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    NMCB-3 Completes FTX

    NMCB-3 Completes FTX 2019

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Lopez | 191113-N-TP832-1138 FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2019) Seabees assigned to...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lopez 

    Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. – Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 completed a field training exercise (FTX) in Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif, Nov. 15.

    The approximately three-week long FTX is a major milestone and critical component of the battalion’s homeport training cycle and is a crucial piece in certifying the battalion’s readiness for deployment. The exercise allows Seabees to exercise and refine their cumulative training in a major combat operations environment.

    “A FTX is really the first time that we have the opportunity to employ an entire battalion together,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Nieman, from Guilderland, New York, commanding officer of NMCB-3. “Throughout the basic phase of our training cycle, we have lots of training going on, but most of it is not cohesive – we have groups of Seabees spread out working on different skills at different times – but this is our opportunity for a comprehensive battalion to be fully focused on major combat operations readiness.”

    The scenario for the exercise required NMCB-3 to support the fictional allied nation of Westeros in their defense of a major offensive mounted by the fictional revisionist power of Pentos. The United States Indo-Pacific Command established Combined-Joint Task Force Westeros (CJTF-W) to assist the government of Westeros in regaining control of its territory. NMCB-3 was tasked with providing full-spectrum general engineering in support of CJTF-W unit’s arrival, freedom of movement and sustainability of operations.

    NMCB-3’s mission was to establish robust command and control and logistics operations to perform airfield damage repair, main supply route repair, tactical military bridging, and several other vertical and horizontal construction missions while providing the unit’s own security.

    Wearing reflective white bands around their uniform hats, Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 Seabees and staff evaluate each block of training to include safety, environmental, medical and health concerns; defensive combat tactics and convoy operations; camp setup, communications, construction techniques, and supply replenishments in the field.

    Steelworker 1st Class (Ret.) Richard Larsen, a military tactics instructor takes part in training all of NCG-1’s subordinate units and said he sees the training as preparing Seabees to be better equipped to maneuver in combat and make quick life-preserving decisions.

    “The FTX is a culmination of all of their training, but we like to say that we never train to a FTX standard, we train to a real life standard,” said Larsen. “We want Seabees to be fully prepared to go on a deployment where they’ll encounter the worst-case scenario and still be able to complete their mission safely and effectively – that’s where the seriousness of the training comes in. They have to be able to be out there on their own, defending themselves against the enemy while they still have to complete their construction tasks.”

    The exercise also provides an engaging setting for more experienced Seabees to impart their knowledge on junior Seabees who may have yet to be tested in especially stressful situations. Builder Constructionman Apprentice Davin Guyer, from Boonville, North Carolina, said this was true for him in his role as a gunner in the convoy security element during a final all-out attack from the Pentos forces.

    “Tensions were high this morning because we could feel that something big was going to happen,” said Guyer. “As soon as we were hit with indirect fire, we knew we had to dig in and hold the lines. I hopped in the gunner’s spot and got an instant adrenaline rush as soon as I started fighting back. Even though we’re training, the stress hit me hard and my head was completely in the game. We’ve been training for this and everyone on my team knew their job, and I don’t think I could have asked for a better defense.”

    Seabees train to be a task-tailored, adaptable and combat-ready engineering and construction force that can deploy to support any mission required by a supported commander ranging from major combat operations to humanitarian assistance.

    Demonstrating this and balancing security and mission requirements, the battalion completed two “site jumps” where the entire battalion and equipment moved from an established forward operating base (FOB) to an unsecure area deeper into enemy territory to establish a new FOB all while maintaining a proactive and aggressive 360-degree security posture and continuing construction assignments.

    Nieman said this portion of the FTX is challenging because it stretches the battalion’s most important resource: its Seabees.

    These requirements are intended to challenge Seabees with scenarios that are realistic and require robust attention to detail and decision making by small unit leaders. Unlike most components of the Navy, NMCBs manage small and large weapons systems, operate armored tactical vehicles and employ civil engineering support equipment to complete construction tasks in hostile environments. Exercising these areas at full speed gives commander’s a better sense of a unit’s strong points and areas for improvement.

    “I think the FTX is a valuable opportunity for us to bring the entire battalion into the fold,” said Nieman. “It wasn’t the prefect exercise, and nor should it be. We want to come into these things with a mindset of figuring out where we need to improve so that when we’re deployed and geographically separated, we know what we’re getting into and we’re prepared for it. I think we were successful in thinking in that avenue and identifying where we need to really focus in on for the rest of our deployment preparations.”

    NMCB-3 is home-ported in Port Hueneme, California. Seabees are the expeditionary engineering and construction experts of the Naval service. They provide task-tailored, adaptable and combat-ready engineering and construction forces that deploy to support global Navy objectives.

    For more information about Seabees and NMCB-3, visit or



    Date Taken: 11.15.2019
    Date Posted: 11.22.2019 18:15
    Story ID: 353168
    Hometown: BOONVILLE, NC, US
    Hometown: GUILDERLAND, NY, US

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