MARCH 22, 2016, JINHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) – The 30th Naval Construction Regiment completed construction with Republic of Korea navy Seabees for exercise Foal Eagle 2016, March 18.
The regiment provided command and control for numerous projects between ROK engineers and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, NMCB 133, Underwater Construction Team 2, and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 during the exercise.
“It has been impressive to see the interoperability and exchange of tactics and procedures across all levels, as capabilities were demonstrated and readiness was confirmed,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ross Campbell, 30 NCR operations officer. “We had ROK navy and U.S. Seabee crews working side-by-side on projects. This was not one nation leading another, but a true partnership to learn together as we jointly built our projects.”
NMCB 133, working hand-in-hand with its ROK counterparts, constructed a temporary forward-operating base in Busan using ROK design modifications. The structures included a wooden bunker, a Southwest Asia hut, timber watch tower, head facilities, and various tent structures.
The lead for the different projects was undertaken jointly. Although communication was an initial struggle, a rhythm of daily objectives, safety briefs, and aggressive communication between the U.S. and ROK Seabees brought the camp to completion ahead of schedule, according to Lt. Van Nguyen, NMCB 133 Det. Busan officer-in-charge.
UCT 2 completed expeditionary wharf construction, crane operations and underwater topography at Commander-in-Chief ROK Fleet base, as well as underwater welding and cutting for pier repair training with their ROK counterparts at the ROK engineering school, continuing their close relationship with the ROK Seabee dive team.
Further cooperative efforts brought together NMCB 4, CBMU 303 and their ROK counterparts in repairing collapsed wharf walls, piers, and airfields, demonstrating their capabilities during major combat operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, theater security cooperation, and construction readiness operations.
NMCB 3, also participating in the exercise, provided support to Naval Special Warfare.
For the regiment, the exercise tested the unit’s operational abilities to include embark, logistics, communications, and engineering and construction outside of a stateside training environment.
“The close relationship between our U.S. and Korean Seabees creates great synergies, improving our interoperability and readiness to respond to any crisis,” said Capt. James Meyer, 30 NCR’s commodore. “They continue to amaze me with their professionalism, ‘Can Do’ spirit and execution success. I have no doubt our Seabees will be ready when our nation calls upon them.”
Foal Eagle 2016 is a combined field-training exercise conducted annually by the ROK armed forces and the U.S. armed forces with the support of the Combined Forces Command. One of the largest military exercises in the world, it is defensive in nature and provides tactical level units the opportunity to confirm force deployment readiness, capabilities, validate interoperability and familiarize forces with the environment.
30 NCR provides operational control over naval engineering forces throughout the Pacific, Southwest Asia and the western U.S. in response to combat commander and naval component commander requirements. They serve an integral part of the Naval Construction Force and accomplish major combat operations, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance, disaster recovery and Phase Zero requirements across the Pacific area of responsibility.