Seabees rehab the “EOD pit” at NAVSTA Rota

By Equipment Operator Construction Blake Farnsworth, NMCB 11

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 renovated a demolition range and access road on board Naval Station Rota, Spain, in support of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8.NMCB 11 Rehab EOD site

The range and access road, also known as Site 470, is utilized by EODMU 8 to conduct training evolutions and to dispose of explosive devices. The site is comprised of a 40,000 square foot area with an earth berm and a 1,400 foot access road. To the Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians, Site 470 is reffered to as the “EOD pit.”

The term “EOD pit” stuck in part due to the worn condition of the facility. The access road was in need of repair and the berm needed grooming.

“The debris was just a small hurdle that we jumped in this current mission,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class Benjamin Dixon, project crew leader. “I had the upmost faith in my crew that they could shift the debris out with no time delays.”

The crew’s first task was to demolish the berm. This was accomplished in three days utilizing a front end loader and a tracked loader.

Once the berm and debris were removed, the newly cleared area was graded with a slope to ensure appropriate drainage. Directing rainwater away from the site will help minimize erosion and washout, prolonging the life of the repairs.

“With the amount of work and debris, I was sure it was going to extend our deadline and possibly overrun our budget,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Brice Nash, project supervisor. “Not surprisingly, these Seabees lived up to their ‘Can Do’ spirit and this was completed on time.”NMCB 11 Rehab EOD site

The last step was to replace the berm with barriers. The barriers are prefabricated bins, each holding 6.5 cubic yards of fill. The Seabees placed and filled 100 barriers, providing an effective earthen wall to protect from explosive detonations.

The newly constructed demolition pit expands the site to 10,000 square feet and improves site access and safety.  It will provide a far more suitable and durable demolition pit for EODMU 8 to conduct training for years to come.

NMCB 11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They offer deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.

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