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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

NMCB 133 Conducts Command Post Exercise

by Petty Officer Second Class Andrew Waters
29 May 2024 ULFPORT, Miss.- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 conducted the first command post exercise (CPX) of their 2024 training cycle from May 16, 2024 to May 23, 2024 on Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss.

A CPX is performed to train the battalion on command-and-control functions as well as specific construction requirements for each construction company in the battalion.

“CPX 1 is the ‘crawl’ phase of our cycle of readiness,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erwin Rodriguez, NMCB 133’s Training Officer. “The intent for our first CPX is to ensure that our communications work, the processes we have in place are effective and information is flowing in a manner that allows different echelons of command to make decisions.”

NMCB 133 had to set up command posts for each construction company to be able to operate as their own entity. Each command post reports relevant events and scenarios to the battalion headquarters so they can make operational decisions and coordinate with higher commands.

Rodriguez said as the exercise continues, they will evaluate how effective the whole battalion is with their communications and feed that into CPX 2 to increase the level of complexity and prepare the battalion for their upcoming Field Training Exercise.

While CPX 1’s main focus is communications, airfield damage repair projects and port damage repair projects were also an important portion of the exercise. NMCB 133 has two airfield construction companies and two waterfront construction companies that have to certify in those construction areas for the battalion to be able to deploy.

“Our waterfront construction companies have to certify very soon, so we had to exercise, not only our command and control, but also our construction capabilities,” said Rodriguez. “Waterfront construction curriculum is still in development which is why we are conducting many unit-led trainings prior to their upcoming certification.”

The waterfront construction companies were set up at the Port of Gulfport building a cofferdam for a boat ramp. This involved dredging the area and driving piles into the water to section off the boat ramp.

“We are also exercising airfield damage repairs early since these skills take a little bit longer, this year we will certifying these companies at two different locations which adds to another layer of complexity,” said Rodriguez. “We are on a compressed timeline, and if we don’t start now with ADR, we may not get the desired repetitions in order to be ready for certification.”

The two airfield damage repair companies both completed two days of airfield matting placement and tear down to familiarize themselves with the process so they are prepared for their certification process.

Upon completion of the exercise NMCB 133 evaluated their performance and began planning for their next CPX as well as their upcoming certification events so they can complete all of the required evolutions and be ready to deploy to support Fleet and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command initiatives.