Story by MC2 Michael Lopez, NMCB-3 Public Affairs
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 conducted a week-long unit driven training (UDT) event on board Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4., to prepare for an upcoming field training exercise (FTX) and enhance the unit’s overall readiness in a contingency environment.
The UDT events were conducted simultaneously with two graded unit-level training readiness assessments: a 48-hour mount-out exercise and air detachment redeployment exercise. These exercises are a component of NMCB-3’s overall deployment readiness assessment. The UDTs were used to harmoniously focus Seabees on individual and unit readiness to enhance their capabilities for operations in a contingency environment and large logistic operations, as well as hone in the skillsets of the battalion’s specialty organizations.
While all non-essential work was paused, Seabees’ primary duty was to train in areas including medical fundamentals, concertina wire defense fundamentals, fire pit and squad pit fundamentals, patrol fundamentals, entry control point fundamentals, landing zone fundamentals, and basic chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) training.
“We wanted to give our Seabees the repetitions and sets that they need to be proficient in their individual tasks, no matter how simple or complex, so that we can ensure the battalion’s success in a training environment and have that ready for a real-world situation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Calvin Warren, from Aurora, Illinois, NMCB-3’s training officer.
Members of NMCB-3’s specialty organizations also conducted specific training within each organization to build on each unique skillset and capability. The specialty organization trainings included communications, CBR team, rear area security and quick reaction force, air field damage repair, tactical operations center and tactical headquarters.
“Our specialty organizations were a big area of focus because they typically only get a few hours a week to train together on their specific skillsets,” said Warren. “The UDT event afforded them a full week of in depth training where their specific specialty organization was their priority, and they could all synchronize and sharpen those much-needed skills together.”
The training sessions throughout the week generally began with a lecture instruction period to define learning objectives and tasks before Seabees act out the material in a hands-on practical portion.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ruslan Rassohin, from Canoga Park, California, instructed medical fundamentals training and said that this subject is one that calls for an overwhelming emphasis on physical repetition to maximize its impact.
“We wanted our training to be extremely hands-on so that our Seabees can develop more muscle memory so that in an emergency, they’re confident that they know how to use their gear because they’ve already done it before,” said Rassohin.
This training was primarily focused on individual first aid kit familiarization, casualty assessment, and immediate self aid and aid to others. Rassohin said that his training covered fundamental skills that Seabees have seen before, but he wanted Seabees to be focused on knowing how to employ those skills in a worst-case scenario with little hesitation due to repetitive training exposure.
“Our biggest area of focus was a mass casualty event,” said Rassohin. “We want to make sure that Seabees stay familiar with the medical gear they carry and how to confidently use that gear to treat themselves and others. That immediate care you give yourself or receive from the person next to you can save your life – especially if a corpsman can’t get to you immediately.”
Warren said that the battalion displayed good command and control capabilities through previous command post exercises, so the UDT was a chance to shift the focus to the individual readiness of each Seabee for the battalion’s upcoming FTX and readiness for real-world major combat operations.
“My hope is that each Seabee sees the amount of attention paid to these areas and understands that their individual actions, small and large, really pay off in the end,” said Warren. “The sum of all of those actions is what pays for the battalion’s success.”
NMCB-3 is home-ported in Port Hueneme, California. Seabees are the expeditionary engineering and construction experts of the Naval service. They provide task-tailored, adaptable and combat-ready engineering and construction forces that deploy to support global Navy objectives.
For more information about Seabees and NMCB-3, visit http://seabeemagazine.navylive.dodlive.mil or https://www.facebook.com/NMCB3/