|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.
Naval Seabees learn how to
measure and mark equipment to prepare it to be shipped for
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
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.
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.