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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)

NMCB 133 Certifies in Waterfront Construction

by Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Waters
09 July 2024 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 completed their waterfront construction certification at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi and Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island throughout June, 2024.

NMCB 133 has two waterfront construction companies (WCC) that specialize in port damage repair operations. They each completed a certifying exercise consisting of driving piles for a cofferdam, quay wall construction, and various other minor construction taskings.

With reorganization into specialized construction companies being a recent shift, the WCCs are relying largely on prior experience and knowledge from senior personnel to be able to teach their Seabees and complete their tasking.

“We only had a few people that had experience with pile driving in the water, so there was a lot of on-site training,” said Lt. j.g. Cristiana Garza, the waterfront construction company commander for Rhode Island. “We also had unit-led trainings beforehand and were able to work with Underwater Construction Team 1 to be able to mitigate some of our issues and save some time.”

Both construction companies faced several challenges from changes in project planning, to weather, to equipment issues.

“Our biggest issue when it came to planning has how quick the turnaround was from redeployment to our field training exercise, with only 10 weeks to plan,” said Lt. j.g. TyDarius Peasant, the waterfront construction company commander for Gulfport. “There were also late changes to project locations, which was good for us because we had to plan on site and were able to learn and adapt to complete the exercise.”

Despite the challenges they faced, both companies were able to complete their exercises and certify for deployment with some lessons learned to be able to keep improving their process to support the fleet and Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).

“Having WCCs makes the battalion more useful to ‘Big Navy,’”, said Garza. "If we can continue to execute waterfront construction with the construction and repairing of piers as well as the other WCC capabilities, we will be postured to further support the ship’s and submarine’s mission."

As NMCB 133 continues to certify for deployment, their specialized construction companies will all be working in different construction areas to develop skill sets that are beneficial to NECC and the fleet for a variety of mission sets.