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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 Concludes Field Training Exercise, Operation Turning Point

by Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Ingram
09 February 2023 On November 19, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 successfully completed its field training exercise, Operation Turning Point. After nearly three weeks in the field performing tactical and construction operations, the Battalion has been certified by Naval Construction Group (NCG) 1 as ready to deploy.
The Battalion established a Tactical Headquarters at U.S. Army Fort Hunter-Liggett and spread detail sites throughout locations in Southern California: U.S. Army Fort Hunter-Liggett, Naval Base Ventura County, Vandenberg Space Force Base, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
At Fort Hunter-Liggett, the Battalion completed an extensive scope of vertical and horizontal construction across several sites while facing heavy enemy resistance simulated by NCG 1. Crews built bunkers and Southwest Asia huts, exercised tactical bridging capabilities, and conducted road repairs and water purification. Meanwhile, the Tactical Headquarters maintained Command and Control (C2) and all support functions, including intelligence and communications support, for the entire Battalion.
On Naval Base Ventura County, the Port Damage Repair detail completed a variety of waterfront construction tasking. At the start of the exercise, they assembled the Pier-Over-Decking-System, a modular system designed to expeditiously span a damaged or destroyed section of pier. As the exercise progressed, the crew moved on to construct a timber supported pier for small craft and installed over 100 linear feet of sheet pile for a quay wall.
At Vandenberg Space Force Base, the Battalion’s Airfield Damage Repair element was tested on its ability to conduct high-quality, expeditionary construction. Alongside Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, the detail completed a 200-foot runway extension project, completing initial concrete placement within days of their arrival onsite. Then, as the tactical scenario developed, they were tested on their ability to perform Expeditionary Rapid Airfield Damage Repair (ExR-ADR). Sailors with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 1 placed and detonated explosives, simulating missile attacks on a runway. After unexploded ordnance (UXO) disposal and an assessment of the damage, the joint Navy-Marine Corps team sprang into a carefully orchestrated effort to quickly cut out and replace the damaged surface.
On Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, the Battalion’s detail site exercised its capability to repair ground lines of communication (GLOC). Here, Seabees repaired over four miles of degraded aggregate-surfaced roadways. In addition to demonstrating the Battalion’s GLOC sustainment capability, these improved roads will now provide better access to remote testing grounds for the NAWS China Lake Weapons Survivability Lab.
The skills that were sharpened in this field exercise will ensure that NMCB 3 is positioned to support a variety of humanitarian and partner nation cooperation tasking during its future deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, and is also ready to enable the integrated Maritime Force with critical combat construction support.
NMCB 3 is homeported out of Port Hueneme, California where it’s 650 personnel provide engineering and construction support to naval and joint forces around the world.