News: Seabees complete CPX 3 with deployment in mind
By Ensign Matthew Carmody, CEC, USN
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 completed Command Post Exercise (CPX) 3 at Naval Base Ventura County on Dec. 6.
The exercise was the third of four command post exercises aimed at improving battalion readiness for its upcoming Field Training Exercise (FTX), tentatively scheduled in April. Ultimately, these exercises are used to prepare Seabee battalions for deployments.
The exercise spanned the course of two days and challenged Seabees with real-world scenarios centered on humanitarian aid and disaster relief during an earthquake. The scenarios tested their capabilities in command and control, communications, and making timely decisions using operational planning skills.
Each company within the battalion was entrusted with an area of responsibility in order to effectively defend the camp and perform their specialty, ranging from camp maintenance to communications.
While Seabees in Alpha and Charlie Company take care of Civil Engineer Support Equipment and vertical construction respectively, Bravo Company focuses on camp security and maintenance. In addition to maintaining all camp utilities, Bravo Company also mans the camp entry control point (ECP) and quick reaction force (QRF) to maintain security within camp.
During CPX 3, both the ECP and QRF teams were simulated forces but will be realistically exercised during CPX 4 in February.
At the conclusion of the exercise, Utilitiesman 1st Class Edward Payne commented on the performance of Bravo Company during the CPX.
“I think Bravo Company performed well,” said Payne. “We had all the reports up in a timely manner and all scenarios were executed promptly and correctly.”
Scenarios Bravo Company dealt with ranged from interacting with civilians approaching the ECP, executing emergency action plans for communications equipment, lost weapons, stolen vehicles, and calling in support from adjacent explosive ordnance units to detonate suspected improvised explosive devices (IED).
These scenarios are meant to help familiarize the watch standers in the command post with assets available to them and to gain efficiency in their utilization.
The battalion used the exercise as a training tool in order to prepare for CPX 4 in February, FTX in April, and deployment in August.
“With many new people in battalion and change in company leadership, CPX sets a baseline for where the company and battalion stand as a whole. It helps us identify our deficiencies and areas where we can improve,” said Lt. j.g. Jonathon Gomez-Rivera, Bravo Company commander.
Bravo Company and NMCB 4 will use the valuable lessons learned during CPX 3 in order to formulate creative solutions for CPX 4 and the battalion’s upcoming FTX.
By training with intensity and focus, NMCB 4 prepares itself to accomplish its mission and have a successful deployment when it departs for the Pacific theater this summer.