Gulfport to See New Students for ECS Training Program

Story Number: NNS071025-10Release Date: 10/25/2007 3:45:00 PM
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From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs

GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- The second phase of the Expeditionary Combat Skills (ECS) pilot course began Oct. 22, with the final awarding of $6.6 million for berthing and classrooms to support the course in Gulfport.

The award was made by the resident officer-in-charge of construction (ROICC) to support the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command's (NECC) two-phased pilot course, which started Oct. 8. NECC, in collaboration with the Center for Security Forces (CSF), recently introduced this baseline training course for all NECC forces, which is held at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport.

ROICC Gulfport received the new requirement for modular buildings at the end of July 2007. Phase 1 will have two 50-seat classrooms and staff administrative spaces ready for business by late-October 2007. Phase 2 will provide berthing spaces for 400 sailors by mid-January 2008.

"The first hurdle was to get a waiver approved from Commander Navy Installation Command (CNIC), to allow us to place temporary facilities on the base," said Benny Boren, ROICC Gulfport contract specialist. "This process takes some time, which we were already short on."

The first award of $1.7 million for the classroom and administrative spaces was made Aug. 24 to Alutiiq International Solutions, an Alaskan Native Corporation from Anchorage, Alaska, who specializes in modular facilities.

Phase 2 of the contract for the 400-person berthing was awarded Sept. 25 for $6.6 million to the same contractor.

"Remarkably, the ROICC Gulfport team was able to award $8.3 million of work in 60 days to support NECC's requirement," said Lt. j.g. David Frye, assistant operations officer for OICC Katrina.

Now, to meet NECC's goals, the contractor has only 55 days to complete Phase 1.

"Alutiiq is pressing hard to meet the deadline," said Skip King, ROICC Gulfport engineering technician assigned to the project. "The more hurried a job, the more focused everyone must be to ensure safety is foremost."

ECS is a four-week course developed and administered by the Center for Security Forces in Norfolk. CSF's curriculum and instructors will teach Sailors basic knowledge, skills and abilities - namely the ability to shoot, move, communicate, survive and succeed - in the expeditionary environment.

The course is intended for all personnel transferring to an NECC subordinate command, which includes all Naval Construction Force units. Training will be provided in the classroom, on the range and in the field.

"ECS is a collaborative effort between CSF and NECC," said Capt. Bob McKenna, NECC's training officer. "This course is the cornerstone of the expeditionary warfighters' training continuum."

The modular units will be on board CBC for a couple of years. Projected funding for a permanent ECS School is currently slotted for Fiscal Year 2010, although the site of the permanent facility has not been determined.

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