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NMCB 133 Bridge Detail Builds Confidence, Knowledge During Command Post Exercise

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120428-01

By Lt. j.g. Alberto Crespo, NMCB 133 Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133's Bridge Detail (Bridge Det) participated in its third command post exercise (CPX) April 23 - 27 to get ready for the battalion's upcoming field training exercise (FTX) and deployment.

"This was our third CPX this homeport," said Lt. j.g. Mathew Ward, Bridge Det's command post watch officer. "We're using them as part of our FTX preparations. It is our goal to maximize our training with the CPX scenarios so that our FTX has no major surprises. Ultimately, we want the troops to succeed with the CPX so that we can continue to build their confidence in themselves for our upcoming deployment."

Bridge Det's training included conducting a sweep of their operating area as part of the exercise. This entailed coordination with NMCB 133's Convoy Security Element (CSE) to arrange for a convoy to the camp area. Prior to setting up their camp, that included full power generation and communications equipment, Bridge Det. needed to secure the area just as they will during their FTX. To make the experience more realistic the detail was located at a different training area aboard Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport than that of the Main body command operations center.

Some of the training scenarios included simulated chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) attacks, snipers firing into the camp and unhappy civilians protesting the detail's presence at the camp's front gate. All of these scenarios are ones that they could potentially face during a deployment. Additionally, Bridge Det's Seabees were given an opportunity to familiarize themselves with their communications equipment which is vital for effective command and control.

Steelworker 1st Class Joshua Baker acted as Bridge Det's Exercise Control Group (ECG) representative and was on hand to evaluate the detail's performance during the training scenarios.

"Bridge Det did nothing but blossom during CPX 3," said Baker. "There was a vast difference from the start to end in the timeliness of reporting and dealing with scenarios. Bridge Det was successful on CPX 3 and there is no doubt they will have a successful FTX and deployment."

Not only did the junior troops get some much needed training, but some of the more senior troops got to dust off their skill sets as well.

Builder 1st Class Phillip Baranowski, a command post watch chief, said, "This CPX, being the third one for 2012, was by far the most successful yet. Standing the watch chief position, I saw that the troops were very receptive to the training and that their motivation was at an all time high. The level of knowledge gained through this evolution will lead to a successful FTX."

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