LUCKY ELEVEN CO VISITS CAMP DWYER

(By Marlene M. Houngbedji) 

120321-N-LB416-013- HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Mar. 21, 2012) Cmdr. Lore Aguayo (right), commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, and Lt. Seth D. Cochran, from La Plata, Md., prepare to embark on a convoy around Camp Dwyer. Homeported in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is deployed to Afghanistan to conduct general, mobility, survivability engineering operations, defensive operations, Afghan National Army partnering and detachment of units in combined/joint operations area - Afghanistan in order to enable the neutralization of the insurgency and support improved governance and stability operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Marlene M. Houngbedji/Released)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 hosted their Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lore Aguayo and Command Master Chief Christopher Levesque on a two-day visit to Camp Dwyer beginning on March 21, 2012.  Made shortly after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to Camp Leatherneck the previous week, the trip was part of routine operations and troop morale assessment.

Welcomed on base by Detachment Officer in Charge (OIC) Lt. Seth D. Cochran and Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA) Chief Construction Mechanic Robert R. Crespin, Aguayo and Levesque were guided on a tour of the Camp Dwyer Seabee compound, from which US Air Force Red Horse squadrons have recently been relieved.

A C.O.’s Call followed almost immediately in which personnel assigned to Det Dwyer received news from other NMCB-11 teams spread throughout the country and inquired on the implications of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative.  Good Conduct Awards were presented to Equipment Operator Constructionman Jonathan D. Stover from Brookville, Ohio, and Chief Utilitiesman Chad L. Roach of Eunice, N.M.  Four command coins for outstanding job performances were also awarded.

“Having the CO and Command Master Chief on board is a unique opportunity for the troops to see how they fit into the overall effort in our area of responsibility and emphasize key guidance about our future on this deployment and beyond,” said Cochran.  “It also gives the troops a chance to voice their concerns and questions about what comes next.”

Time spent with troops included an hour of participating in the intense cardio workout known as “Insanity,” followed by a visit to one of two current working sites.  Impressed by the camp’s general appearance and progress made on a road improvement project, Aguayo also congratulated troops on maintaining team cohesion, a factor she deems critical for morale and work efficiency.  “I have full confidence that things will go extremely well here,” said Aguayo who lauded Det. Dwyer’s increasing productivity of the past few weeks, with junior troops learning quickly enough to contribute significantly.

It is an impression shared by Levesque who also commented on the tight bond between the troops he met with.  “They seem to understand what each other is thinking on the job site,” said Levesque, crediting their performance on the various projects to strong cohesiveness.

Comprised of fewer than 40 personnel, Det. Dwyer is tasked with completing numerous road improvement projects during its seven-month deployment in Helmand province and has already accomplished far more than expected at this stage of the process.

As a caveat to her optimistic predictions, Aguayo cautioned her troops against complacency and recommended constant vigilance while in theater.

Homeported in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is deployed to Afghanistan to conduct general, mobility, survivability engineering operations, defensive operations, Afghan National Army partnering and detachment of units in combined/joint operations area – Afghanistan in order to enable the neutralization of the insurgency and support improved governance and stability operations.