NMCB-11 Builds Convoy Staging Yard, Trains Equipment Operators

By Equipment Operator Constructionman Andrew Vaughn

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11’s ALFA Company jumped at the opportunity to create a marshalling yard on Camp Leatherneck for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and in the process receive valuable training for some of their junior equipment operators (EOs).  

120305-N-WA441-001 CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (March 5, 2012) Seabees from NMCB-11's Alfa Company assemble equipment in preparation for a day's work on leveling a convoy marshalling yard. (U.S. Navy photo by Equipment Operator 1st Class Craig Hutchison / Released)

The gravel covered marshalling yard, about one acre in size, will provide the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) with a staging ground for convoy preparation and for general staging of equipment.

The Alfa Company EOs began by removing a 900ft berm along with an unused guard station to make way for the new yard. The project supervisor, Equipment Operator 1st Class Craig Hutchinson, was excited to get to work, “This is a great opportunity to train our junior personnel” he said. The NMCB-11 crew were able to expand their knowledge and skills on pieces of equipment such as the 135 John Deere grader, Caterpillar (CAT) D7 Bulldozer, and CAT D8 Bulldozer.

120327-N-WA441-001 CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (March 27, 2012) Alfa Company equipment operators lay gravel for a convoy marshalling yard. (U.S. Navy photo by Equipment Operator 1st Class Craig Hutchison / Released)

For many of the new operators this was a chance to put in the necessary hours to become licensed. Constructionman Apprentice Jones valued the training time, “I was intimidated by the grader at first, but now I feel more comfortable in the piece.”

Lieutenant Junior Grade Webb joined the operating crew on the project to try his hand out in the D8 bulldozer. When asked what he thought about operating for the first time he replied, “I had a blast, but it wasn’t easy. It definitely gave me an appreciation for

120327-N-WA441-002 CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (March 27, 2012) Grader operators level gravel over a convoy marshalling yard. (U.S. Navy photo by Equipment Operator 1st Class Craig Hutchison / Released)

the skill it takes.” ALFA Company has taken great pride in their project and the value it will provide to the Marines they are supporting.

 

   

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