Tinian Mount Out

By Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Petty Officer Christine Petty, NMCB 11 Detachment Guam

 

HAGATNA, Guam Seabee’s from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Mount a Task-Tailored Detail (Det) to Tinian in support of Valiant Shield on August 19, 2016.

From August 19th to the 26th, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion ELEVEN’s (NMCB 11) Guam Detachment executed a complex and challenging real-world mount out of equipment and personnel unlike the scenarios to which it normally trains. Nonetheless, in true Seabee fashion, NMCB 11 rose to the occasion, safely executing its mission with flying colors!

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Standard Seabee training prepares a unit to mount a Task-Tailored Detail with a small “Fly in Echelon” (basic support items) in support of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Recovery (HADR) or Major Combat Operations (MCO) in an expedient manner by air. A typical Mount Out Training exercise consists of coordinating the movement of Civil Engineer Support Equipment (CESE) and non-CESE table of allowance (TOA) through mechanical, cleanliness, and accountability inspections in preparation for movement by aircraft. The embark process by way of air is relatively streamlined and straightforward. When preparing for an airlift scenario, the Seabees create the aircraft load plans and shipping documents, they weigh and mark all equipment, and they control the order in which their gear is loaded, and then offloaded, from aircraft. This process allows for a fluid flow of CESE and communication with few unforeseen variables.

In late August, however, NMCB 11 DET Guam was tasked with sending 81 pieces of CESE and TOA to the island of Tinian via commercial ship, while sending 48 personnel via air – a scenario somewhat different than what it normally trains to. Throughout the evolution there were many unforeseen challenges related to the split movement by sea and air, and constant synchronization with multiple military units and civilian entities proved to be very demanding. Although the Mount Out for Valiant Shield was 180 degrees outside of the Seabees normal training, their “Can Do” spirit and enthusiasm to succeed triumphantly overcame these dynamic operating parameters.

“Mounting out Det Tinian was a challenge to say the least. We had a lot of CESE and non-CESE TOA to prepare for shipment with only a very small window to work with. Fortunately, we have a great group of experienced Seabees in DET Guam who worked tirelessly to successfully get the job done”, said Construction Mechanic 1st Class (SCW/EXW/SW) Kody Egelhoff, Embark Leading Petty Officer.

“During the Mount out, I prepared 14 Equipment Operators to weigh, mark, and transport 81 pieces of CESE to the port.,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SCW) Corey Williams, Yard Boss.

NMCB 11 partnered with several entities to effectively execute its mission, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Movement of anything off the island of Guam requires agriculture inspections that create an additional time barrier, and the USDA is responsible for ensuring the Brown Tree Snake and invasive plants are not transferred off or onto Guam. As such, all the equipment moving from Guam to Tinian had to be thoroughly inspected by USDA inspection teams. Although these requirements temporarily slowed NMCB 11’s embarkation process, USDA was very accommodating and flexible, and NMCB 11 learned a lot about real-world requirements that it does not normally encounter during typical training scenarios.

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Another key player in the Det Tinian mount out was the Surface Deployment Distribution Command (SDDC), which prepared shipping documents, organized the CESE precedence for when it came off the ship, and helped coordinate movement of NMCB 11’s equipment to the Port of Guam, where it was loaded onto a ship for transportation to Tinian. Overall, SDDC proved to be an enthusiastic supporting partner.

A few days following the successful loading of NMCB’s CESE and TOA, personnel assigned to Det Tinian were then transported to Anderson Air Force base and boarded a C-130 bound for the small historical island of Tinian 54 miles north of Guam, where they executed Camp Construction in support of Valiant Shield.

Enthusiasm and perseverance best describe the NMCB 11 embark staff as it applied its training and then adapted to overcome the real-world challenges associated with mounting out Det Tinian in a timely manner!

NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, MS.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They offer deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.