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Around The Fleet

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.

  • Sailors constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

    Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion's (PHIBCB) 1 and 2 along with other Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 commands, constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

  • Sailors constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

    Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion's (PHIBCB) 1 and 2 along with other Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 commands, constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

  • Sailors constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

    Sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion's (PHIBCB) 1 and 2 along with other Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 commands, constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

  • Sailors constructed a portion of the Elevated Causeway System (ELCAS) at Anzio Beach aboard JEB Little Creek.

    Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens, director of expeditionary warfare division, visits Amphibious Construction Battalion (PHIBCB) 2's elevated causeway system (ELCAS) build site to better understand it's mission capabilities.



Due to this being a training evolution personnel constructed only 480 feet of 3000 feet of the system. The exercise training was conducted at a slower pace. Crews worked 10-hour shifts 7 days-a-week for approximately 13 days, opposed to a deployment scenario in which crews work 12-hour shifts 24 hours-per-day.

"We will be working at a slower Op Tempo due to this being a training evolution, we are emphasizing safety and procedural compliance as our top priorities," said Capt. Marc Delao, PHIBCB 2's commanding officer. "We need to ensure our personnel learn their lessons now so they can pass them on to future generations of PHIB 2 Sailors so that they don't have to re-learn them later."

Starting early July personnel started the operation by using Navy lighterage to deliver all materials and equipment needed to set up the ELCAS to Anzio beach from PHIBCB 2, assembly took approximately 21 days. After the build was completed personnel performed throughput, offloading of vehicles and equipment onto the pier head and transportation of materials down the pier and over the beach, to operationally test the system and familiarize personnel prior to retrograding of the system.