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NMCB 11 Seabees Conduct Mount Out Exercise

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150324-01
Release Date: 3/24/2015 8:26:00 AM

By Ensign Frances R. Hunter, NMCB 11 Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Detachment (DET) Guam conducted a 48-hour mount out exercise (MOX) at Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam, March 12-14.

An MOX simulates one of the core capabilities of an NMCB, the ability to deploy an 89-person air detachment (AIRDET) within 48 hours for any mission required by a supported commander. Missions could range from major combat operations to humanitarian and disaster relief.
The mount out requires moving heavy construction equipment and large quantities of support materials.

For the MOX, the 158 Seabees of DET Guam prepared and staged more than 538,000 pounds of equipment and supplies ranging from 31 pieces of civil engineer support equipment (CESE) to 1,700 meals-ready-to-eat and 2,500 bottles of water. The exercise culminated in a convoy to Andersen Air Force Base, rehearsing the transport of one chalk (items and personnel travelling on a given aircraft) to the point of air departure. In an actual mount out, the majority of the equipment would leave Guam on Air Force aircraft - including the dozers, backhoes, and tractor trailers.

DET Guam emphasized realism throughout the exercise, treating it as a rehearsal for a mission that could be ordered any day.

'As a leader for this organization, it makes me confident that we have the ability to meet our required operating capability of mounting an AIRDET out within 48 hours,' said Senior Chief Construction Electrician Chris Beck, AIRDET senior enlisted advisor. 'We test them, we push them to the limit, we give them the worst case scenarios, and at the end of the day, they accomplish the mission.'

The mount out evolution requires coordination and teamwork. Seabees build pallets and wash, weigh and measure each piece of equipment to locate its center of balance. Load planners input the information into a computer program called Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movements System (TCAIMS) to determine where everything will be placed in the military aircraft. If the load is not properly planned, it could unbalance the airplane and endanger the flight.

'My part folds in everything that's going on outside, all the moving parts,' said Construction Electrician 2nd Class Joshua Davis. 'If I don't do my job right, I'm failing them. But if they've got one pound off or one inch off, they're failing me.'

The exercise was based around a humanitarian scenario. NMCB-11's AIRDET was hypothetically ordered to fly to Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, to assist in disaster relief efforts following a tsunami. AIRDET leadership conducted detailed mission planning for tasks such as search and recovery, clearing debris, delivering emergency supplies, constructing a tent camp, and repairing the airport and seaport to open the way for further relief efforts.

As the exercise began, however, a real-world scenario developed. Tropical Storm Bavi swept through the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Marshall Islands on its way to Guam. Category Five Tropical Cyclone Pam simultaneously left a trail of devastation in Vanuatu, a remote archipelago near Australia. With the MOX already underway, DET Guam boarded up windows and placed sandbags for typhoon conditions and prepared for the possibility that the simulated scenario could become very real.

'It was kind of eerie,' said Builder Constructionman Missila Vinsant. 'If anything does happen, we're basically ready to go in a few hours.'

That turned out not to be necessary, as NMCB-11 was not ordered to assist with Cyclone Pam relief efforts, however, the MOX ensured that NMCB-11's AIRDET is fully ready to deploy at any time.

NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion's homeport is in Gulfport, Mississippi. NMCB-11 DET Guam is currently forward deployed to Camp Covington, Naval Base Guam, to provide a contingency construction force ready to mount out in support of operations ranging from disaster relief to major combat operations throughout the Pacific.

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