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Seabees Participate in a Field Training Exercise While Deployed

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120329-03

By Constructionman Engineering Aide Star Coble, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 Public Affairs

CAMP SHIELDS, Okinawa (NNS) -- Seabees from U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 participated in a one-week field training exercise (FTX) March 2, while forward deployed to Okinawa, Japan.

During the FTX, the battalion conducted round-robin training, established a company-sized base camp, and executed a simulated airfield damage repair (ADR) mission. Training was accomplished on enemy prisoners of war (EPW) handling, weapons familiarization, land navigation, gear familiarization, establishing and maintaining primary lines of defense, command and control, operating a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit, and ADR operations. The battalion also conducted multiple training scenarios testing entry control point (ECP) operations, patrols, convoys, chemical, bioligical, and radiological defense, as well as various civilian and enemy scenarios.

"I stood the fighting position watch (better known to Seabees as a "pit"), which is the first line of defense for a Battalion," Seaman Jose Casiano said. "Standing this watch gave me a different prospective on what actually goes on because I'm used to standing watches in the Command Operations Center (COC)."

"Going through the tasking qualification classes taught me how to properly fill out a range card and how to complete a fire plan, which helped me while doing the different training scenarios during FTX," said Casiano.

The training focused on the practical application of section 301 of the SCW's curriculum, consisting of fire plan development, employing a grenade, setting up a one-man tent, breakdown/assembly of an M-9 and M-16 service rifle, hand signals, military map reading, and camouflage.

"The first and second day before FTX is lane training to get your 301 section signed off for SCW tasking to get members mastered in those topics", said Gunnery Sgt. Boyde Allen, NMCB 40 military advisor.

In addition, a team of twelve Seabees worked closely with the U.S. Air Force's Redhorse Airmen at Kadena Air Base to complete an airfield damage repair (ADR) mission, which consisted of repairing a 30'x 20' crater necessary to develop a minimum operating strip (MOS) to allow an aircraft to safely land on a damaged runway.

The ADR mission was completed by using various pieces of Civil Engineering Support Equipment (CESE), including front end loaders, graders, dump trucks, rollers, excavators, and kick brooms. With an inexperienced crew the ADR mission was completed in five hours and fifteen minutes, exceeding expectations and exemplifying the true "Can Do" spirit of the Seabees.

"Working with Red Horse was an amazing experience. The days were long, but you could tell that the Seabees really enjoyed working alongside the Air Force and learning more about how they operate and the different types of engineering strategies and equipment they use," said Ensign Allison Clarke, ADR mission officer in charge.

NMCB 40 is the Naval Construction Force's 2011 Pacific Fleet Battle "E" and Peltier Award wining Seabee Battalion. The Battalion deployed throughout the U.S. Pacific Command in November 2011, and is scheduled to return to Port Hueneme, Calif., in the summer 2012. Fighting FORTY deployment locations include Okinawa, Sasebo, and Yokosuka, Japan, Guam, Korea, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Timor Leste, Diego Garcia, and Palau.

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