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Seabees Train with RED HORSE

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070925-21
Release Date: 9/25/2007 4:36:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael B. Lavender, NMCB 7 Public Affairs

KADENA, Japan (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 “crossed into the blue,” working with U.S. Air Force personnel during a joint training exercise Sept. 24-26 at Kadena Air Base.

More than 87 personnel from NMCB 7 participated in the Rapid Runway Repair (RRR) and Utilities Training (UT) with RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operation Ready Squadron Engineers).

“Rapid Runway Repair is a very important aspect of our operations,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Tommy Lucero, Kadena’s RED HORSE air field damage repair superintendent of contingency training. “We do this type of training ourselves to get our planes back into the fight after an air strike so we can establish air superiority.”

RRR consists of various phases of training, including crater repair from ordnance detonation.

“If there is an attack on an air field, we have four hours to roll out, check for CBR [Chemical, Biological and Radiological] attacks, fill the craters and cover them with matting so planes can utilize the runway,” explained Equipment Operator 1st Class (SCW) Ben Neher, the NMCB 7 RRR team assistant officer in charge. “Additionally, we also clear FOD [Foreign Object Debris] so it doesn’t get sucked into an engine.”

The three-day training evolution occurs only once or twice a year for the RED HORSE airmen assigned to Kadena Air Base and the airmen welcomed the chance to work with Seabees.

“Training the Seabees with our equipment and our sites is a win-win situation,” explained Lucero. “For us, because when we have to fight, it creates a cohesive team with our sister services in-theater. For the Seabees, it’s an even better opportunity because they don’t have the opportunity to use this kind of equipment or site.”

For the Seabees, working alongside the Air Force was a new opportunity to see how another service operates.

“This is definitely a new experience for some of us,” said Neher. “We have many new guys in our battalion and only a handful has done this training before. It’s good to be working with the Air Force because we can learn from them as they do from us. Their training is different, but it is educational.”

The airmen quickly saw the 'Can Do' spirit of the Seabees come forth, with each Seabee striving to do their best.

“This is a young team and we’ve seen from day one that they are constantly improving,” said Lucero. “They quickly learn from their mistakes and apply the steps they learn in an expeditious manner. Overall, they’re doing very well.”

This is not Lucero’s first time working or training side-by-side with Seabees.

“Every experience I’ve had working with the Seabees has been good,” said Lucero. “Seabees are well disciplined and you can see that immediately. Their ranks are well organized and their upper chain of command, especially their chiefs, have a commanding presence which we need in every military unit. It’s certainly a pleasure to work with them again.”

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