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NMCB 11 Learns Key Through COMMEX

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071220-02
Release Date: 12/20/2007 8:55:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erick S. Holmes, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- A group of Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 were pulled from their normal jobs and tasks for a three-day Communications Exercise (COMMEX) Dec. 3-5, learning the fundamentals of "the key" to deployment, field exercise and more.

"Field communication gear, also known as 'green gear,' includes various radios, antennae types for just as many frequencies. The communications platoon includes yeomen, utilitiesman, [Seabees] and more mixed ratings. Most of them have never touched field COMMS gear before," explained Lt.j.g. Nick Leinweber, communications officer.

The training included tent set-up, radio programming and communication skills, antennae set-up, the assorted radios and frequencies and the practical application of communication traffic.

As complex as the gear and mechanics appeared at first, the fledgling communications platoon took the opportunity head-on to learn the new skill.

"We through a large amount of technical information, a large amount of jargon and I'd say there were a lot of a quick learners," said Leinweber.

"I got real hands on with multiple things, like I wanted to," said Construction Electrician Constructionman Apprentice Ericca Perry, who serves communications platoon and generator preservation. "I had maintenance of the generator, so that was in-rate training, and I had COMMS, which is difficult out-of-rate training. And I was surprised, there's more to COMMS than I expected," said Perry.

In the end, the biggest lesson learned was logistics, according to Leinweber.

"Finding the right spot, if COMM gear was left behind [in supply] at the start, what gear was forgotten at first-day set-up, but planning is what makes this go smoothly, so that's what we'll all work on for preparing the next COMMEX," Leinweber said.

NMCB 11's next COMMEX is scheduled for late January and promises to include more members of the COMMS platoon and more elements of communications itself.

For more news from Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, visit www.navy.mil/local/ncbcgulfport/.

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