NMCB 11 Moves from Training to Evaluation Portion of FEX

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 began the second phase of its Field Exercise (FEX) the moment the calendar changed from May 14th to May 15th.

The first week of FEX was the field training exercise (FTX) portion in which Naval Construction Group (NCG) 2 facilitated scenarios and followed them up with feedback to prepare the battalion for the second phase of FEX which is called the Final Evaluation Problem (FEP).

During FEP, the battalion will be evaluated on its performance in several areas.  The goal is to ensure that NMCB-11 demonstrates readiness and preparedness for whatever mission it may be called upon to complete.

“It’s all about sustainment,” said NMCB-11’s Command Master Chief Moses E. Sampson.  “We certainly had a goal, a level of training that we wanted to reach, and I think we’re there.  Now it’s all about sustaining that level; keeping it there.”

Sampson is pleased with what he’s seen so far.  “I really believe that this is the best field exercise that I’ve ever had the chance to participate in.  Our young Seabees are nailing it,” concluded the 24-year veteran.

The FEX schedule included a day in between FTX and FEP to conduct unit level training and give the Seabees an opportunity to learn and make corrections based on the feedback that NMCB 11’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Lore Aguayo, received from NCG-2. 

To further increase morale going into the final phase of the FEX, NMCB-11’s Culinary Specialists treated the battalion to burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill.  Many stood in line for the hot meal which was a welcomed break from the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) they have been living off of since the FEX began more than a week ago.

When the FEP started, the battalion was ready and expecting anything and everything.  Fighting positions were properly concealed and manned.  Watch rotations were in full swing, and all necessary tactical gear was donned.  The attacks began in the early morning with the battalion taking indirect fire (IDF) requiring everyone in the camp to seek immediate cover.

The Seabees expect increasing attacks and various drills, such as a mass casualty drill, as the FEP continues.  All personnel are dedicated to a successful mission, and expectations are high among the ranks. 

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

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