Story by Builder 3rd Class Alexa Trafton
Builder 1st Class Luke Johnson, from Boltonville, Wisconsin, teaches block laying technique to Taylor Rhinehart, 10, during a chief petty officer (CPO) 365 mentorship event on Camp Mitchell on board Naval Station Rota, Spain on April 21, 2017. Chiefs and petty officers, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, hosted the Boy Scouts of Den 5 Pack 283 for demonstrations and hands on learning experience. NMCB 1 is forward deployed to execute construction, humanitarian and foreign assistance, special operations combat service support, and theater security cooperations in support of U.S. European Command. (Photo by Builder 3rd Class Alexa Trafton/170421-N-JQOO1-067)
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (April 21, 2017) During a chief petty officer 365 event, Seabees hosted local Boy Scouts for demonstrations and hands on learning at Camp Mitchell on board Naval Station Rota, Spain on April 21, 2017.
This event allowed chiefs and first class petty officers of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 to demonstrate to the Boy Scouts of Den 5 Pack 283 different methods of earth moving and horizontal construction operations while receiving hands on experience.
“Events like these help us educate the younger generation on what the Seabees do, and what the Naval Construction Force is all about,” said Builder 1st Class Luke Johnson, from Boltonville, Wisconsin. “Building community relations with these types of activities is important, because it also shows that we are able to support them with some of their projects, like aiding the Eagle Scouts for instance.”
The scouts gathered around Johnson to watch a demonstration of how a masonry wall is set and built. After showing the children how to lay a block and properly apply the mud, he gave each kid a chance to practice the technique themselves. They learned how to properly apply the mud to the block and lay it to start a corner of a wall.
Also on display, Equipment Operator 1st Class Jared Vehrs, from Elderton, Wisconsin, showed the process of earth moving operations. Vehrs operated a bulldozer and a dump truck to show the process of moving dirt and removing it from the site.
“Earth movement is a big part of construction and environmental activities,” said Vehrs. “So many things in construction require some type of earth movement. There will always be a job in this field. It’s important that we show the Boy Scouts, because even though they may not see it right away, at some point they will, and they will understand the [construction] process.”
After the demonstration was over, the children were allowed to go up and sit in the driver’s seat of the equipment. Vehrs explained how all the controls worked and how the different vehicles all worked together to accomplish one job. At the end of the mentorship, the kids were excited to show what they had learned and some were even asking when they could come back to see more.
“Overall, it was a successful experience for both sides,” said Johnson. “I think we really brought a lot to the table and gave the kids a good understanding and a new perspective about what construction really consists of and what Seabees can do for the community.”