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Alaska Exercise Challenges Seabees

Navy NewStand

Story Number: NNS030305-06
Release Date: 3/5/2003 12:35:00 PM

By Pvt. Karima L. Mares, Northern Edge Public Affairs

VALDEZ, Alaska (NNS) -- Seabees are busy sharpening their skills at Ammo Island, setting up a base camp in support of Northern Edge 2003.

Northern Edge is Alaska's premier joint training exercise, designed to practice operations, techniques and procedures, and enhance interoperability among the services.

"It's awesome to work with the Reservists," said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Clayton Beame of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3. "It's always good for us to work with them, because they know a lot about our job, and we can learn from them."

The base camp consists of a cluster of tents on Ammo Island, which is actually a container dock with a bridge connecting it to shore. The camp has tents used to warm-up from the cold, meetings and for command-and-control activities for the Seabees. The base camp is the nerve center that monitors and discusses exercise activities to ensure that this training improves the readiness of military forces.

Alaska's expansive ground and extensive coastline, as well as the diverse weather conditions, provide excellent training opportunities.

"This is great training because of the different weather conditions," said Navy Reserve Builder 1st Class Mike Ellis, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25. "Safety is the most important aspect for us, though. Under adverse conditions, you have to be more careful and take more precautions to keep each other safe. The weather conditions are a little easier for some of us who are from the north, but it's still good cold weather training."

Joint training exercises like Northern Edge 03 provide a challenging, flexible and effective training environment for service members to sharpen their skills.

Northern Edge also allows units to work on more specific tasks geared toward their jobs.

"This exercise gives us a chance to train as a whole unit," Ellis said. "By giving us a chance to practice small unit leadership and making sure that everyone knows what to do at all times, Northern Edge will help ready us for real world situations."

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