Story by Naval Base Ventura County Public Affairs
Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif. – Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) hosted its semi-annual Media Day on Oct. 14 with local media and the Ventura County Office of Education to highlight the capabilities of two little known tenants at the base.
Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2, a Seabee unit with deep-dive construction capabilities and the Army Reserve’s 481st Transportation Company’s (TC), conducted live demonstrations from an Army Landing Craft Utility (LCU) during Media Day at Naval Base Ventura County.
Construction Electrician 2nd Class Gregory Lewis and Builder 2nd Class Christian Makin, donned wet suits and dive helmets before stepping off their new 36-foot boat into the port to demonstrate surface supplied dive capabilities. Using this system, construction dive teams can go as deep as 172 feet to conduct inspection, repair, maintenance, and demolition underwater.
UCT 2 maintains capability to support amphibious assault, subsequent combat service support ashore, and self-defense for their camp and facilities under construction. In times of emergency or disaster, UCT 2 conducts disaster control and recovery operations.
“We are constantly recruiting Seabee divers,” said Equipment Operator Chief and Master Diver James McVicar. “Once they have completed their Seabee qualifications, they go to Panama City, Florida to become certified divers. It takes a lot of training to do what we do.”
After the divers were safely back on board and UCT 2’s boat had pulled away, 481st TC offloaded two heavy vehicles from their LCU, demonstrating challenges with tie-down and transportation of heavy machinery at sea. The ramp came up, media and education specialists cleared away from fast moving lines, and the LCU went underway, leaving the port behind. Then the emergency alarm sounded.
Crew members quickly donned fire gear and unfurled fire hoses. Fire suppression is a function frequently drilled while underway. Although surrounded by vast ocean, fire can spread quickly and civilian rescue teams could be hours away. Crew members must be prepared for a quick response to protect the ship, crew and cargo.
481st TC (Heavy Boat) has five landing craft utility boats, each with a crew of 13-18 Soldiers and commanded by a warrant officer. The LCU has a range of 10,000 miles and can hold 90,000 gallons of fuel. They have exceptional maneuverability due to fore and aft propulsion. 481st TC conducts disaster control and recovery during times of emergency or disaster.
NBVC commanding officer, Capt. Chris Janke had kicked off the event with an overview of the base. “I consider my job a success when our tenants accomplish their jobs,” said Capt. Janke.