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  • 1. NAVY EXPEDITIONARY COMBAT COMMAND IN THE NEWS Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in the News is a service of the NECC Public AffairsOffice and is used to provide senior leadership and interested NECC personnel around the Fleetwith news about the Navy‟s expeditionary forces. Please do not repost the Clips to any publicly accessible website since we must maintain the integrity of copyrighted material. Friday, January 11, 2013 _________________________________________________________________Seabees Build Force Protection Facilityhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71200By Builder 1st Class (SCW) Michael Munninger, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 BravoCompany completed a security gate for Naval Base San Diego, Dec. 12.Seabees Lend Helphing Handhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71199By Construction Mechanic 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Joshue Marker, Construction BattalionMaintenance Unit 303 Public AffairsKITSAP, Washington (NNS) -- A group of 12 Seabees from Construction Battalion MaintenanceUnit 303 Detachment Bangor worked side-by-side with volunteers from AmeriCorps in KitsapCounty to split firewood Dec. 12 for families in need.Seabees Perform Construction Operations at Soto Cano Air Base in Hondurashttp://www.navy.mil/submit/displayBy Lt. j.g. Teresa Bustamante, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public AffairsSOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 27 continue construction operations at Soto Cano Air Base, the Republic of Hondurassupporting construction operations for the base and U.S. Special Operations Command Southwhile assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet.Seabee Battalion Provides Food Donations to Assist Military Members,Familieshttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71266By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael, Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 11 Public AffairsGULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)11 donated 10 large boxes of food items to the Seabee Pantry aboard Naval ConstructionBattalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport this holiday season. 1
  • 2. Seabees Complete Construction Project with Peruvian Joint ForcesCommandhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71153By Lt. Kevin Keenaghan, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public AffairsHUAYTARA, Peru (NNS) -- Three Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)27 departed the town of Huaytara, Peru, Dec. 13 following the successful completion of a four-month subject matter expert exchange with military engineers from the Peruvian Joint ForcesCommand.EOD Trains Stennis Sailors with Unique Qualificationshttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71365By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel Schumacher, USS John C. Stennis PublicAffairsUSS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- Personnel assigned to Explosive Ordnance DisposalMobile Unit (EODMU) 3 are training non-EOD Sailors in special operations tactics aboard theNimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).Golden Gate bridges strategic Afghan crossinghttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/100063/golden-gate-bridges-strategic-afghan-crossing#ixzz2HbJAB8loStory by Staff Sgt. Derek M. Smith411th Engineer BrigadeBAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – As NATO forces work toward bridging the gap frommilitary operations to a self-sufficient Afghanistan, Army, Navy and Marine engineers of JointTask Force Empire took the mission literally as they conducted Operation Golden Gate nearSangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan, through the months of November and December.Regional Combat Team 7 secured the floodplain site as the 12th Georgian Battalion and AfghanNational Security Forces conducted security on the east side of the river. Naval MobileConstruction Battalion 133, Task Force Anchor and the 12th Georgian Battalion secured theimmediate project site.A Seabee Christmashttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/100042/seabee-christmas#ixzz2HbJTRNF0Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Aron Taylor Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1ROTA, Spain - The holiday season is always a hard time to be away from family and loved ones,but for the deployed Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, this seasonwas just a little easier thanks to the folks of Operation Gratitude. 2
  • 3. NMCB 133 Detail Bravo honors fallen with a Christmas Eve Run toRememberhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99824/nmcb-133-detail-bravo-honors-fallen-with-christmas-eve-run-remember#ixzz2HbJjLi7qCourtesy Story by Naval Mobile Constructions Battalion 133KUWAIT – With temperatures in the high 40‟s, the troops of Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 133‟s Detail Bravo got together for a 2.5 mile Run to Remember sponsored bymembers of the Army Support Group – Kuwait Dec. 24.Spotlight on diversity: Seabee exhibits strong devotion to dutyhhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99809/spotlight-diversity-seabee-exhibits-strong-devotion-duty#ixzz2HbJyKLUtBy Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11GULFPORT, Miss. – Construction Electrician 3rd Class Olorunshola Olukera, assigned to NavalMobile Construction Battalion 11, isn‟t going home for the holidays this year. He continuesstriving for personal and professional excellence since an October visit to see his family inNigeria, his first such visit in more than five years.NMCB 133 celebrates holidays, over the hump at MWR partyhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99772/nmcb-133-celebrates-holidays-over-hump-mwr-party#ixzz2HbK1J41BBy Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Myers Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133CAMP KRUTKE, Afghanistan - Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, also knownas Task Force Anchor, celebrated the holidays and the midpoint of their deployment with a partyhosted by the battalions Morale, Welfare, and Recreation division Dec. 23.Two Seabees receive ‘Badge of Merit’ in Afghanistanhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99677/two-seabees-receive-badge-merit-afghanistan#ixzz2HgMKnvs7By Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Verbis Naval Mobile Construction Batallion 133CAMP KRUTKE, Afghanistan – A formation of Seabees stood at attention as two membersfrom Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Task Force Anchor, received Purple Heartsduring an award ceremony Dec 13. Return to Top Stories 3
  • 4. Seabees Build Force Protection Facilityhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71200By Builder 1st Class (SCW) Michael Munninger, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 BravoCompany completed a security gate for Naval Base San Diego, Dec. 12.The gate is expected to be operational in early 2013. The project consists of a guardhouse for useby Naval Base Auxiliary Security Force personnel. The design is the new standard for NavyRegion Southwest."Having a guard house with all these high tech security systems makes you feel safe whenstanding gate guard. Plus, having a restroom right here at the gate will make life a lot easier forall personnel" said Utilitiesman 2nd Class (SCW) Tyson Curtis, a member of CBMU 303 and itsAuxiliary Security Force.CBMU 303 Bravo Company uses construction projects in the region to focus on enhancingSeabee rating skills. "On the job training is paramount; passing the skills of a journeyman to anapprentice is an important part of what we do," said Builder 1st Class (SCW) Jordan Parker. Thisparticular project encompasses a wide array of skills from electrical to finish-work.For more news from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, visitwww.navy.mil/local/cbmu303/. Return to Top StoriesSeabees Lend Helphing Handhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71199By Construction Mechanic 1st Class (SCW/EXW) Joshue Marker, Construction BattalionMaintenance Unit 303 Public AffairsKITSAP, Washington (NNS) -- A group of 12 Seabees from Construction Battalion MaintenanceUnit 303 Detachment Bangor worked side-by-side with volunteers from AmeriCorps in KitsapCounty to split firewood Dec. 12 for families in need.The First Class Petty Officers Association used the opportunity to mentor the Second Class PettyOfficers Association in teamwork and the importance of community service as they applied theirlegendary "Can Do" attitude towards support for the community.The Seabees dispatched to two sites on the greater peninsula area, and cut seven cords of wood.The worked helped raise awareness of the struggles of those in the community and broughtmilitary and civilian neighbors together in a show of compassion. 4
  • 5. "Having this opportunity to help others gives you a warm feeling inside," said ConstructionMechanic 2nd Class Greg Bottom.Senior Chief John Scroggs, officer in charge of the Seabees said he couldnt be more pleasedwith the work of his Sailors. "We like to take advantage of any opportunity to give back to thecommunity that supports us," he said.For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, orwww.twitter.com/usnavy.For more news from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, visitwww.navy.mil/local/cbmu303/. Return to Top StoriesSeabees Perform Construction Operations at Soto Cano Air Base in Hondurashttp://www.navy.mil/submit/displayBy Lt. j.g. Teresa Bustamante, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public AffairsSOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 27 continue construction operations at Soto Cano Air Base, the Republic of Hondurassupporting construction operations for the base and U.S. Special Operations Command Southwhile assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet.Located in Honduras, Soto Cano Air Base is home to U.S. Southern Commands Joint TaskForce Bravo.Established in 1983, JTF-B is one example of the longstanding partnership between the UnitedStates and Honduran governments and the enduring commitment by the U.S. military in CentralAmerica. JTF-Bs multifaceted outreach is highlighted in the commands mission statement:"Joint Task Force-Bravo, as guests of our Honduran host-nation partners and the seniorrepresentative for USSOUTHCOM at Soto Cano Air Base, conducts and supports jointoperations, actions, and activities throughout the joint operations area maintaining a forwardpresence in order to enhance regional security, stability, and cooperation."The Seabee Detachment is tasked with approximately six rehabilitation projects to improve boththe quality of life for service members and the serviceability of the base. Excited to take on thisnew challenge, the team has started work on several projects: a 20 foot by 12 foot concrete pad,the construction of wall partitions at the Special Forces compound and the construction of a steel 5
  • 6. pole barn.The teams work is already being noticed by the Soldiers and Airmen stationed here and isfueling additional work requests. The Seabees said they are used to being in demand afterworking at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and welcome the challenge of new work in adifferent location.In addition to working here, the team will forward-deploy to a U.S.-Honduran training site tomake interior building renovations, repair a base electric grid, install a new roof, and take care ofplumbing for the troops currently occupying that space.The Seabees are part of a larger group of Navy Reservists from NMCB 27, Chicopee, Mass.,who were recalled to active duty in July and deployed throughout South and Central America insupport of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet multinational partnership andhumanitarian assistance missions.For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visitwww.navy.mil/local/cusns/. Return to Top StoriesSeabee Battalion Provides Food Donations to Assist Military Members,Familieshttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71266By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael, Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 11 Public AffairsGULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)11 donated 10 large boxes of food items to the Seabee Pantry aboard Naval ConstructionBattalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport this holiday season.NMCB-11 Chaplain Lt. Brian E. Myers, from New London, Ohio, initiated the drive."After Thanksgiving, I noticed that the Seabee Pantrys supply had run low, and with the majorholidays approaching, I knew something needed to be done," said Myers. "There was no doubt inmy mind that the men and women of NMCB-11 would rise to the occasion and donate for aworthy cause."Myers, with the help of Builder Constructionman Timothy C. Rogers, originally from Bohemia,N.Y., also assigned to NMCB-11, distributed donation boxes to all of the companies anddepartments throughout the battalion and encouraged everyone to donate non-perishable fooditems. 6
  • 7. Within the first two weeks of December, the battalion had accumulated about 500 pounds ofdonations including items such as canned foods, boxes of cereal, condiments, snack foods, andmany other food items.Located in NCBCs Base Chapel, the Seabee Pantry provides help to military members and theirdependants to include active duty, Reservists, and retirees.One NMCB-11 Seabee, who has utilized the Seabee Pantry, Construction Mechanic 2nd ClassJason M. Montgomery, is thankful that it has been available to him and his family of six."It has helped us through tough financial times on more than one occasion," stated the Lisbon, anIowa native. "I strongly recommend it to newly married junior troops and anyone strugglingfinancially. There is no shame in getting help when you need it."The Seabee Pantry is dependent on donations like those from NMCB-11 to continue to providefood to service members, retirees and dependants. Individuals, organizations, and other groupsare encouraged to donate as well."I was surprised myself how many people werent aware of this," said Religious ProgramSpecialist 3rd Class Jamie C. Hamm, originally from Baltimore, Md., and assigned to NCBCsince June 2011.According to Hamm, the Seabee Pantry receives three or more patrons daily, and that number isexpected to increase into the New Year as budgets become stretched thin due to holiday traveland gift purchases.The Seabee Pantry is open for patrons as well as donations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondaythrough Friday. Call (228) 871-2454 for details.NMCB-11 is currently in the midst of a homeport cycle following an eight-month deployment toAfghanistan and is preparing for its next deployment, set to begin near the end of the summernext year.For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcb11 Return to Top StoriesSeabees Complete Construction Project with Peruvian Joint ForcesCommandhttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71153By Lt. Kevin Keenaghan, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27 Public Affairs 7
  • 8. HUAYTARA, Peru (NNS) -- Three Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)27 departed the town of Huaytara, Peru, Dec. 13 following the successful completion of a four-month subject matter expert exchange with military engineers from the Peruvian Joint ForcesCommand.The Seabees and Peruvian engineers constructed a 2,200 square foot auditorium as part of a jointexercise overseen by the U.S. Military Advisory and Assistance Group (MAAG) Peru andfunded by the U.S. Southern Command Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative. Constructedfrom brick, masonry block, and reinforced concrete, and finished with drywall, drop ceilings,carpeting, and lush landscaping features, the auditorium will be mainly utilized by the localschool but is also capable of serving as an earthquake shelter for Huaytaras residents.Chief Builder Glenn Kohles, Construction Electrician 1st Class Daniel Johnson, and Builder 2ndClass Jorge Gaitan were already veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom prior to being recalled toactive duty in July to support U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet missions inSouth and Central America. With a combined total of four deployments to Iraq and threedeployments to Haiti, the Seabee team was no stranger to challenging construction projects incontingency environments. The peacetime operations in Huaytara afforded them a welcomedopportunity to demonstrate their capabilities at deliberate planning and quality control."During nineteen years of service, I have done tours of duty in both Haiti and Iraq. Doingcontingency construction is a big difference from what we did here," said Kohles. "Duringcontingency construction, you build quickly and safely. Here in Huaytara, we taught thePeruvians that you can still build quickly and safely but with a high level of quality."Lt. Cmdr. Richard Reyes, foreign affairs officer and the Humanitarian Assistance Program(HAP) and Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA) manager at the U.S. MAAG Peru,discussed the quality of work performed during the construction exercise."Having dealt with numerous civic action construction projects in Peru as the HAP and HCAmanager in the MAAG, I am extremely impressed with the construction quality of thisauditorium and the professionalism demonstrated by these Seabees. The Bees delivered a projectthat surpasses any HCA construction Ive seen in Peru in an austere environment and at the sametime prepared the Peruvian engineers for their coming deployment to Haiti," said Reyes."I cant say enough about what these Seabees accomplished, not only with the constructionproject in Huaytara, but more importantly with building relationships with the local communityand our Peruvian military counterparts. Its amazing what three very motivated Seabees can do."The same sentiment was echoed by Rear Adm. George W. Ballance, director of TheaterEngagement at the United States Southern Command, who visited the site Dec. 6."The project offered the unique opportunity to train Peruvian engineers preparing to deploy insupport of a United Nations peacekeeping mission while providing an outstanding facility to thegreat townspeople of Huaytara," said Ballance. 8
  • 9. Despite an aggressive schedule and the inevitable logistical hurdles that come from running aconstruction project 9,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, Kohles and his teamfound time during their off-hours for a significant number of volunteer community relationsprojects. Earlier in the mission, the team repaired and renovated Huaytaras town fountain inpreparation for the towns anniversary celebration. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, they repaireda damaged gate at the local hospital. Johnson spent several evenings upgrading electrical servicesand repairing faulty wiring for the towns residents. Finally, the team constructed a volleyballcourt for the towns children near the new auditorium, leaving a lasting memory of the team andits experiences in Peru."Starting at the personal level, these Navy Seabees have woven themselves into the communityof Huaytara and have significantly strengthened the relationship between the US and Peru," saidMichael Fitzpatrick, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the United States in Lima, Peru.The Seabees participated in an inauguration ceremony for the auditorium, Dec. 12, during whichcustody of the building was formally transferred to the town of Huaytara. It represented a mutualcelebration of the hard work and dedication shown by all of those who contributed to the successof the construction project.As part of the ceremony, the team was treated to a traditional dance by the towns children on thenewly constructed stage in the auditorium. Following the ceremony, the sight of Huaytarasstudents enjoying their new volleyball court left the Seabees with a well-earned sense of pride attheir contributions to the town."During our last night here, we had families running out to thank us for all we did for the town ofHuaytara," said Kohles. "This has been a great deployment and I know we made a great name forall branches of military here in Peru."USNAVO/C4F employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order tomaintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regionalsecurity in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility. Return to Top StoriesEOD Trains Stennis Sailors with Unique Qualificationshttp://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=71365By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel Schumacher, USS John C. Stennis PublicAffairsUSS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- Personnel assigned to Explosive Ordnance DisposalMobile Unit (EODMU) 3 are training non-EOD Sailors in special operations tactics aboard the 9
  • 10. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).Once a week, Sailors selected by their division meet in the hangar bay for hands-on training forthe naval special warfare basic roper qualification."I want to offer something new for the hard working Sailors trying to better themselves andexperience something unique they can tell their friends and family about," said ExplosiveOrdnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Aaron Rickel, from Ketchikan, Alaska. "I want this toprove that doing more than whats expected of you and being professional will pay off."Rickel began teaching the course with the assistance of other EOD technicians and plans tocontinue providing training until every division aboard the ship gets an opportunity to attend."It was an amazing experience," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Lindsay Frizzel, fromWestchester, N.Y. "Im glad I had the chance to try something like this underway."Rickel begins his training by teaching Sailors to rappel using a harness. With this method,another Sailor, called a belay, uses his own body weight as a counterbalance to the descendingSailor."[Rickel] was very patient with everybody and worked with each of us individually until wewere comfortable enough to continue the training," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class DanielBorboa, from Sierra Vista, Ariz. "I had a blast going through the training."After Rickel is confident a Sailor is able to descend proficiently and safely, the Sailor will beoffered training in more advanced methods, including fast-roping.The final step in the naval special warfare basic roper training and qualification is to perform allof the techniques from a helicopter in mid-flight and, once qualified, the Sailor will be eligible toparticipate in any non-operational rappelling or fast-roping exercises.The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9,Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forwarddeployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility to strengthen regional partnerships, sustainmaritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area. Return to Top StoriesGolden Gate bridges strategic Afghan crossinghttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/100063/golden-gate-bridges-strategic-afghan-crossing#ixzz2HbJAB8loStory by Staff Sgt. Derek M. Smith411th Engineer Brigade 10
  • 11. BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – As NATO forces work toward bridging the gap frommilitary operations to a self-sufficient Afghanistan, Army, Navy and Marine engineers of JointTask Force Empire took the mission literally as they conducted Operation Golden Gate nearSangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan, through the months of November and December.Golden Gate was a Regional Command-Southwest combined-joint engineering mission toconstruct a bridge complex spanning the Helmand River in southwest Afghanistan. Theoperation design was to improve mobility at the Sabit Qadam Flood Plain Crossing across theHelmand River. This strategic crossing links the Sangin, Musa Qa‟lah and Now Zad districtsclose to Forward Operating Base Sabit Qadam (Jackson).The mission carried strong strategic importance for coalition and Afghan National SecurityForces, as well as the local Afghan population. It also carried historical and inherent naturalchallenges. The waterways are highly unpredictable, as the shoals (intermediate land masses) andsurrounding areas typically flood from January through May.“The research, concept development and engineering design surrounding the crossing of theHelmand River was enormously difficult, especially conducting this phase of the operation froma combat zone with minimal resources,” explained Maj. Michael J. Hults, P.E.,RC-SW/Wcoordination cell officer in charge and Operation Golden Gate mission commander. “TheHelmand is considered a braided river due to the network of adjacent channels, shoals, sandbarsand rapids. Braided rivers are known for having erratic hydrologic activity and a dynamictopography which makes predicting either component extremely difficult. Further, any addedman-made feature will ultimately have effects that cannot be readily forecasted."“Our specific scenario leads to a crossing point that is furthermore a floodplain during themonths of March through May when the Kajaki Reservoir swells from the melting of thesurrounding mountain‟s snowpack,” Hults continued. “The river levels can fluctuate by as muchas eight feet during these flood periods. How do you construct a year-round expeditionarycrossing point for both military and civilian traffic through, over or on top of a floodplain that ishighly unpredictable, all the while trying not to negatively impact the local populace? Also, addto this scarce and subpar construction materials, a small budget and the fact that it will beconstructed in a combat zone. Now, that‟s a challenge!”Hults said the solution began digitally by developing a virtual river model through software thatuses empirical data and complex algorithms to predict the hydraulic events and subsequentoutcomes.“The way it was actually solved here was to have the RC-SW/W coordination cell design aroundagreed upon assumptions, available materials, time constraints and the various constructingunit‟s assets and abilities,” said Hults. “Further, the cell identified and evaluated different riskfactors and developed engineering solutions that could be implemented to mitigate the potentialnegative outcomes to a point where the risk was acceptable.”“Another challenge to this mission was the highly kinetic project site and the diminished battlespace owner personnel. The [Marines] experienced a huge drawdown of infantry personnel 11
  • 12. during the recent surge recovery,” Hults recalled as he described the many security aspectsinvolved in a project of this scale. “It took a combined joint effort to keep the constructing unitssafe and secure. Even with the numerous entities coming together, the battle space owner stillfelt the pinch of thinning personnel resources due to the requirements of this mission.”Coordinating with the local contractors for material delivery was another hurdle to overcome.The project required crushed stone for soil stabilization and 60 concrete box culverts forhydraulic pressure relief along the elevated causeway. The contractors were hired, but requiredsecurity and, were susceptible to delays due to route clearance requirements along the roads tothe site. Additionally, military dump trucks delivered approximately 1,700 tons of riprap fromCamp Leatherneck to the project site.“Riprap is large broken concrete or boulders used to shield shorelines, abutments and levees toprevent scouring and erosion from flowing water,” Hults elaborated. “The riprap available atLeatherneck was plentiful and consisted of large chunks of concrete from an old air strip.Without the proper amount and type of riprap emplaced on the bridge complex, the structurewould have surely failed during the first flood season. “The flood season caused major problems with past projects at the site. Two previous bridgingoperations were beat back by the elevated water levels of the flood plain. Originally, a 12-baymedium girder bridge was constructed in the area for seasonal crossing in August 2010. Thesebridges can cover a 31-meter gap. A constructed earthen shoal ramp decreased the original gap to25 meters. The high river level forced the removal of the MGB the following January. A secondattempt constructed another earthen shoal ramp, decreasing the gap to 28 meters and emplacedan MGB in October 2011. The high river level again forced an emergency bridge removal inMarch 2012. The repeated earthwork had caused the river to scour the shoal and increased thegap width to 50 meters.“Each time this earthwork was introduced into the river, it drastically changed the topography.During the flood season after the 2010 MGB emplacement, the river cut through both earthenpiers,” Hults explained. Riprap was added to the west side earthen pier in preparation for thefollowing crossing season. “This caused the raging river to redirect the flow until it not onlyerased the east side pier, it scoured approximately 20m of the hard pack shoal, thereforeincreasing the main river channel width."The Marine 8th Engineer Support Battalion conducted a recon of the site in June 2012 anddetermined an MGB could no longer span the gap. Additionally, the shoal was too severelyscoured to emplace another earthen ramp. Combined recon teams revisited the site in July,August and September. A final survey in December was used to develop the “as-built” drawings.The final solution consisted of two 17-bay Acrow bridges with a 300-meter interconnectingelevated causeway system. After providing a full design package, JTF Empire was tasked withthe development and overseeing the construction of the project.Regional Combat Team 7 secured the floodplain site as the 12th Georgian Battalion and AfghanNational Security Forces conducted security on the east side of the river. Naval MobileConstruction Battalion 133, Task Force Anchor and the 12th Georgian Battalion secured the 12
  • 13. immediate project site. The 507th Engineer Battalion, TF Warhammer, provided route clearancepatrols in the area as constant aerial over watch was maintained.Through the efforts of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, Afghan awareness of the project wasincreased with meetings with district governors and various ANSF officials as well asinformative engagements with the local populace about project status and benefits. AfghanNational Army escorts coordinated with the Marines to ensure delivery of building supplies forthe project.TF Anchor took the onsite lead on the bridge complex construction. The Seabees modified theexisting pier by both increasing the elevation and width. They constructed levee systems andbridge abutments and formed the elevated causeway with crushed stone and local fill. Finally,they compacted, shaped and graded the bridge complex. Box culverts were installed within theelevated causeway. Riprap hauled by the ANA 2nd Battalion, 215th Brigade engineers wasemplaced along the levees, bridge abutments, causeway and around the culverts.Engineers worked 24 hours a day for 50 days straight on rotating 12-hour shifts underincreasingly harsh winter conditions, a steady diet of heater meals, long convoys to and from thesite, and a daunting task ahead. The engineers of Golden Gate faced the challenge.“The morale was the lowest in the beginning of the project when the extensiveness of theconstruction seemed insurmountable,” Hults recalled. “Once the Seabees started to extensivelychange the landscape of the floodplain through their relentless efforts, morale continuallyimproved until culminating with mission completion."“Morale was very high,” agreed Sgt. 1st Class Jason Armano, 411th Engineer Brigade chiefbridging non-commissioned officer. “They were eager to get the job done. They worked 12 hourshifts. The night crew had it the hardest. The temperature at night was below freezing making itdifficult to work in. Construction went as smoothly as any construction project goes. It had itsissues and hurdles that any construction project needs to overcome, but the Army, Marines andSeabees worked through it to get the mission accomplished.”Members of JTF Empire, TF Warhammer and the 132nd Multirole Bridge Company installed thefirst Acrow bridge Nov. 22-24, on the Sangin side of the Helmand River. The bridge was 170feet long and 14 feet wide with the capability to span a 150 foot gap. It will support normal one-way traffic. The river can rise 10 feet before causing the need to remove the bridge. A second,similar bridge was then installed Dec. 7-13, at the Musa Qa‟lah side of the river. The river levelcan rise 9 feet before the bridge would need to be removed.“This was our first really big bridge build in country,” Sgt. Matthew Coleman, squad leader, 2ndPlatoon, 132nd MRBC. “What really made the difference were the soldiers out there doing thework. They were the ones who made it happen. They worked hard. They didn‟t complain. Theywere out there ready to go. We came together as a team.”The ANA 215th Brigade soldiers provided project site security including vehicular checkpoints,ferry station checkpoints, local contractor site security and interpreter support. The ANA 13
  • 14. leadership provided the local populace project-related information keeping a constantcommunication line open, further garnering strong support. Afghan Uniformed Police assistedwith ferry checkpoints, security support and traffic control.A contingency of Seabees will remain on Sabit Qadam to monitor the bridge complex andprovide maintenance and emergency repair support, as they transition the mission to the 215thANA engineers. Members of JTF Empire will continue to regularly visit the site to verify bridgeintegrity and provide maintenance support. During the flood season (January-April), data will becollected to provide RC-SW recommendations for any site upgrades.The mission‟s result is greatly improved freedom of movement for coalition members, ANSFand the surrounding Afghan population which had become dependent on lengthy alternate routesor a limited and costly ferry system.“The local population had to use a crude ferry system to get their vehicles, livestock andthemselves across the area,” explained Armano. “The ferries only operated during daylighthours. Now with the levee system and the two bridges installed they can cross the area freely.”“A more accessible and quicker crossing point will save logistic, engineer and security convoysvaluable time, especially when bases are few and far between and the distances required to travelgrows. It will benefit the military base demilitarization process. ” added Hults. “The locals travelback and forth across the river to bring their livestock and goods to the different bazaars. Prior tothe bridge, the locals relied on a ferry system as a paid service. The ferry process was also slowand unreliable. “The meticulously planned and cooperatively executed mission has its biggest challenge waitingat the end of winter with the quickly approaching flood season. The engineers are steadfast intheir confidence of the new crossing, as well as its lasting effect.“The mission was incredibly successful as witnessed by the construction of an impressive bridgecomplex within time and budget and, the extremely positive atmospherics of the localpopulation. From the standpoint of the local populace, ANSF, coalition forces and theengineering community, this was a huge success,” stated Hults. “For the first time since weoperated in the Helmand province, It brings year-round freedom of movement while, providing aquality of life improvement for the locals. It strengthens security, commerce and prosperity forthe local population.” Return to Top Stories 14
  • 15. A Seabee Christmashttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/100042/seabee-christmas#ixzz2HbJTRNF0Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Aron Taylor Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1ROTA, Spain - The holiday season is always a hard time to be away from family and loved ones,but for the deployed Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, this seasonwas just a little easier thanks to the folks of Operation Gratitude.According to their mission statement, “Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale and put smiles onfaces by sending care packages addressed to individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marinesdeployed in harm‟s way, to their children left behind, and to veterans, wounded warriors and firstresponders. Operation Gratitude care packages contain food, hygiene products, entertainmentitems and personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support.”The idea for having packages sent to the battalion came form Personnel Specialist (PS) 2Kenneth Gates. While at a previous command PS2 Gates had received a package from theorganization and it greatly impacted his morale. So it seemed fitting to him to order packages foreveryone deployed over the Christmas season.Packages began arriving a few days after Christmas, and troops began lining up outside thepostal office to see if theirs had arrived yet. Happy recipients could be seen walking around withboxes marked with the Operation Gratitude‟s logo, people peering into one another‟s boxes tosee what everyone had gotten. It was like a widespread Christmas morning that extended overthe course of a few days. The packages took most by surprise and uplifted spirits within thecommand.“It was cool to receive an unexpected gift. It really brightened my spirit, and all of the candy hasbegun to make me fat”, Steelworker Second Class Bryan Long shared.PS2 Gates said, “I hope this event helps someone to remember this for their future, and I hopethey will do something like this for their peers. I am just thankful there are groups out therewilling to take time out during their holidays to remember the troops by sending in packages andpacking boxes to be sent out.”All in all the experience is one they troops of NMCB 1 will not soon forget. It‟s given them asmall break from the mission at hand and is all due to the thoughtfulness and time of a group ofpeople willing to put action to their concern for the troops. Return to Top Stories 15
  • 16. NMCB 133 Detail Bravo honors fallen with a Christmas Eve Run toRememberhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99824/nmcb-133-detail-bravo-honors-fallen-with-christmas-eve-run-remember#ixzz2HbJjLi7qCourtesy Story by Naval Mobile Constructions Battalion 133KUWAIT – With temperatures in the high 40‟s, the troops of Naval Mobile ConstructionBattalion 133‟s Detail Bravo got together for a 2.5 mile Run to Remember sponsored bymembers of the Army Support Group – Kuwait Dec. 24.The Run to Remember gave the detail a chance to honor their fallen brothers and sisters of thearmed forces this holiday season. The group of runners, that included service members from theArmy, Marine Corps and Navy, started the ceremony by introducing themselves. Following ablessing for the health and safety of the runners by the chaplain of the ASG-KU ResiliencyCenter, the runners took a moment of silence to honor the fallen before starting the motivationalformation run.Throughout the run, Detail Bravo maintained the group‟s motivation by leading the cadences andsetting the pace. The group ran two laps around the perimeter of the Life Support Area singingloud and proud.Detail Bravo‟s senior enlisted adviser Senior Chief Equipment Operator James Brock was at thefront of the formation representing the Seabees and gave all an opportunity to reflect on theimportance of the camaraderie they share.NMCB 133 is currently deployed to the U.S Central Command area of responsibility to supportengineering operations. Return to Top StoriesSpotlight on diversity: Seabee exhibits strong devotion to dutyhhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99809/spotlight-diversity-seabee-exhibits-strong-devotion-duty#ixzz2HbJyKLUtStory by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 16
  • 17. GULFPORT, Miss. – Construction Electrician 3rd Class Olorunshola Olukera, assigned to NavalMobile Construction Battalion 11, isn‟t going home for the holidays this year. He continuesstriving for personal and professional excellence since an October visit to see his family inNigeria, his first such visit in more than five years.Originally from Lagos , Nigeria, Olukera took three weeks of leave in October and paid hisfamily a surprise visit.“My dad barely recognized me when I walked in, and my mom was crying,” said the soft spoken33-year-old.“I had to break my promise to visit my family during our homeport in 2011. They were able tounderstand that the circumstances were beyond my control,” said Olukera. His devotion to dutytook precedence in 2011 as NMCB-11 was in heavy preparation for its 2012 deployment toAfghanistan.Olukera came to the United States in 2007 to continue his education.“I always had this dream of continuing my education abroad,” stated Olukara who alsoconsidered moving to London. “I weighed the options, and I chose to come to the United States.I‟ve been loving it so far.”Olukera completed a three-year electronics program at the head of his class at a Nigeriantechnical college then took the opportunity to continue his education in the U.S. with a move toBowie, Md. and an enrollment at Capital College.When a Navy recruiter told the student about the education benefits available to sailors, Olukeradecided that an enlistment in the Navy would be the right move.“Thank god for the United States Navy because it has really shaped my life,” exclaimed Olukera.After completing Construction Electrician A-school, Olukera took orders to NMCB-11 inGulfport, Miss., with whom he has deployed to Guam and Afghanistan.While deployed to Guam, Olukera took some college classes, and he has plans to take more inthe spring.Olukera believes that “whatever is worth doing is worth doing well,” and because of thisphilosophy he has decided to limit his enrollment in school so that he may focus on his Navycareer.With less than four years of service, Olukera has advanced to the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Classin a very competitive Seabee community. He has also earned the Seabee Combat WarfareSpecialist qualification, his primary warfare qualification.“This is the best job I‟ve ever had,” stated Olukera. “I don‟t want to be an average sailor in the 17
  • 18. Navy. I want to be the best that I can be, and I also want to continue being an “A” student.”This desire for excellence and a strong faith in God guide Olukera‟s decisions.“I don‟t do things because of money. That‟s not the purpose. I only do things because I know itis right to do it and because I know I could use it to help people.”Olukera earned his U.S. citizenship in 2009, and, though his family doesn‟t fully understandeverything that the U.S. Navy is all about, they know how much it means to him and support hisdecision.“You know, it‟s pretty tough coming [to the U.S.] by yourself; starting from zero. But you know,life is a risk,” stated Olukera.Olukera would like to be able to visit his family every year, but responsibilities to the Navy andpersonal budget constraints put limits on how often he is able to make that trip.NMCB-11 is currently in the midst of a homeport cycle following an eight-month deployment toAfghanistan and is preparing for its next deployment, set to begin near the end of the summernext year. Return to Top StoriesNMCB 133 celebrates holidays, over the hump at MWR partyhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99772/nmcb-133-celebrates-holidays-over-hump-mwr-party#ixzz2HbK1J41BBy Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Myers Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133CAMP KRUTKE, Afghanistan - Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, also knownas Task Force Anchor, celebrated the holidays and the midpoint of their deployment with a partyhosted by the battalions Morale, Welfare, and Recreation division Dec. 23.Kicking off the festivities was a bench press competition and company Olympics, followed bythe judging for best decorated office and best gingerbread house.Lunch was sandwiched between, Santas arrival with his command element, Mrs. Claus and anelf, and his gift giving and awards.Santa was played by Lt. Cmdr. Craig Clutts, the battalions executive officer, Mrs. Claus byYeoman First Class Patricia Clemons, and the elf by Master Chief Construction UtilitiesmanClinton George.Following remarks from Commanding Officer Cmdr. Nicolas Yamodis, Santa passed out gifts to 18
  • 19. random Sailors, before calling forth from his bag of presents an awards binder with a gift for onelucky Seabee.Yamodis then promoted Equipment Operator Third Class Kareshia McGriff to Petty OfficerSecond Class through the command advancement program.Surprised and clearly emotional, McGriff could only utter one word. "Awesome," she whispered.Chief Warrant Officer Sidney Hunt was then presented with his Seabee Combat Warfare Officerinsignia.The crowd then broke to congratulate McGriff and Hunt, and enjoy some holiday food, musicand conversation. The command then regrouped for the competition awards presentations,calling the winners from the different events forward to receive plaques and various other gifts.In the bench press competition, Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Billy Hoy took first place inthe 200 pound male class with a combined three-lift total of 1060 pounds; ConstructionMechanic 3rd Class Tara Strieby took the150 pound female class with a total of 125 pounds; andConstruction Electrician Constructionman Chad Spaulding topped the 150 pound male class with470 pounds.In the company Olympics, Headquarters took top honors as Team Suppliers finished the fivestation course in 17 minutes and 10 seconds. In all, the course consisted of 33 tire flips, 13sledgehammer tire slams, a 13 yard humvee pull, 33 pull ups, 33 squats, a 33 yard sand bag"spelling bee", an M-9 and M-16 disassembly and assembly, and a litter carry between thestations that totaled 133 yards.The winner of the office decoration was Gunnery Sergeant Eric Pentek and the armory Gunner‟sMates, who wrapped every item in his office in festive holiday wrapping paper.Echo Company took the gingerbread house competition with a detailed rendition of CampKrutke.With all the festivities complete, the Seabees finished the day of relaxation with individualactivities including a bonfire, volleyball and basketball games, and a holiday movie marathon.NMCB 133 is currently deployed to support engineering operations of Joint Task Force Empirein Afghanistan and the U.S. Central Command area of operations Return to Top Stories 19
  • 20. Two Seabees receive ‘Badge of Merit’ in Afghanistanhttp://www.dvidshub.net/news/99677/two-seabees-receive-badge-merit-afghanistan#ixzz2HgMKnvs7By Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Verbis Naval Mobile Construction Batallion 133CAMP KRUTKE, Afghanistan – A formation of Seabees stood at attention as two membersfrom Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Task Force Anchor, received Purple Heartsduring an award ceremony Dec 13.Standing proudly in front of the stars and stripes, Builder Third Class Daniel Blount andEquipment Operator Third Class Steven Thelusma received the award from Brig. Gen. David L.Weeks, commanding general of the 411th Engineer Brigade, Joint Task Force Empire.Both recipients suffered injuries when their convoy was struck with an improvised explosivedevice while conducting missions outside of the wire.Blount, a native of Macon, Ga., who is serving his second deployment to Afghanistan,experienced the attack while his MRAP was traveling at low speed through rough terrain.“It‟s difficult to explain but it felt like a long blink,” Blount said. “The explosion knocked thegunner out of his turret and right onto me. I literally caught him. My first reaction was to checkon his condition and then immediately attend to my shipmates. I think we‟re fortunate.”“Afterward the Skipper telephoned my wife,” added Blount. “He let her know that I was going tomake it through this. That‟s really when it all sunk in.”Thelusma, a native of Roslindale, Mass., who is also serving his second deployment toAfghanistan, was operating an armored tractor trailer when his vehicle was struck.“All I can say is that I sincerely feel honored to receive this award. There‟s nothing we couldhave done to prevent (the attack),” said Thelusma. “But I do think that training played animportant role in the way we responded and pushed through a dangerous situation.”The two Seabees are expected to recover and complete their deployment in Afghanistan. 20
  • 21. “This is such a prestigious award,” said Blount. “So few have it and I feel humbled. I don‟t takethis for granted.”Once called the „Badge of Merit,‟ the Purple Heart is the military‟s oldest award dating back toGeorge Washington.Homeported in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB 133 is deployed to Afghanistan and the U.S. CentralCommand area of operations to assist coalition forces and provide engineering support to theAfghan government. Return to Top Stories 21