By ENS Snow-Hill NECC Units

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) ELEVEN recently completed phase III of the Navy Integrated Exercise (NIEX). NIEX is the last milestone the Battalion needs to complete prior to being considered certified ready to deploy.  It is the turning point that marks the end of the advanced phase and starts the sustainment phase, one the Battalion will be in throughout deployment.

NIEX not only tested the unit’s internal communication but also the communication and cohesion amongst the units within Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). It provides the Battalion with a good gauge of areas where strength lie and areas where additional refinement may be necessary.

As with many of the exercises, NIEX was spread out over multiple months. Initially starting in December, the exercise began with staff planning. Only a small number of Battalion members participated in this portion of the exercise. As the scenarios became more complex it represented the shift from phase I to phases II & III. Phase II kicked off in March and consisted of more staff planning and the integration of operational planning teams (OPTs). Phase III was an extension and culmination of exercise consisting of staff planning, OPTs, and “execution,” responding to specific scenarios. The performance by the Battalion was a demonstration of knowledge gained from training throughout homeport.

“The Battalion and the watch standers did a phenomenal job,” remarked CDR Cuadros during morning quarters. Directed to the hard work the members put in, during the two-week exercise, his comments recognized the tireless efforts of the participating members,  some who worked through the weekends.

During phase III of the exercise select NMCB 11 personnel were augmented to work directly with NECC and act as liaisons for the command. Ideally, the liaisons would provide insight on the capabilities of the Battalion and manage the expectations of what the Battalion can provide. Again, this was a measure of the battalion’s communication skills and made sure that the mission wasn’t compromised due to lack of understanding.

This type of training is invaluable to the fluid operation of NECC and its units, especially during times where subordinate units are deployed. Once in theater communication skills and having a basic understanding of sister units, their objectives, and their tasks are crucial to smooth transition in operations. Typically, the act of moving people and coordination of supplies requires this type of communication.

Now that the evolution is complete the Battalion is deployment ready.

NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion specializing in contingency construction, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance. The battalion’s homeport is in Gulfport, Miss.

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