ACB-1 Sailors Conduct INLS Causeway Ferry Craft Master Qualification Exercise

Courtesy Story, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE CORONADO, Calif. – Sailors at Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB-1) conducted several iterations of beaching and retracting of a Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) Causeway Ferry during an INLS craft master qualification exercise, May 29.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Felix Inca receives under instruction training from Lt. Cmdr. Cody Keesee and Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carlos Martinez during an Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB-1) craft master qualification course aboard an Improved Navy Lighterage System Causeway Ferry, May 29. (Photo by Seaman Brett McMinoway)


The training is designed to simulate realistic scenarios utilizing the INLS Causeway Ferry to demonstrate its amphibious capabilities. The exercise provided five new candidates the opportunity to train in real world operations.

All five candidates have two final evaluations before becoming qualified. This stage of the training pipeline, conducted by Lt. Cmdr.

Cody Keesee, the Bravo Company commander for ACB-1, is only the beginning for these Sailors. The Commanding Officer (CO) of ACB-1 will evaluate the final evolution at a later date.

“While you’re up there, Lt. Cmdr. Keesee is grading you on proficiency of driving the craft, general knowledge, rules of the road and emergency procedures,” said Electricians Mate 1st Class David Arias, the leading petty officer for the ACB-1 Bravo Company training department. “It’s not about just maneuvering the craft, it’s also about knowing what to do in those emergency situations.”

Engineman Fireman Nygell Sebastien, assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB-1), logs engineering data in the engine room aboard an Improved Navy Lighterage System Causeway Ferry during a craft master training exercise, May 29. (Photo by Seaman Brett McMinoway)

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carlos Martinez, the ACB-1 qualified INLS craft master for the exercise, explained that five new prospects becoming qualified signifies increased deployment readiness. Five additional craft masters sharing the load during operations would allow the command to be more flexible with manning and ultimately operational capabilities.

Each Sailor is expected to demonstrate their collective knowledge and skills attained during the two-week Basic Operations course, five-week Craft Master School and over 40 hours of under instruction time operating the INLS crafts.

“I do need more practice to develop that muscle memory and anticipate what’s going to happen,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Felix Inca, assigned to ACB-1. “It’s a never ending learning curve.”

The CO has the final authority to determine if candidates meet the requirements and demonstrate the overall knowledge and skills to qualify as craft masters. Once qualified, they are authorized to operate the INLS craft.

ACB-1 supports global amphibious ship-to-shore operations in support of Naval Beach Group One. For more information on ACB-1 visit

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