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 September 24, 2010

News

Naval reservists conduct mobilization preparation training at McCoy

Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Naval Seabees trained at Fort McCoy to sustain and improve their military skills to prepare for potential future deployments.
PHOTO: Naval Seabees learn how to measure and mark equipment to prepare it to be shipped for deployment. Photo by Rob Schuette
Naval Seabees learn how to measure and mark equipment to prepare it to be shipped for deployment.

Capt. Glenn Tootle, the commander of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)-25, said Seabees from throughout the NMCB-25’s five-state region participated in the September training, which helps them ramp up to prepare for deployment.

The Navy Reserve training cycle resembles the Army Force Generation Model, but is done on a four-year basis. Active-duty Seabees have an 18-month cycle, with six months of potential deployment and 12 months of home/port training. Tootle said this year’s NMCB-25 training is focusing on deployment skills. Other training years focus on such areas as technical, construction or military skills, he said. Because Seabees are a land-based unit with construction and engineering skills, Fort McCoy’s training facilities and areas offer them excellent training opportunities.

Seabees also support other activities on the installation, including helping to build the stage for the Army Concert Tour event and constructing projects in the installation’s Troop Project program to support installation needs, Tootle said.
PHOTO: Naval Seabees practice positioning equipment on pallets in preparation for shipping in case of a deployment. Photo by Schuette
Naval Seabees practice positioning equipment on pallets in preparation for shipping in case of a deployment.

About one-quarter of the battalion’s members have been deployed to Central America and the Caribbean Sea region in such places as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti and Guantanamo Bay in the Southern Command area of operations.

“The reservists are tremendous at building because many of them do it as their civilian occupation as well,” Tootle said. “This gives them a chance to ramp up their military skills, such as land navigation, communications, patrols and putting up wire.”

Construction Mechanic 1st Class Boyd Johnson, the embarkation petty officer for NMCB-25, said because the battalion is mobile, the Seabees have to know how to do basic tasks to prepare to move their equipment and personnel overseas.

“We have to be ready to deploy within 48 hours of being notified,” Johnson said. “This includes weighing and marking vehicles and building pallets to be loaded and moved onto aircraft.”

The unit would have subject-matter experts who would supervise the operations, he said. Other Seabees who have general knowledge of the skills would assist in the procedures.

During the remainder of the training, unit members also worked on land navigation, patrolling skills, litter bearing, basic first aid, communications, mission planning and construction, and operating out of fighting positions, Johnson said.

“The field exercise brings all the Seabees together to one place on a yearly basis and brings all their training together to focus on the skills they are training on,” Johnson said.

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