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