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Seabees Receive Training while Improving Fire Station

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120426-09

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Karen Blankenship, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors attached to various Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB) in the Hampton Roads area are nearing completion of a project at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Northwest Annex that began May 23, 2011.

The project consists of the construction of a 1,800-square-foot dormitory as an addition to the Kemble Station Fire Department and is also designed to assist in training junior Sailors in various ratings attached to the Seabee career field.

"The Sailors receive on-the-job training to hone their skills as well as to learn and perform tasks not related to their primary jobs," said Chief Builder (SCW) Thomas Tetterton of NMCB 24, project coordinator and officer in charge.

Many Reservists have other jobs outside of the fleet not related to construction and agree the training is beneficial.

"I have learned a little bit of everything," said Builder 2nd Class Felicia Roddey who works as a civilian paralegal and has been assigned to the site twice. "I have taken advantage of the skill sets and learned from every person here."

Not only does the project serve as training tool for Reserve personnel, but also to cross-train them in the other aspects of the Seabee career field, which in total includes seven specialties.

"Cross training among the Seabees is important," said Builder 1st Class (SCW) John Young. "The plumbers who installed the plumbing also poured the concrete during their time on the project."

Others agreed the rate of Seabee is all encompassing.

"I did plumbing yesterday, electrical work, and today I was able to work within the Builder rate of work," said Builder Seaman Apprentice Blake Purdy. "I enjoy doing this. If I could get a job in the civilian sector, I'd do this."

The dormitory will include seven bedrooms and two full bathrooms and is slated to be complete in July.

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