Seabees Join Soldiers in Gulf Coast Readiness Exercise

Story Number: NNS190920-09Release Date: 9/20/2019 2:51:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class George M. Bell, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Mississippi (NNS) -- Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 supported the U.S. Army 4th and 25th Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) in a joint readiness exercise (JRE) in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Sept. 17.

NMCB-133’s Detail Gulfport was tasked with clearing a beaching area and constructing a ramp for the IBCT to offload equipment from a landing craft, utility (LCU) vessel. Constructing an offloading area out of nothing was no easy task.

“When we first arrived, there was nothing but a 10-foot grass area on the beach,” said Builder 1st Charles Page, NMCB-133 site leading petty officer. “It took us about a day and a half to clear the area and build the timber ramp.”

The Seabees were onsite to maintain the functionality of the ramp as maintenance experts. Working hand-in-hand with the Army units during the exercise.

“We were there to make sure nothing fell apart while they were unloading the equipment from the LCU,” Page said. “We even had some of our guys operate some of their equipment, driving off of the vessel while showing us what it is they do.”

The JRE was combined arms exercise to assess strategic operational readiness with an integrated capability response by USARPAC, FORSCOM, and USTRANSCOM to a no-notice level III Sea Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (SEDRE) in an effort to establish joint partnerships and expand joint capabilities to support expeditionary operations. 

The Seabees' efforts, while small in comparison to the overall mission, were vital to the success of the exercise. The Seabees finished using the ramp and LCU to onload and offload some of their own equipment.

“We really appreciate the work that the Seabees have done hear in such a short notice,” said Lt. Col. Damien Boffardi, commander of Task Force 11. “This was an excellent example of showcasing what the Seabees ‘Can Do’.”

The ARTIC ANVIL/JRE exercise was the culmination of years of coordinated effort to highlight and market the interconnectedness of South Mississippi’s military infrastructure.  It is the first time a brigade (4,500 Soldiers with 1,450 pieces of equipment) deployed to Camp Shelby, using all the components of the South Mississippi Defense Corridor including port, rail and highway systems.

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