MARCH 10, 2016, GULFPORT, Mississippi (NNS) – To prepare for the fight of the future Seabees are training today on perfecting their skillsets and know-how to compete in all phases of Airfield Damage Repair(ADR) in Camp Shelby, Mississippi during their scheduled field training exercise.
In February Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 conducted training to test the battalion’s readiness, skills, as well as knowledge in locating, plotting, repairing, and removing airfield damage and hazards safely and efficiently. NMCB 11 will conduct follow-on training in May to reinforce the lessons learned during the February training to maximize High Velocity Learning.
Builder 2nd Class Charles Ferguson, assigned to NMCB 11 discussed the learning curve achieved during the FTX.
“The capability is great for the Seabees because it helps us be more desirable for other forces to keep supplies and equipment moving,” said Ferguson, who added fortifying our base structures to include maintaining our runways is key to winning the fight.
NMCB 11 Sailors have trained with other forces previously. In April 2015, Seabees from NMCB 11, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 (MWSS-374), and Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) conducted an ADR exercise aboard a CENTCOM Forward Operating Site.
Exercises such as these serve to improve the participating units understanding of the others’ capabilities. These exercises also provide situational awareness for all participating units to understand the many phases of ADR and what to expect.
“We are learning everything from damage assessment to plotting the damage so we can tell crater and spall crews where to go fix in an orderly fashion to get the airfield up and running again,” said Ferguson. “It even includes airfield lighting and marking to keep the pilots safe from other debris.”
Spalls and scabs are craters less than five feet in diameter that do not necessarily penetrate the runway base course and subgrade, but need to be repaired to allow use of the runway to maintain air superiority.
The ADR team was separated into smaller squads that are specialized to carry out specific tasks and were graded on their ability to accomplish each one. The teams went through different scenarios and executed a variety of tasks such as locating and plotting damage, filling craters, patching holes, clearing the runway of debris and laying fiberglass or aluminum matting on the simulated airfield damage site.
During the February exercise Seabees assembled approximately 27,000 square feet of AM2 matting to cover the craters and moved an estimated 400 to 500 cubic feet of dirt to fill in the craters.
NMCB-11 is a Naval Construction Force 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 directly supporting the warfighter’s ability to enable power projection, maneuverability and provide combat operations support. The force also provides deployable battalions capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery support and humanitarian assistance.