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Seabees Test Typhoon Readiness

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070502-07
Release Date: 5/2/2007 12:17:00 PM

By Chief Mass Comunications Specialist (SW/AW) Steve Bansbach, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Public Affairs

CAMP COVINGTON, Guam (NNS) -- In preparation for typhoon season, which starts in July, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 Detachment (DET) Guam conducted a Typhoon exercise at Camp Covington on April 21.

This exercise tested how quickly and accurately NMCB 4 could stow their equipment and ready the camp in the event of a typhoon. The exercise kicked off at 8:30 a.m. and concluded when the camp was secured and all personnel were accounted for in Camp Covington’s storm shelters for over 150 Seabees.

Although some of the camp’s preparations were done notionally to save time, most of the exercise involved actual stowage of tons of outdoor furniture, construction supplies, and over 200 pieces of Seabee construction equipment.

The most important thing NMCB 4 gained from this exercise was familiarity with the many time-critical actions needed to be ready when a typhoon hits.

“It was important that everyone participated, because in all likelihood we will go through an actual typhoon,” said Lt. Aaron Park, DET Guam’s Operations Officer.

If a typhoon were to hit the island of Guam, NMCB 4 would be looked to for help and recovery. NMCB 4's first course of action would be to clear roads so emergency vehicles could get to where they need to go. After that, NMCB 4 Seabees would start the rebuilding process, helping wherever they can.

Planning and preparation were the keystones to the construction battalion completing this exercise.

“Everyone was engaged,” Senior Chief Steelworker Jose’ Plascencia said. “I talked with personnel throughout the day and they were able to tell me what they were doing and what they were responsible for. The exercise went really well.”

Executive Officer William Whitmire was very pleased with his Seabees’ performance during the exercise.

“Everyone exceeded my expectations. Our troops left me no doubt that come typhoon season, this battalion will be ready,” said Whitmire.

Guam has been subject to several typhoons. The last major typhoon was Super-typhoon Paka, which struck in late 1997.

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