By NMCB 3 Public Affairs
UTCN Jamison Rigley, NMCB 3, asks a question on the future readiness of the Seabee ratings during the kickoff of the Seabee Combat Warfare (SCW) Academy that is designed to provide all unqualified troops with the needed education to gain their qualification. Photos by BUCN Laine Pulfer
Naval MobileConstruction Battalion (NMCB) 3 kicked offa historic Seabee Combat Warfare (SCW)training academy, Mon., Sept. 9, for alltroops stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
The new program will provide more than300 main body Seabees with all requiredclassroom and practical training neededfor their SCW qualification in just threeweeks - a process that typically took up toone year.
According to NMCB 3 SCW CoordinatorSteelworker 1st Class Ephraim Fonseca, theSCW program provides Seabees with theskills and abilities needed to ensure eachexpeditionary Sailor is a competent warfighter, ready to operate forward.Our job takes us to remote areas acrossthe world, said Fonseca. We are orderedto build critical construction projects incombat zones, provide humanitarianassistance and disaster relief tocommunities devastated by naturaldisaster and then, if needed, defend thoseefforts against any kind of threat.
To provide these capabilities and completethe above missions, NMCB 3 Seabees mayhave to conduct their own convoyoperations, while operating myriadweapons systems to include small arms, belt-fed machine guns, and grenade or rocketlaunchers.
Currently, NMCB 3 Seabees are building schools, community centers, repairing roadsand digging wells throughout the Pacific Region in areas such as Cambodia, thePhilippines, Timor-Leste, Tonga and the Republic of Korea.
All of the skill sets learned from the SCW program supports our tactical mission, SaidSenior Chief Builder Stephen Stran. You can pull any section of the program and applyit to any of our current missions here in the Pacific Region, so as expeditionary warfighters who are forward deployed, it helps ensure we are ready for anything we mayneed to do.
The SCW academy covers fifteen topics on Seabees missions and capabilities throughbook work and hands-on exercises. At the end of each topic, there is a test eachSeabee must pass to gain credit for that subject. Subjects include tactical operations,construction, basic Navy history and the Seabee ethos.
The classroom material is applied in a Field Training Exercise (FTX), bringing everythinginto perspective. This is necessary before granted the qualification, so if a student hasnot had the chance to complete a FTX, they will have the chance to participate in asimilar exercise while in Japan. The Jungle Warfare Training Course (JWTC) is equivalentto a FTX, counts towards SCW qualifications. JWTC is an expert lesson that teachesSeabees how to build and fight in dense jungle conditions.
Without a SCW pin, a Seabee is not a bona fide Seabee - you need that pin in ourcommunity, added Fonseca.
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3's Engineering Aide 1st Class Willie Blanding educates 25 Seabees on the battalion's administrative system during the first day of NMCB 3's Seabee Combat Warfare (SCW) Academy designed to provide all unqualified troops with the needed education to gain their qualification.
Junior Seabee war fighters are taught early in their career that a SCW designator lendscredibility and professionalism to their uniform.
Construction Electrician Constructionman Kayla Anderson has been working on her SCWqualification nearly a year. She has completed all required training vice a few classesand is excited to see others gain the knowledge needed to join her at the finish line.
All thats left is a few more classes, my final test and a board, said Anderson. Itsnice to know that my friends will be able to get through the process quicker, and wellall be at the same professional level. Its a big step in every Seabees career andsomething we chase after from the second we get to the battalion.
One of the first battalions commissioned during World War II, NMCB 3s legacy standsstrong in its ability to build and fight anywhere in the world as either a full battalion oras a group of autonomous detachments, simultaneously completing critical engineeringand construction missions.
For this deployment, NMCB 3 has split into 9 details to perform critical constructionprojects in remote island areas such as Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and thePhilippines. The teams will also conduct operations in Atsugi, Yokosuka and Okinawa,Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea and China Lake, Calif.
The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. Theyprovide deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recoverysupport, humanitarian assistance and combat operations support.
NMCB 3 provides combatant commanders and Navy component commanders withcombat-ready warfighters capable of general engineering, construction and limitedcombat engineering across the full range of military operations.Read more Seabee stories here.