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NMCB 11 Takes Khaki to the Field

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080306-14
Release Date: 3/6/2008 3:22:00 PM

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

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- The chiefs and officers of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 recently returned from their khaki field exercise, Feb. 4-15.

The exercise was two weeks of aggressively paced training meant for them to hone their leadership skills and learn the most current tactical procedures to carry back to their troops.

The first week was conducted in a classroom setting on Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, which included familiarization with weapons, tactics, communications and other evolutions that are critical to making battalion tactical evolutions successful.

The second week brought the leaders to the field, near Camp Shelby Army Training Base, where they constructed a tent camp, dug tactical fighting positions, conducted patrols and convoy security, practiced command and control and built stronger relationships between the chief's mess and the wardroom.

The week in the field taught the Seabees much more than combat skills in patrols, convoys, defense and communications. As the week progressed, they were faced with other leadership challenges, including the leaders react course (LRC) and the Seabee challenge.

The LRC is a course consisting of multiple stations with obstacles, wet and dry, that require a decisive leader and teamwork in order to overcome each challenge. The Seabee challenge is a six-mile timed endurance course that tests physical ability as well as tactical knowledge.

"Overall, it was a great training evolution," said Lt. Stephen Legg, NMCB 11's training officer. "We did exactly what we expect our young troops to do, and that is - camp in the field'. The young officers had their eyes opened to what the Seabees do in the field, and the old salts had the opportunity to demonstrate what had been seared into them as young Seabees."

Throughout the week, the junior officers and chiefs were able to learn from the more experienced members.

"I think the [junior officers] learned that the [chief petty officers] have experience that they will lean on," said Chief Warrant Officer Blane Meadows, NMCB 11's embarkation officer.

"The most challenging jobs were the ones the squad leaders had," said Ensign Kena Lyke, Charlie Company. "Things were changing a lot. The hardest part was making sure everyone was where they needed to be, when they needed to be there. It was a logistics thing, like getting to the galley in the morning for breakfast. There wasn't much room to make errors."

Regardless of the challenges, the chiefs and officers knew this training evolution was an opportunity to improve their own skills, which they could then pass on to their Seabees.

"What I enjoyed the most was watching young professional officers step up to the plate to make things happen," said Legg. "But the highlight for me was being in the field with the chiefs that I grew up with, my Seabee family."

NMCB 11 is part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), a global force provider of adaptive force packages of expeditionary capabilities to joint warfighting commanders. NECC serves as a single manning functional command to centrally manage the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of the Navy Expeditionary Force.

For more news from Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, visit

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