Fort McCoy News May 10, 2013

Seabees conduct command post exercise at McCoy

Public Affairs Staff

Navy Reserve Seabees from throughout the Midwest gathered at Fort McCoy in late April for a command post exercise (CPX). The training helped hone skills and also familiarized newer members with their roles in the organization.

Cmdr. Jennifer Donahue, the commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB)-25, said the CPX began with instruction and hands-on training at a number of specialized stations at the NMCB-25 facility at Fort McCoy.

Photo for Seabees article
Seabees dig a crew-served weapons pit during a command post exercise at Fort McCoy. For many of them, it was a first-time experience. Photo by Ensign Tyler Bechel

Skills training topics included mission oriented protective posture equipment, communications training, land navigation tool use, patrols, security sweeps, convoys, etc.

"After they've received the instructions here, we go to the field for the CPX," Donahue said. "They get to see how the skills apply to the field scenarios and how to work together with the other Seabees to accomplish missions."

The 250 Seabees involved in the training came from throughout the Midwest.

Command Master Chief Mike Helgeson of NMCB-25 said the Seabees went through the stations based on their specialties, such as vertical or horizontal construction or some other aspect of construction.

"They will learn how to move through the scenario through the use of sand tables and maps," he said. "They also will get hands-on training in communications."

Builder Chief Petty Officer Andrew Hushek said the communications training included instruction about the military phonetic alphabet and radios, etc., so the Seabees know how to communicate with each other.

The Seabees have a company command post, which is similar to the Army Tactical Operations Center, to coordinate their communications, Hushek said.

Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Mc Arthur said the Seabees also trained on current military warfare skills and basic combat skills to prepare for the CPX.

"This exercise gives them a chance to experience what is going on (during contingencies) with reality-based events," Mc Arthur said.

"We have a lot of new people so it's important for them to get this training so we can help them fit into the unit."

Donahue said the Seabees involved in the training used all the skills they learned to convoy from the NMCB-25 facility to the field.

In the field, the personnel performed all the common military tasks necessary to accomplish a successful mission.