NMCB 22’s Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Ed Simmons, battalion personnel feel this is a better process as well.
“From what we’ve heard from the troops who have mobilized before this is a much easier process,” Simmons said. “From my past experience, this is light years ahead. We were able to establish relationships with NMCB 133 earlier, go through training, personal gear issue and medical here instead of Norfolk.”
CMDCM Jimmy Cochran, NMCB 22, feels this new process has many advantages.
“It’s easier for everyone involved since they only have to unpack once,” Cochran said. “It’s nice coming here because on top of everything else it’s where we’ve mobilized in the past and the troops have an extra week to establish relationships and learn the lay of the land.”
NMCB 22 will supplement NMCB 133 during the upcoming deployment to AFRICOM and CENTCOM areas of operation.