Seabee Teamwork

By Chief Petty Officer Lace Johnson, NMCB 11 Det. Guam

Naval Base Guam. – 33 Seabee from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 participated in a detachment Guam Woman’s Resiliency Council event Nov. 30th aboard Naval Base Guam.

NMCB 11 established the Women’s Resiliency Council (WRC) to focus on building mentorship, teamwork and fraternity for female Seabees. The council also provides tools for both male and female Seabees to promote resiliency, increase retention, and support an inclusive community. Members of the WRC meet monthly to conduct training and provide outreach within the command or community.


Detachment Guam’s WRC held November training on Teamwork followed by its first unit-building exercise of the deployment. The teamwork theme was presented by Project Supervisor Builder 1st Class Lindsey Pfallen and included an open discussion among the participants to address challenges faced when teamwork is overlooked. “It was open to all our troops to help them better understand the meaning of teamwork. We have to rely on each other day in and day out to ensure each other’s safety and well-being,” Petty Officer Pfallen pointed out. “These combined efforts help troops to overcome the boundaries of sex, ethnicity, and rank. We were able to show the troops that they can rely on their brothers and sisters to overcome the many challenges that come with being in the military.”

Following the discussion, the remainder of the afternoon was spent at Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 5’s obstacle course onboard Naval Base Guam. The course consisted of various obstacles intended to test individual confidence and teamwork coordination while overcoming the physical challenges presented at each obstacle. “The obstacle course was a very humbling experience,” said Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Kathryn Bisson. “When I first looked at the course, it didn’t seem like it would be too challenging, but as I was going through it, I realized pretty quickly that I needed my team’s help. They provided tons of encouragement and physical help on the obstacles that I lacked the height to do on my own. No one left anyone behind and it was rewarding to finish with my team all the way to the end.” Participants were broken into 5 teams to run the duration of the obstacle course and were judged, neither on competitiveness nor time milestones, but instead on effective teamwork principles.

Detachment Guam’s leadership also reminded participants that teamwork is often relied upon to increase unit morale and help one another to overcome personal barriers. Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Chantel Chappell was able to overcome her fear of heights while traversing the “Double Pull Over Bar” obstacle. This obstacle consisted of two bars; the first bar located at 8 feet above the ground and the second bar 1 foot higher than the first. The participant must pull up on the first bar until they can grab the second bar. They then pull themselves up until they can get both knees on the lower bar. The final objective is to reach over the top bar and grab the lower bar with palms outward, to slowly lower themselves down over the bar, hang from that lower bar and ultimately drop to the ground. “I was having a pretty rough day and was not planning to come out to this event, but my Chief and colleagues convinced me to come,” Petty Officer Chappell stated. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this. I’m really glad I was able to overcome that obstacle.”

The WRC’s teamwork event provided a unique opportunity to encourage more active participation in team planning, problem solving, and decision making for NMCB 11 DET Guam Seabees.

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