Bridging the Gap
Bees Build Elevated Causeway in Virginia Beach
Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 1 and 2 along with other Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 Seabees, constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) in Virginia Beach, Va.
The ELCAS system is a modular pier which can be built to a length extending up to 3000 feet and can be assembled where port facilities are needed to provide logistic support to Marine Corps and Joint Expeditionary Forces.
Due to the transition of PHIBCB 2 and NBG 2 from mainly active duty to reserve, active component personnel have taken a larger role in training the reserve component to maintain mission readiness.
"There aren't many people left at the command who have hands on training with the ELCAS system. It's our duty to train our shipmates and pass along our lessons learned so they don't have to experience them in future builds," said Equipment Operator 1st Class Amanda Sydnor, an active duty Sailor assigned to PHIBCB 2.
"It's been good so far, we have been recording all our lessons learned at the end of each day and we are hoping to work them into future training," said Sydnor.
"This is the first time ELCAS is being built since 2011, but the amount of training completed in the past year is arguably the most in the past decade," said Lt. John Orr, the ELCAS Officer-In-Charge. "Currently between the two PHIB Battalions, only a handful of personnel have the actual hands-on knowledge of how to construct ELCAS with most of the khaki leadership being the subject matter experts," said Orr.
After this build, the knowledge will be passed to upwards of 200 sailors with more than 50 personnel earning the ELCAS NEC across both the Active and Reserve forces, said Orr.
"It's something different and exciting than just doing normal drill," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Milton Baron, a reserve Sailor assigned to PHIBCB 2, who drills out of NOSC Los Angeles. "It's cool to travel and get an NEC while we are here," said Baron.