News: Seabees and Marines build bridges at Camp Lejeune
Story by Chief Petty Officer Scott Boyle
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – U.S. Navy seabees and Marines joined forces to erect a Medium Girder Bridge over a 107-foot-wide gap on Camp Lejeune, Feb. 13, 2012.
The joint exercise was a chance for the Seabees with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Bridge Detachment and Marines with the 8th Engineer Support Battalion Bridge Company to work together, to build camaraderie and to rekindle the Navy and Marine Corps team.
“Historically we have always been tied together; I mean there is a reason why we are Naval, as opposed to just Navy, so there is a lot of synergy there,” said Cmdr. Nick Yamodis, NMCB 133’s commanding officer. “We are reliving and reestablishing those relationships at the lower levels, with folks who have never worked together.”
For the Marine bridge company, the project is an extension of a Marine Corps-wide focus on amphibious operations.
“The [Commandant of the Marine Corps] has talked about us getting back to our amphibious roots, and in order to do that we have to have a good working relationship with the Navy,” said Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Zachary Knight, 8th MGB Bridge Company’s executive officer. “Any chance we have to get joint training with the Seabees is great.”
Steelworker 1st Class Joshua Baker, the bridge master for the joint build, was in charge of the project and oversaw the training and safety of all the Marines and seabees involved.
“It makes me feel good to teach these guys,” he said. “They are working really well together.”
Working together and learning about each service’s different tactics was a huge benefit of the project, which allowed the engineers to get real, hands-on training together.
“The cross-training with the seabees shows what each unit does differently, and how we can work together better,” said 8th ESB Bridge Company Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sgt. Paul Cascell.
Bridging is one of the seabees’ core capabilities, and it has been, and still is, a big part of past and current deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
“[Bridging] is incredibly important in terms of mobility and being able to meet mission, both at the pointy end of the spear as things are beginning to flow into a country and then from a sustainment standpoint, being able to maintain the fight or whatever the peacekeeping or training mission is,” Yamodis said.
Knight said the joint training was a great experience for all the Marines and seabees involved. He said the next step is hopefully bringing his Bridge Company to Gulfport, Miss., home to NMCB 133, this summer for another joint training evolution, where the engineers can continue showing the great teamwork displayed during the MGB project.