Seabees Build and Train with the Israeli Defense Force

By Construction Electrician Constructionman Keith Spoon

CAMP ADAM, Israel (NNS) — The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) welcomed fourteen Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 to Camp Adam to construct a Southeast Asia (SEA) hut and perform electrical upgrades from February to March 2015.

NMCB 11 Deployment 2015
The Seabees’ primary project was constructing a SEA Hut for Camp Adam, an IDF training site. A SEA-Hut is a 16 by 32 foot wood-framed tent modified with a metal roof, extended rafters and screened-in areas. The SEA-Hut will be used as a command center for IDF training, as well as joint training between U.S. and Israeli forces.

The Seabees also installed electrical upgrades in 8 tents used to house Israeli soldiers during their 3-week training course at Camp Adam. The tents previously had no lights or electrical outlets, so the upgrades significantly improved quality of life during training. The Seabees additionally upgraded the tent camp bathrooms with new showerheads and shower hooks. 

The IDF and the construction team were all pleased with the final product. “It was an amazing experience, being able to better the living and training conditions of an allied military force,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Steven Delarosa, from Hollywood, Florida. “Working on this project was good for power distribution training and good in-rate training for the junior troops,” added Construction Electrician 3rd Class Achilles Ison, from Sabina, Ohio.

For the Seabees, the deployment was a chance to experience the similarities and differences between U.S. and Israeli military forces. U.S. military personnel regularly deploy worldwide to provide forward presence, the Seabees were surprised to learn that IDF personnel typically remain in Israel year-round. The crew also got a firsthand experience of IDF training methods, training on an IDF firing range with the IWI Micro-Tavor assault rifle. 

NMCB 11 Deployment 2015
“The weapon felt easier to maneuver and handle in close quarters to mid-range combat. It was a very fun and exciting experience. We’re grateful that they gave us the opportunity to operate the weapon system and train with IDF instructors,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Kenneth Ellett from Richmond, Virginia. 

NMCB-11 is a Naval Construction Force battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss. NMCB-11 is currently forward deployed to multiple locations in support of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility. 

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