Projects on schedule for NMCB 11’s FEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael
130512-N-UH337-008 CAMP SHELBY, Miss. (May 12, 2013) Builder 3rd Class Wyman Tolbert, from Atlanta, Ga., assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, constructs a sentry post as part of a Field Exercise (FEX) in which the battalion is evaluated in various areas of readiness prior to a deployment cycle.  NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael / Released)

130512-N-UH337-008 CAMP SHELBY, Miss. (May 12, 2013) Builder 3rd Class Wyman Tolbert, from Atlanta, Ga., assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, constructs a sentry post as part of a Field Exercise (FEX) in which the battalion is evaluated in various areas of readiness prior to a deployment cycle. NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael / Released)

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. – More than a week into its field exercise (FEX), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 continues to prove its readiness by successfully completing scenarios facilitated by Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2.

In addition to the battle scenarios, the battalion has also been tasked with various construction projects.

NMCB 11’s Air Det was tasked with a helicopter landing zone before picking up and relocating to another site.  At this second site, Builder 3rd Class Azzim A. Williamson is the Crew Leader for Air Det’s projects.

“We are Constructing an eight foot by eight foot hardened sentry post,” said Williamson.  “This is something that is mobile, something that we can take from site to site.  After this we’ll move right into constructing the crow’s nest.”

This is the second FEX for the Queens, N.Y. native.  “I think we’re doing excellent.  We’ve got great leadership.  They are all about training and small unit leadership.  I think this is probably one of the best FEXs ever.  The last FEX was extra good, but this one is even better.  I’m able to learn a lot, and I’m also able to teach,” concluded Williamson.

Builder 2nd Class Brian T. R. Thomas is the Crew Leader for a project being undertaken by the battalion’s Delta Det, a four-hole-burnout.  “We’ve had some heavy rain.  They are hitting us with IDF (indirect fire) and coordinated attacks, but FEX has been pretty good this time,” said the Viera, Fla. native.

All project crews must also respond to the simulated attacks played out in scenarios meant to test the Seabees’ combat readiness.  These attacks include indirect fire, small-arms fire, and chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) attacks in which CS gas, a riot control agent commonly referred to as tear gas, is deployed.  During CBR attacks Seabees must don their gas masks and CBR suits until the mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) level is reduced.  All of these conditions temporarily halt construction and slow overall progress.

The battalion is still in the training phase of FEX, but will soon advance to the evaluated phase and receive further tasking.

NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance.

About jcarmichael