July 2011 Buzzword


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Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 Seabees hold a Change of Command ceremony and prepare for deployment with a battalion Field Training Exercise (FTX)!

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July 2011 Buzzword

  1. 1. CO’s Note NAVAL MOBILE CONSTRUCTION BATTALION FIVE A Life That Counts Is Determined By: 1. The Relationships That I Form Naval Base Ventura County Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. In my own life, I can see how relationships have shaped my character, values, and inter- To the Professionals of Five! est. I consider relationships to be my greatest treasures in life and an immense source of joy. Most people can trace their failures or successes to pivotal relationships. That’s because all relationships involve transference. When we interact with others we exchange energy, emotions, ideas, and values. Some relationships reinforce our values and uplift us; while others undercut our convictions and drain us. This month’s Buzzword, I started to tell you once again what an Relationship Rules awesome job you did during the Field Training Exercise, but then you Get along with yourself know that already. You may or may not know how well you did as a The one relationship you will have until you die is yourself. whole. You may know that FIVE set numerous FTX records such as; Value people Fastest Timber tower xx hrs You cannot make another person feel important if you secretly feel that he or she is a nobody. First RDSAT at the LSA during RSO&I Make the effort to form relationships Best camp layout, best showers and galley at an LSA in The result of a person who has never served others? Loneliness. recent memory Understand the Reciprocity Rule Most motivated unit despite turning over used and broken Over time, people come to share reciprocal, similar attitudes toward each other. gear in the field. Follow the Golden Rule Fastest and most Square Feet of ADR on record, and with The timeless principle: treat others the way you want to be treated. no accidents. 2. The Decisions That I Make Fastest time on record for Bailey Bridge set-up. Good decisions sometimes reap dividends years into the future, while bad decisions have a way of haunting us…..My friend, legendary basketball coach John Completed 19 projects 10 more than the 2 previous units Wooden, encourages leaders to, “Make every day your masterpiece.” Two ingredients are necessary for each day to be a masterpiece: decisions and discipline. I and most ahead of schedule with great quality. like to think of decisions as goal-setting and discipline as goal-getting. Decisions and discipline cannot be separated because one is worthless without the other. Fastest, smoothest Mass Casualty MEDEVAC drill in Good Decisions - Daily Discipline = A Plan without Payoff recent history. Daily Discipline - Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward The final move in and sweep was the best and fastest in Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Success recent times, 3. The Experiences That I Encounter Outstandingly all comm nets were up within 62 minutes, In addition to relationships and decisions, our lives are shaped by pivotal experiences. Whether triumphs or tragedies, our lives are molded by a shortlist of a new NCF record. prominent experiences. ….Oftentimes, we’re defined not so much in the moment of experience itself as in our response to the experience. Do we quit or re- And these are just a few of your accomplishments, in a long line bound? Do we harbor bitterness or choose to forgive? Do we blame or improve? Whatever the case, the experiences in our lives profoundly touch us….The life of accomplishments. So I won’t spend a lot of time bragging on you experiences we encounter are broad and varied, but here are a few brief pointers on gaining the most from them. and your teams. Instead I want to address some other recent Navy wide Evaluate experience issues that are affecting us. Experience isn’t the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher. Learn from mistakes and victories alike. Draw upon experiences to grow and gain wisdom. Due to cuts in the Navy’s FY-13 budget, the NCF will see its Manage the emotional aspects of experience first force structure reduction with a reduction of two active NMCBs by Pivotal moments come with a flood of emotions - at times positive, and at times negative. the end of FY-13. NCF leadership has identified NMCBs 7 and 40 as Teach yourself to counteract negative feelings and learn to harness the momentum of positive emotions. the two units that will be decommissioned. Share them through storytelling Regardless of the final outcome of these tough budget-driven decisions, Experiences are my richest repositories of teaching material. Make a habit of sharing the lessons learned from the experiences the NCF will remain ready and eager to help solve our supported com- that have shaped your life and your leadership. manders’ toughest challenges on a moment’s notice. REVIEW ADM John C. Harvey Jr., Commander, US Fleet Forces Command, Living a Life That Counts Is Determined By... recently commented, “Whatever happens with respect to our future The Relationships That I Form force structure or end strength, no one will ever, repeat ever, doubt the The Decisions That I Make CDR Scot T. Sanders extraordinary combat effectiveness and enduring value of the Navy’s The Experiences That I Encounter Commanding Officer, NMCB 5 Seabees!” Strength and Honor In addition many are facing PTS and the newest Enlisted Reten- FINAL THOUGHTS tion Boards. It is personally painful for me to see so many awesome If you’re not doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter how long you live. If you’re doing something with your life, then it doesn’t matter men and women affected by these issues. So, I must encourage you how short your life may be. A life is not measured by years lived, but by its usefulness. If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding to stay the course, continue to be positive, no matter the direction or value to others, then you’re living a life that counts! course set before you. Your families, friends and shipmates are count- John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have ing on you to make your life count. In the end it is not about medals, trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 ribbons, Battle “E”, championships or even praise. Real leaders are companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, needed everywhere… in society, in the market place, in the military, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World’s Top and at Home. I’d like to leave you with excerpts from an article that I Leadership Guru by Leadershipgurus.net. He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his believe sums it it up pretty well. Taken from “A Life That Counts “By books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a mil- Dr. John C. Maxwell http://www.giantimpact.com/articles/read/article_ lion copies. a_life_that_counts/ Finally, I would like to express to you what an HONOR and privilege it has been to serve you. Your enthusiasm, motivation, and dedication drove me each day to get up and to try and make a positive difference. CO’s Note As I age, I gain perspective on the illusion of wealth and status Thank you to the great Leaders at every level of Command!!! And thanks to each of you. as forms of fulfillment. I don’t want my life to be measured by dollars Strength and Honor will forever hold a special place in my heart because it is no longer just an old Roman phrase, or a phrase the US Special forces and cents, or the number of books I’ve authored. Rather, I want to be uses, it will forever remind me of the Professional men and women with whom I served and who marched into the desert into the heart of Taliban country and remembered by the lives that I’ve touched. I want live a life that counts. brought every single person back unharmed while succeeding brilliantly. With each day that passes, I feel a greater sense of urgency to make sure my time and energy are invested in developing leaders. Your foundation of Strength is the tri-pod of life strong mind (Head), spirit (Heart) and body (will) and the courage live with HONOR is your Character and Caring about people, families, and teams. Finally, remember your Attitude in life is self-fulling so be positive and expect the best from yourself and those around you. BE A GRIZZLY!!! OORAH!! AND GOD BLESS!! Strength and Honor, S. T. Sanders NMCB 5 I The Professionals 1 Commanding Officer NMCB 5 I The Professionals 2
  2. 2. Medevac Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 carried a patient to a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to simulate a medical evacuation (MEDE- VAC) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. on April 20, 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. Operation Bearing Duel is a Field Training Exercise (FTX) that tests the battal- ion’s capability to deploy and conduct operations in a contingency environment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume)
  3. 3. Change of Command Commander Peter J. Maculan relieves Commander Scot T. Sanders as the Commanding Officer of NMCB 5 during Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 sstand at parade rest during a Change of a Change of Command ceremony June 28, 2011 in Port Hueneme, Calif. Photo by CM2(SCW/AW) Carl Gayton. Command ceremony June 28, 2011 in Port Hueneme, Calif. Photo by CM2(SCW/AW) Carl Gayton. NMCB 5 Change of Command NMCB 5’s 2011 homeport has been filled with many accomplishments and achievements. During a By MC2(SCW) Ace Rheaume four week period early in homeport, the battalion conducted three Command Post Exercises(CPX), two on Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, and one at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) Commander Sanders will report to Naval Organization (JIEDDO) battle force site on Naval Air Station Point Mugu, to help increase deployment 5, currently homeported at Naval Base Ventura Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii as the readiness. During the CPXs, companies in the battalion practiced setting up a camp, establishing a defense, County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, Calif. has a new Operations Officer. “No Battalion in the NCF has installing communications, and performing patrols and convoys. Each company was tested while executing commanding officer. Commander Peter J. Maculan had more asked of them over the last two years, and a wide array of combat, construction and logistics scenarios. relieved Commander Scot T. Sanders on June 28, no battalion has delivered as much to war fighters The battalion’s annual homeport Super Squad competition concluded in March and was the climax of 2011 as the commanding officer of NMCB 5. as The Professionals. It has truly been an honor and three months of squad-based competitions to include various military tactics, physical training, uniform and Under Commander Sanders’ leadership, privilege to have worked with such a great group of room inspections, drill competitions, completion of admin requirements (PDHA, ISO Preps, DTS, etc…), NMCB 5 successfully completed two deployments men and women. I’ve been fortunate to have been safety exams and Seabee history exams. The final event was held on a holiday dedicated to the first Medal to Afghanistan supporting combat operations for in some great battalions on every tour, but none has of Honor recipients in 1863, known as National Medal of Honor day. the First Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF) and been as good as this group. I’d go anywhere with NMCB 5 also participated in several Field Training Exercises (FTXs) this homeport to prepare for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, these guys.” deployment. A Squad Leader FTX, Chiefs and Officers FTX and Operation bearing Duel 2011, the Battal- Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A). During the two deploy- Commander Maculan, a graduate of the ion FTX held in April. During Operation Bearing Duel, each specific company and department was tested ments, NMCB 5 executed over 100,000 mandays of University of Maryland, received his commission through various training scenarios that Seabees may deal with while operating in a contingency environ- construction, providing outstanding support to 41 through Officer Candidate School in 1994. He ment. Some scenarios included Chemical Biological and Radiological (CBR), Mass Casualty and simulated Forward Operating Bases, Combat Outposts, Fire reported to NMCB after completing a tour at Na- attacks. Bases, and Patrol Bases throughout Afghanistan, val Facilities Engineering Command Far East in NMCB 5 is currently compromised of over 600 personnel and has earned a reputation for excellence safely executing over 312 combat ground move- Yokosuka Japan, where he provided outstanding and professionalism during the 63 years of its existence. The unit has earned the Battle “E” or Best of Type ments and completing more than 100 projects. engineering support after the earthquake and tsu- award 13 times, the Peltier Award four times, and the Golden Anchor for retention excellence six times. The NMCB 5 earned the Battle “E” and Peltier Awards nami. “NMCB FIVE has a reputation throughout proud tradition that is represented by its “Can Do” spirit is as much a part of “The Professionals” of FIVE as the Best Battalion in the NCF, and the Marine the Naval Construction Force for their professional- today as it was with their predecessors. Corps Engineer Association’s Outstanding Naval ism, commitment to the mission, and tremendous NMCB 5 is scheduled to deploy to Europe and Africa and will build on the training from homeport Unit for 2009. accomplishments. I am humbled by the opportunity and FTX while executing future missions. to lead and serve with these amazing Seabees.” NMCB 5 I The Professionals 5 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 6
  4. 4. Relay For LifeConstruction Mechanic 2nd Class (SCW) Tydess Revilla (Right), a Seabee attachedto Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Headquarters Company, runswith his father Builder Senior Chief Alec Caligagan during the Annual Port HuenemeRelay for Life Fundraising Event in Oxnard, Calif. May 15, 2011. Relay for Life is 24-hour event which teams take turns walking or running around a path to celebratethe lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fightback against the disease. Revilla ran for over 40 miles during the event. (U.S. NavyPhoto by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume)
  5. 5. Relay For Life Charlie Company Equipment Operator 3rd Class (SCW) Alexander Polivy, a Sea- bee attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Air Detachment (Air Det), smiles as he holds up NMCB 5’s track sign at the Annual Port Hueneme Relay for Life Fund- raising Event in Oxnard, Calif. May 15, 2011. Polivy raised over 2,500 dollars for the event. NMCB 5 raised over 6,500 dol- lars to support the American Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5’s Charlie Company, man the lines Cancer Society. April 17, 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. Charlie Through The Roof! The 2011 Field Training Exercise (FTX) for The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life NMCB Five was, as the Commanding Officer stated, one of the best he has ever seen. The battalion conducted a By BU2(SCW) Sarah Hedge series of projects, convoys, patrols, all of which were car- ried out to exceed the highest of expectations. On May 14-15, the 2011 Relay For Life was Throughout the day there was at least one During FTX many battalions hit a point where they held at the Port Hueneme High School. The Ameri- person from each team walking or running around “fall off the wagon”, according to Commander Sanders, can Cancer Society’s Relay started 26 years ago by the track to represent their organization. Around NMCB Five never fell off of the proverbial wagon. Five Dr. Gordy Klatt. He ran and walked around a track 2:00 A.M. it started to rain, which did not deter the continued throughout the training evolution showing the in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours to raise money walkers from stopping nor slowing down. upmost professionalism, keeping high moral and continu- for cancer research. In the last decades the event The walk had many themes, such as 80s, ing to give an outstanding performance. has grown to encompass more than 3.5 million where people brought out the spandex and big hair, Some of the evaluators commented on the superb people in over 20 different countries to fundraise a nerd theme, with white tape on the glasses and abilities and performance of Charlie lines, stating that and make others aware of the impact of cancer. all. There was also a dance off, where anyone could their aggressors were having a difficult, if not impossible, The event drew 41 teams, 311 participants, “compete”, with many talented dancers pulling time infiltrating the lines due to the excellent leadership and raised $37,780 in funds for the American moves such at the sprinkler. and communication throughout Charlie Company’s de- Cancer Society’s fight against the deadly disease. The relay brought many people together, fense. With 50 participants from NMCB Five, the battal- friends and strangers alike, to join in the fight Tasking for Charlie was through the roof. The ion made up over 16 percent of those taking part in against one of the world’s number one killers, company was fragmented with over four SWAhuts, a four the walk. Five also stepped numbers up by raising cancer. The reason for the Relay is to bring the com- hole burnout, and a command bunker, all of which were $7000, $2375 of which was singlehandedly raised munity together and raise awareness about Cancer, executed with quality work and timeliness. The bunker by Air Det’s Alex Polivy. as well as the resources offered by the American crew set a record on time and quality of their finished The Relay had small fundraisers throughout Cancer Society. It is also to celebrate and honor product. the track, including face paintings, luminarias, and those brave victims of the disease who are taking a In all aspects Charlie Company did a phenomenal a dunk tank provided by the battalion which in itself stand against Cancer. NMCB Five was a huge part job on the FTX, setting the standard for companies of any raised $240 to contribute to the cancer research. in honoring those affected and taking their part to battalion in work ethic, moral, and tactical readiness. The event started with an opening ceremony, thank- find a cure. The comradery that was bred through the hard time ing and congratulating the teams and the survivors. of being in the field for three weeks will continue through After which was a heart touching walk around the the remaining months of homeport as well as the upcom- track by the cancer survivors. The rest of the teams ing deployment. The exercise built the battalion up not spread out around the track to cheer on the brave only as a team, but also on the individual level, giving souls who were fighting the disease. Five the training needed to have successful deployment. NMCB 5 I The Professionals 9 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 10
  6. 6. FTX A ground guide for Convoy Security Ele- Builder Construction- ment (CSE) attached to Naval Mobile man (SCW) Anna Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 mine Carterette, a Charlie resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle Company Seabee through an entry control point (ECP) at attached to Naval Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. on April 15, Mobile Construction 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. Battalion (NMCB) 5, Operation Bearing Duel is a Field Train- conducts a patrol at ing Exercise (FTX) that tests the battalion’s Fort Hunter Liggett, capability to deploy and conduct opera- Calif. on April 23, tions in a contingency environment. 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. Operation Bearing Duel 2011 By MC2(SCW) Ace Rheaume Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction realistic feel to NMCB 5’s training exercise. The actors During a mass casualty drill scenario, a UH-60 Battalion (NMCB) 5 participated in Operation Bearing all spoke in their native language and interacted with Blackhawk helicopter flew into a landing zone (LZ) out- Duel 2011, a Field Training Exercise (FTX) to pre- the battalion through embedded interpreters. The use side of camp to simulate a medical evacuation (MEDE- pare them for an upcoming deployment to Europe and of the role pliers dramatically increased the level of VAC). NMCB 5 provided security and prepped patients Africa. The exercise took place at Fort Hunter Liggett, realism to the training scenarios and provided valuable for transport. “It makes a big difference going through Calif. during the month of April. The 31st Seabee training to the Seabees. these scenarios, especially with the helicopter,” said Army Readiness Group (SRG) evaluated NMCB 5 on all NMCB 5 received praise from the 31st SRG and Sgt. Michael Ferguson a field medic attached to C Co. aspects of battalion operations from tactical responses achieved milestones never accomplished on FTX be- 1/168 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB). “A lot to technical construction capabilities. Each specific fore such as setting up the RDSAT. The LSA was one of times we get to theater and have to train people up on company and department was tested through various of the best of recent battalions and received accolades this aircraft and its procedures. Any chance you have to training scenarios that Seabees may encounter while for the quality showers, galley and top notch lay out. train on it, you have to understand what’s involved.” operating in a contingency environment. In addition the battalion managed to turnover projects The main body element of the battalion relocated Despite many challenging missions, NMCB 5 from NMCBs 23 and 4. From the LSA, the battalion to multiple FOBs over the course of FTX. Moving the executed each mission phenomenally and with a posi- moved twice and built two FOBS superbly executing camp took tremendous teamwork from all the companies Convoy Security Element (CSE) Seabees attached tive attitude. Countless hours of planning and training the second jump and establishing 360 degree security and Staff. Setting security and maintaining clear commu- to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) is incorporated into the battalion’s homeport schedule around the camp perimeter in less than 30 minutes. nications were vital during battalion jump and everyone 5, Construction Electrician 3rd Class (SCW) Scott in preparation for FTX and deployment. According to many evaluators, the battalion set record executed their portion of the mission tirelessly. Around the Caha (Left) applies face camouflage to Builder “FTX is a culmination of all the training we times for many of the training evolutions. camp, single strand concertina wire was setup in 70 min- Constructionman Jessicalee Green before a do in homeport,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class During FTX, NMCB 5 was tested with construc- utes and double strand concertina wire was setup within convoy at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. on April 24, (SCW) Mario Gonzalez from Headquarters (HQ) tion projects, convoys to FOBS and other missions six hours after the first arrival of troops to the FOB, the 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. Company. “This is the final exam that the 31st SRG battalions may routinely perform on deployment. fastest in recent NMCB records. Each company provided evaluates to ensure that the battalion is ready to de- Some of these missions included Airfield Damage Re- an essential role to accomplish the battalion’s overall mis- ploy.” pair (ADR), Bailey Bridge construction and Southwest sion. NMCB 5 started FTX after arriving at Fort Hunt- Asia (SWA) hut construction. The battalion also dealt Headquarters (HQ) Company and Staff provided er Liggett and quickly built a Logistics Support Area with simulated scenarios to include Chemical, Bio- logistics and critical support for both the Command (LSA) Stethem. An LSA is a self-sufficient camp used logical and Radiological (CBR) attacks, Improvised Operations Center (COC) and alternate COC. 24-hour to conduct pre-gaming operations, offer unit-driven Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Indirect Fire (IDF) watches were manned in the COC to monitor enemy sig- training (UDT) as well as projects. This area simulated drills. The 31st SRG evaluated and provided feedback nificant activities and command and control of the entire a secure Forward Operating Bas (FOB). on each scenario conducted. Overall 17 construction battalion through the use of effective communications Defense Training Systems provided foreign na- projects were successfully completed, six more than supported by the Communications (S6) shop. In COC, all tive actors for role played scenarios that help give a originally scheduled. operations such as project management, battalion attain- NMCB 5 I The Professionals 11 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 12
  7. 7. FTX ment, troop movements and accountability, unit call signs and higher adjacent support (HAS), convoys and patrols were tracked through the Battalion Operations (S3) board. Critical information also played an impor- tant role by the Battalion Intelligence (S2) team. The S2 team provided real-time analysis of the enemy after analyzing significant activities, weapons capabilities, etc… in order to develop the most appropriate defen- sive posture. The Supply department operated quickly and efficiently to issue supplies and materials for all opera- tions. They supplied line companies concertina wire for security, lumber and tools for projects, meals ready to eat (MRE)’s, and many other supplies needed for Headquarters (HQ) Company attached to Naval NMCB 5 to operate in the field. Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 use M-256 The S6 shop supplied communications gear and chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) test kit performed maintenance on all communications assets at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. on April 16, 2011 dur- used during FTX. In addition, they setup the Rugge- ing Operation Bearing Duel 2011. dized Deployable Satellite Terminal (RD-SAT) in 3 hrs 15 minutes (a battalion RD-SAT record), and had all network communications, six channels, setup in 62 minutes. The medical team provided tremendous support Builder Constructionman Jose Parra, a Seabee attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) for over 135 patients with injuries ranging including 5 listens to a chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) decontamination brief at Fort Hunter Liggett, dehydration, sprains, gastrointestinal issues and even a Calif. on April 17, 2011 during Operation Bearing Duel 2011. stroke. Alfa Company provided mobility support even traffic flowing in and out of camp and dealt with numerous scenarios at the gate. The camp maintenance crew prior to the start of FTX. A week before the exercise, played a vital role in planning the camp layout and managing power distribution and shower facilities. Alfa started line hauling Construction Engineering Charlie Company Seabees were the backbone of main body vertical construction that occurred at FTX. The Support Equipment (CESE) up to Fort Hunter Liggett. projects constructed included a command bunker, multiple SWA Huts, and security towers. They also constructed CESE such as dozers, dump trucks, rollers, grad- a Bailey Bridge in 16 hours (another record time), and punched out two Detachments in support of Battalion ers, fuel trucks, fork lifts, back hoes, High Mobility Operations. Charlie Company provided fire security for their sector as well as an active reserve force for interior Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV’s), front- security operations. Charlie and Alfa companies conducted join patrols several times a day outside the wire to end loaders, Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement extend the security perimeter and deter enemy from infiltrating the camp. (MTVR) cargo trucks and 400-gallon water bulls were The Air Detachment (Air Det) performed extremely well away from Main Body. Moving FOB’s multiple used to support battalion’s mission. Alfa’s Equipment times, while efficiently breaking down their camp, and re-establishing and maintaining defenses around their area Operators (EO) and Construction Mechanics (CM) of operations (AO). They provided security for their own camp, constructed projects and carried out missions to operated and managed CESE as well as transporta- include SWA Huts, an ECP bunker and security towers. Air Det also conducted an embark exercise at the end of tion operations. Fighting positions were manned on FTX where all vehicles pallets were prepped and staged to fly out on a notional aircraft. Since this is the same Alfa lines to protect their sector of fire. Alfa Company process for moving equipment and materials for deployment, it was pertinent that everything was weighed and executed the fastest ever ADR mission with a time of marked correctly to maintain equal distribution on the planes. six hours. Mission tasks included a Vertical Takeoff Finally, the Convoy Security Element (CSE) played a vital role as a mobile security for various troop and Landing (VTOL) strip that measured 96x96 ft of movements and to project sites. CSE also served as security when the main body and Air Det jumped FOB’s and Airfield Matting (AM-2), and the repair of two 6x35 ft secured the area prior to move-in. “CSE as a whole did amazing this FTX,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class craters. (SCW) Emanuel Fletcher, a CSE Seabee. He explained that it is important during a convoy for everyone to know Bravo Company provided internal security and each other’s roles. “If someone goes down, another person will know how to continue the mission and perform camp maintenance. During intruder in camp, “Gun- their job,” said Fletcher. “FTX was really motivating and I learned a lot from it. I now understand why planning smoke” drills, Bravo Company’s reaction (REACT) takes a long time because one little simple mistake can cause a whole security team, project or FOB movement to team swept the camp searching for intruders. The RE- get delayed or even lose personnel.” ACT team also served as security during Entry Control In a few months NMCB 5 will deploy to Europe and Africa and will use their training from homeport and Point (ECP) drills. At the ECP, Bravo monitored all FTX and apply it to their next scheduled deployment. “From what I’ve seen, this is the best battalion in the NCF,” said Gonzalez. “The troops are all motivated to get the job done and move on to our next deployment.”
  8. 8. Headquarters Company Alfa Company Alfa Company Seabees teach Paul, a sheep attached to Naval Mobile Construction Bat- talion (NMCB) 5, fire plan skills on April 19, 2011 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. WE ARE ALFA COMPANY ALFA Company has worked tirelessly to ensure FTX operations ran as smoothly as possible. Many late and long hours were spent hauling equipment, supplies, and troops to Fort Hunter Liggett, all so FIVE could prove the training we have received could be put into full effect. This FTX proved to be one of the toughest in recent years, but our EOs and CMs, as Headquarters Company Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 setup a expected, never tired, never faltered, never failed. Ruggedized Deployable Satellite (RDSAT) on April 8, 2011 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. The Equipment Operators made trips daily for more than a week straight. Second-to-none professionalism and taking Bringin’ the Heat! care of one another as ALFA does resulted in ZERO mishaps, injuries, or accidents leading up to FTX. The troops new to the battalion were given training licenses and paired up with By ET3 Sean Roozen the senior troops to train them. They are the future of ALFA With arms wide open, we were welcomed back to sole factor. The communication group was stationed out Company, and that future is in good hands. EO2 Decker has Port Hueneme. The lengthy Field Training Exercise (FTX) of the Antenna Farm, commonly referred to as the “Ant gained tremendous respect from his peers as yard boss. He has put a toll on many of us. Though the evolutions were “no- Farm.” In the past, communication had been the weak proven that showing how to operate and how ALFA works is tional”, the stress was all too real and often stunk…literally. link on FTX. This year with all the new and energetic ETs more effective than just doing it and then trying to explain later. Construction Mechanic 2nd Class (SCW) Romel Miguel, an After all, life in the wilderness wasn’t made to be glamor- and ITs, and guidance from the leadership, we changed the He maintained his professionalism even when things got hectic Alfa Company Seabee attached to Naval Mobile Construc- ous. Being surrounded by your peers for so long brought perception that we are the weakest link. Furthermore, our around the yard and was a positive influence to the new EOs. tion Battalion (NMCB) 5, mans a .50 cal machine gun on new relationships and understandings to life. While some superstar, ET2 (SCW) Martini, challenged the 31st Regi- EOCN Godinez, as the collateral custodian for ALFA, main- April 23, 2011 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. attitudes may have digressed over FTX, many grew up ment to “bring the heat.” Comms came locked, cocked, tained 100% accountability for 152 pieces of CESE collateral, mentally and emotionally. We lived up to our name “the and ready to rock. On multiple occasions, we were chal- as well as moving equipment and helping to make the missions Professionals” and surpassed the reputation that precedes lenged with tasks that were new to us or we weren’t trained successful. All personnel involved in convoys did a phenom- us. I have to give credit to my peers in the Communication for; however, we were able to accomplish the tasks in a enal job. Staying vigilant, staying safe and keeping all other Department. Traditionally, we are working on ships’ radars timely manner. Comms were never down throughout FTX. troops safe, especially while traveling from FOB to FOB, made or communications system. On this FTX, we were work- By utilized communication gears, we communicated with for a successful FTX. ing along with our construction counterparts by supporting Gulfport, Mississippi and Little Creek, Virginia by bounc- The Construction Mechanics were making sure that all them with communication equipments and providing train- ing radio waves off the clouds. We had executed a capa- equipment was ready to make the trips back and forth to FHL. ings to achieve battlion goals and tasking. bility that had never been done before. One of the greatest All PMS checks were made and completed before and after Then there was the never ending “WOOOO!”s that achievements on this FTX was the Ruggedly Deployable the trips. Our field crew, led by CM2 Spencer, was ready at a sounded off throughout the FTX day, and occasionally at Satellite Terminal (RDSAT). With little to no training, we moment’s notice, with phones in hand and ready to go conduct night. The “WOO” is a common practice and is a sign of built and established communications via Satellite on the repairs on downed equipment if need be. If a piece of CESE enthusiasm, achievement, and/or domination. As many very first attempt in the required time during evaluation, went down, our mechanics were there and had it back up and could tell the motivation began to spread throughout the thus smashing the expectations of our evaluators. Muham- running to ensure mission readiness was always maintained. camp as echoes of “WOO” broke out in a domino effect. mad Ali once said “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” The overall enthusiasm was not brought about just by this BOOM, Case and point, well said Mr. Ali. Semper Five. NMCB 5 I The Professionals 15 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 16
  9. 9. Bravo Company Bravo Company Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 run during a reaction force (REACT) team drill on April 21, 2011 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. “In the Field, Bravo Will Never Yield” By UTCA Kristina Costabile It’s 0300 and silence permeates the camp as the in camp, all hands quickly fell out of their tents and night shift personnel are struggling to stay awake. Sud- sleeping bags to muster in designated bunker locations denly, an ear piercing whistle followed by flashes of light for the donning of CBR gear as gas filled the air. After engulf the FOB (forward operating base) - let the games ten days of having living the good life in the LSA with begin!!! FTX, field training exercise, had officially started a galley and showers, D-day had arrived, and time to and Bravo Company was eager to put all their Homeport put your game face on! training into action. The initial push of NMCB 5 departed for FTX on 4 April 11, followed by the remainder of our personnel three Bravo Company Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 conduct an Entry days later. The first site occupied was the LSA (Life Sup- Control Point (ECP) drill on April 15, 2011 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. port Area), where all training prior to D-Day took place. During our ten day stay at the LSA, Bravo Company’s Camp Maintenance crew, as well as several REACT (Camp Protection) troops donned their full battle rattle Now that the FOB was occupied, the 31st was only four days. Motivation never wavering, all and climbed aboard MTV/R’s to be escorted forward by Seabee Readiness Group began to turn up the heat personnel “stood to,” manning the lines at 100%, bat- Convoy Security Element’s (CSE) MRAPs and MATVs, on all aspects of the battalion. Bravo Company hit tling back waves of aggressors until the magic green setting up camp at the FOB to prepare for the arrival of the ground running –literally! Whether running to star cluster shone in the air – INDEX! The surprise of the Main Body three days later. Once they arrived, Bravo secure a landing zone following a mass casualty Index - the end of all exercises - lifted both the figura- Company’s Camp Maintenance (1st Platoon) focused on drill or to the Entry Control Point in order to provide tive and literal weight everyone’s shoulders. Battle the build-out and upkeep of the camp while REACT (2nd Bravo Company Seabees attached to Naval Mobile support because of irate civilians, REACT was kept rattle was secured and showers and a hot meal were in Platoon) was tasked to protect the camp from intruders. In Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 conduct an Entry on the move. Attention to detail and accountability the not so distant future! order to be well prepared for the graded evolutions at the became paramount at this point, as all personnel must Even though ‘roughing it’ was given a whole FOBs, we filled our days with drills to ensure our pre- Control Point (ECP) drill on April 15, 2011 at Fort wear full battle rattle and M4s on their person at all new meaning on FTX, and hot water and a warm bed paredness for what was to follow. Hunter Liggett, Calif. times outside their sleeping tent. As clean uniforms seemed to be a figment of the imagination, Bravo Repetition became the key to success, giving second and sleep started to become scarce, Bravo Company Company kept morale high by supporting the camp platoon the ability to execute their required actions with- continued to forge ahead. Following the seven day and protecting its personnel from threats. Giving one- out hesitation when the time came. Drills included every- stay at the initial FOB, the command pushed out once hundred and twenty percent daily, Camp Maintenance, thing from securing helicopter landing zones to setting up again. After all, if we could do it once, we could do it REACT, CSE, and the ECP team upheld Bravo’s long cordons for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Vari- again – only faster! Quickly completing all drills and reputation as driving force in NMCB 5, bringing the ous timed evolutions, including mortar and CBR drills, tasking, the duration of the stay at our second FOB Battalion into 2011 with a bang! required 100% participation, night or day, to ensure that we accounted for all hands and treated any injuries. When the tell-tale sound of whistling gas mortars was heard NMCB 5 I The Professionals 17 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 18
  10. 10. Air DetachmentNMCB-FIVE AIR-DET By CM2(SCW/AW) Carl Gayton Building The front 8 x 8 ECP bunker took only 18 hours despite the challenges that the 31st threw at them. BU3(SCW) Rose was the Team Leader responsible for the four man team that built the bun- ker. When asked about his thoughts on the project, he said, “ It was challenging to get the job done completely with full gear (Average 40 lb Modi- fied Tactical Vest, 8 lb Kevler combat helmet, 8 lb M16 rifle, and other gear) and countless battlefield scenarios, (which cause work stoppages), but we still managed to finish it safely two full days ahead of schedule.” the 32 x 16 sea hut was built in four days by two of AIRDET’s hammer swingers BU3 Reed and BU3 Reardon. That’s impressive! Builder 3rd Class (SCW) Glenn Reardon Pre-fabricates lumber for the truss frame. Fighting Over 40 primary, alternate and supplemen- tary pits were quickly established and defended by AIRDET’S “FTX Squads.” These Squads manned and improved the pits, laid down protective wire, Equipment Operator 3rd Class (SCW) Michael Garcia and Equipment Operator Constructionman Keith and conducted 8 patrols while at COB Tharp, Wrenn man the lines in the 240-B machine gun pit at COP (Combat Outpost) Thorpe. fending off anyone that posed a threat to the camp. The React teams were critical to the success of the Apr 4, 2011 NMCB FIVE AIR DET partici- tection for the COP. The Seabees of AIR DET also mission. Defense of the camp was their number one pated in its annual field training exercise at Fort conducted numerous recon and security patrols. priority, and execution of their duties was second Hunter Liggett. AIR DET remained with main body With defensive operations underway, project crews nature. When talking to one of the Squad leaders, approximately 10 days training and preparing until conducted construction operations to carry out the EO3 Cole, about the lessons learned during the it detached and moved to its next location known as mission of building key facilities which was the exercise, he explained to me that his SCWS training COP (Combat Outpost) Thorpe. First, a defensive primary tasking. played a big factor in the success of the defensive perimeter (consisting of triple strand concertina Builders conducted pre-fabrication and all lines. He also said “As a Squad leader I learned that Builder Constructionman Adam Walton mans the wire, barbed wire, HESCO and Jersey Barriers) was construction in the field for a South East Asia hut I knew more than I thought I knew. Knowing what I 50. Cal machine gun pit at (Combat Outpost) set, AIR DET Seabees dug in, excavated and hand (Sea-Hut), an ECP bunker and a Timber Tower. All did know, helped me teach my squad how to effec- Thorpe. dug their rifle and crew-serve weapons positions, projects were completed in under half the scheduled tively defend their sectors of fire.” called pits. They then proceeded to do what they durations, with half the recommended crew sizes, The weather was extremely cold at night and know best, “build and fight.” providing three above standard quality facilities hot in the day which presented many challenges Over 100 Seabees stood defensive sentry which the US Army retained for future use. with the day to day contingent operations. As al- watches 24 hours a day, providing a 360 degree pro- ways NMCB FIVE AIRDET pulled through, “lead- ing the way!” NMCB 5 I The Professionals 19 NMCB 5 I The Professionals 20