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NMCB 3 Relieves NMCB 5 of AFRICOM and EUCOM Seabee Operations

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120215-05

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jesse A Sherwin III, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Public Affairs

CAMP MITCHELL, Spain (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 relieved NMCB 5 of all Seabee construction responsibilities in Europe and Africa, during a formal ceremony, Feb. 14.

The relief in place and transfer of authority ceremony (RIP/TOA) marked the official end of NMCB 5's deployment to Europe and Africa that started in August when they deployed from Port Hueneme, Calif.

Before the RIP/TOA could occur, a weeklong inspection and review was conducted of all equipment, supplies, projects, facilities, and civil engineering support equipment (CESE).

Unlike a ship, when a Seabee battalion deploys, they do not travel with their equipment. Instead, all of the construction equipment and supplies that they will use are already at their deployment sites. A detailed turnover must be conducted before the oncoming battalion commences work.

The equipment and supplies that the battalion uses is called a table of allowance (TOA). For an NMCB, the entire TOA, which is worth more than $70 million, is designed to support operations and sustainment of a 600 Seabee battalion, conducting forward contingency and humanitarian assistance operations anywhere in the world, said Chief Logistics Specialist Frankie Acevedo, the NMCB 3 supply chief.

"If any tools, parts, or other supplies are found to be missing during the inspection, they need to be on order or placed on order," said Acevedo. "We have to maintain the TOA at 100 percent readiness."

The CESE undergoes a more thorough inspection, in a process called the Battalion Equipment Evaluation Program (BEEP). The BEEP inspection is designed to transfer all special knowledge of CESE maintenance, operations, and techniques to the relieving battalion. During the BEEP inspection, NMCB 3 Alfa Company, consisting of construction mechanics and equipment operators, inspected and received custody of more than 200 units of CESE. When the inspection was complete, a red diamond shaped sticker with a white number three, called a BEEP sticker, was placed on each piece of CESE.

"The BEEP sticker identifies what type, and what specific Seabee unit the CESE belongs to," said Construction Mechanic 1st Class James Gongas, from NMCB 5.

A red diamond identifies the CESE as belonging to an NMCB. A triangle will identify it as belonging to a naval construction regiment and a square is an underwater construction team.

Along with the equipment and supply turnover, NMCB 3 relieved NMCB 5 of construction project responsibilities throughout Europe and Africa.

Some of the ongoing projects include building a school and a bathroom facility for the locals in Gende Gerade, Ethiopia, drilling seven water wells in Ethiopia, and building two health clinics in Djibouti, Africa.

As NMCB 3 completes projects, they will begin new ones, including placing a water line, with the help of local military engineers, for Zagreb, Croatia and extending an existing runway in Manda Bay, for the government of Kenya.

Now that the turnover is complete, NMCB 5 will return to Port Hueneme, Calif.

NMCB 3 is an expeditionary naval construction element currently assigned to U.S. 6th Fleet's Commander, Task Force 68 to provide construction, engineering, and security services that support national strategy, naval power projection, humanitarian assistance and contingency operations.

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