Story by MC3 Alexa Trafton , Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 Public Affairs
GULFPORT, Miss. – Seabees conducted a 48-hour Mount Out Exercise on board Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Mississippi, from November 28 – 30, 2017.
The exercise demonstrated the ability of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1 Air Detachment’s ability to rapidly provide a construction capability in response to contingency or disaster relief efforts around the world.
“This exercise provided the training we needed to have an Air Detachment ready to deploy in a 48-hour time frame,” said Lt. Lauren Elkins, from College Station, Texas. “This helped hone our skills and to understand the process of what goes into the preparations for getting out the door.”
Typically, a battalion consists of one Air Detachment of 89 deployable Seabees that are capable of departing within 48 hours upon notification of a request for support during an event, in order to meet current contingency response requirements such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The mount out exercise provided an opportunity to train and familiarize Sailors with the process of preparing for a quick turnaround on equipment for a crisis response deployment. Once the command receives the order to deploy within 48 hours, the command kicks off a rigorous process to provide a capable force for “fight tonight” efforts.
“I have had an opportunity to be closer to different types of equipment we use, that I wouldn’t normally be around on the fleet side of the Navy,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Tychelle Earlycutt, from Temple, Texas. “I have learned a lot from each station in the Embark process and what they do, while on communications watch; because I report back to higher each time it moves through each station. I understand more and more of what goes in a battalion mount out because of this exercise.”
While the Sailors ensure personnel deployment readiness, the embark team prepares the construction equipment and places gear on appropriate pallets for transportation to the deployment site.
“Overall, I am proud of what we accomplished,” said Elkins. “We haven’t been organized as an Air Detachment for very long, but the way everyone worked together you would have never known. There were times we were tired but the motivation of the Sailors never wavered and they kept pushing through.”