NMCB 28 - Iraq
Create Post
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: NMCB 28 - Iraq

  1. #1

    NMCB 28 - Iraq

    NMCB 28 Route Repair Teams Work Night and Day in Iraq
    Story Number: NNS070525-08
    Release Date: 5/25/2007 11:36:00 AM

    By Equipment Operator 2nd Class Lori Roberts, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 Public Affairs

    CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28’s route repair team crossed the 60-day mark of their Iraq deployment, May 20, working night and day to repair holes caused by improvised explosive devices (IED) on main supply routes (MSR) and alternate supply routes (ASR) in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

    The repair process originates with requests sent to the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), who is responsible for deciding how critical the repair is to upcoming missions that require units to travel on the damaged roadway.

    Missions are rated from most to least critical, then repairs are scheduled and completed on the basis of greatest need, according to Senior Chief Equipment Operator Jerry Carter, NMCB 28 Delta Company’s assistant officer in charge and MSR coordinator.

    The team consists of nine members, one alternate, and a corpsman.

    "The team is like a family, always looking out for each other and taking care of each other. If we have problems, we take care of it together,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class John Hunsberger, who is responsible for driving the tool truck for the team. “We get a great sense of accomplishment because you're out there making it easier on our troops to travel these roads and get from one place to the other safely."

    Equipment Operator 1st Class Jerry Dugger, crew leader, said their job potentially thwarts the efforts of insurgents.

    “Repairing the craters helps prevent insurgents from placing new IEDs further into the middle of the road,” said Dugger. “Typically, their strategy seems to be to blast a crater on the edge of the road, then put an IED in that hole to blast a little further into the road, and so on until they get into the heavy traffic area. If we get the craters filled before they get too far into the road, we are potentially saving lives.”

    Equipment Operator 1st Class Tomasa Wickert, an assistant crew leader, said she was both scared and excited to be chosen for the job.

    “I really enjoy working on MSR crew; it was exciting to go outside the wire to complete a job. We really came together as a team to get the job done,” said Wickert, who lost friends in an IED explosion while deployed to Iraq with her previous battalion.

    “I kept thinking about the Seabees from NMCB 25 who died on a convoy when their Humvee hit an IED. The first time out (for us), I was really afraid; but when I saw how the Marines dismounted from their Humvee to protect the MSR crew, my fear went away. I was able to relax and concentrate on my job and know that we were preventing needless death by preventing IEDs (from being placed).”

    In all, approximately 60 miles of road are repaired regularly by NMCB 28’s MSR/ASR repair team. In coordination with other MSR teams, some Marine and some civilian, NMCB 28’s team continues to help keep the roads safe for military forces and civilians, Iraqis and foreigners alike.

    NMCB 28 is part of nearly 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical construction efforts in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

    NMCB 28 Convoy Security Element Teams Provide Protection on Iraq Roads
    Story Number: NNS070524-04
    Release Date: 5/24/2007 5:56:00 PM

    By Lt. j.g Christopher Wald, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 Public Affairs

    AL FALLUJAH, Iraq (NNS) -- Convoy Security Element (CSE) teams from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28 completed the first two months of their deployment to Iraq on May 20.

    Seabees who operate CSE teams have adapted and overcome eminent dangers to complete missions crucial to critical construction projects in the Al Anbar province.

    "The Seabees of our Convoy Security Element teams play a vital role in the secure movement of supplies throughout our area of operations,” said Cmdr. Craig Scharton, NMCB 28’s commanding officer. “Although performing in a non-traditional role, they have mastered this mission like the true professionals that they are and demonstrate on a daily basis their ability to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing operational environment."

    NMCB 28 has two CSE teams. The two teams, 1st Platoon and 2nd Platoon, are part of NMCB 28’s Echo Company. After two months on deployment, the two teams have already completed 119 missions covering more than 7,900 total miles.

    “It’s incredible to see my teams push through the long hours and missions and continue to stay focused and upbeat,” said Lt. Gerald Sachitano, the Echo Company commander and also a substation design engineer from New Orleans. “They truly display the Seabee “can do” spirit by executing a mission not organic to Seabees.”

    Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate Andy Gray, a postal service employee from North Little Rock, Ark., is the convoy commander for the 2nd Platoon. He explained that the CSEs perform a wide variety of missions to include providing security for the 30th Naval Construction Regiment’s “Rockhound” team, who transports gravel to various worksites in the Al Anbar province.

    The teams also provide security for civilian contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root’s supply convoys and their Third Country Nationals (TCN) who have come to Iraq from the Philippines, Turkey, Lebanon and other nations to make a living driving supply trucks. The CSE teams also occasionally escort vehicles, equipment, and personnel for the Army and Marines.

    Gray said the job can be difficult at times due to the long hours and irregular work schedule. However, being on the CSE team has given him the opportunity to see much of Iraq that he would not have otherwise seen.

    “So far we have been as far east as Baghdad and as far west as the Syrian border,” said Gray. “We have been to nine different bases, and we have gotten the opportunity to see more of Iraq than just the sand. It is very rewarding to drive into a city and see little children smiling and waving at us.”

    The training that the teams have undergone and the amount of time they spent together preparing for the deployment has resulted in the members of the teams forming a tight bond, according to Gray.

    “Even though our missions keep us separated most of the time, every time the two CSE teams get together, it is like a family reunion,” said Gray.

    Construction Electrician 2nd Class Kenneth George, who calls West Memphis, Ark., home, is a gunner for the 1st Platoon. He mans one of the machine guns mounted on top of the escort vehicles. He says he has enjoyed his experience with the CSE team even though it is not traditional Seabee work.

    “It has been interesting getting to do something with the Seabees other than building things,” said George, who works in law enforcement in his civilian career. “The teams enjoy what they do. We are a very tight group. The best thing about all of this is getting to see a lot of Iraq that others don’t get to see.”

    The convoy commander for 1st Platoon, Chief Construction Mechanic Stephen Lucia, from Covington, La., enjoys missions that involve other military services and traditional Seabee project work.

    “We get to work with other services like the Army and Marine Corps and we really enjoy that,” said Lucia. “For instance we recently escorted the Army providing them security and fulfilling part of the mission’s project by doing standard Seabee work which initially we didn’t think we’d have the opportunity to do. Getting to do some project work at the site gets the team all pumped up.”

    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kenneth Williams, from Norman, Okla., is the medic for the 2nd Platoon. He said that being on the team is rewarding because it has given him the opportunity to travel a lot and interact with the Iraqi Police, the Iraqi Army and the TCNs.

    “It has been a great cultural experience and I have gotten to see a lot of things including the Hadithah Dam and the Syrian border,” said Williams, who is a medical supply acquisition officer for Veterans Affairs in his civilian career. “And you can’t beat the camaraderie.”

    Williams said being on the team is also challenging due to the constant enemy threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and precision small arms fire.

    “Being a corpsman, I have to be ready to react,” said Williams.

    The 2nd Platoon has recently performed a number of missions providing security for the Rockhound team as they haul fill material to the Government Center in downtown Al Fallujah.

    Earlier in the deployment, the CSE teams escorted the Rockhounds to several combat outposts (COPs) located across the Al Anbar province. Steelworker 2nd Class Leo Teague, a gunner for the 2nd Platoon, says that being part of the CSE team has given him an opportunity to see the good things being done by Seabees.

    “As a gunner for the CSE team, the many trips that we made with the Rockhounds made it possible for me to see the improvements that are being made across the country of Iraq,” said Teague, a police officer from Lavaca, Ark.

    When not escorting convoys, the teams maintain their vehicles, conduct training and prepare for future missions.

    NMCB 28 is part of nearly 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical construction efforts in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

  2. #2
    Seabee Awarded Purple Heart in Iraq
    Story Number: NNS070813-11
    Release Date: 8/13/2007 5:18:00 PM

    By Builder 1st Class James Gammon, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 Public Affairs

    AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq (NNS) -- Construction Electrician 2nd Class Jason Harrison, of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by Rear Adm. Richard E. Cellon, Commander, 1st Naval Construction Division (1 NCD) Aug. 4, during a ceremony at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

    Cellon, who assumed command of 1 NCD June 29, visited NMCB 28 as part of a Middle East tour to visit forward deployed Seabees. He commented that it was, “a huge privilege to participate in this ceremony.”

    Harrison is a mobilized reservist Seabee serving in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq as part of the Naval Construction Force supporting the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force. He suffered a Level III concussion March 11, while serving as a gunner in the lead vehicle of an NMCB 28 Convoy Security Element (CSE) team.

    Harrison’s vehicle was attacked by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was set 10 meters from the road. Harrison was knocked unconscious by the explosion. He spent two days on limited duty and since then has completed more than 150 missions while still serving as the lead vehicle gunner.

    When asked about the role of a CSE team, the Commanding Officer of NMCB 28, Cmdr. Craig Scharton, explained that their mission is critical.

    “CSE teams perform a vital function, and one not normally associated with the Seabee construction mission,” said Scharton. “They are responsible for helping to maintain the free flow of personnel, supplies, and construction materials around the area of operations in theater.”

    The CSE Convoy Commander, Chief Construction Mechanic Stephen Lucia, has been greatly impressed by Harrison’s professionalism.

    “His devotion to duty and the CSE team is not surpassed by anyone,” said Lucia. “He was selected to be truck one gunner because of his unrelenting, locked on attitude and commitment to carrying out every mission to the best of his abilities. I really appreciate all of his hard work. It has been a pleasure having him on my team.”

    Harrison’s work in the convoy has potentially saved lives.

    "Harrison is considered the CSE's first line of defense against IEDs,” said Lt. Gerald Sachitano, Harrison’s company commander. “His keen eyesight and knowledge of the roads of Al Anbar Province have led to the finding of five IEDs to date. He is an outstanding example of a service member that proudly serves his nation and willingly accepts the danger before him to fight the [global] war on terrorism."

    In December 1999, Harrison enlisted in the U.S. Army as an 11B Infantryman and later transferred to 31C Radio Operator. In 2003, he was deployed to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division and the 3rd Special Forces Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was honorably discharged from the Army in October 2006.

    Later that month, he enlisted in the Navy Reserve through the CB-VET Construction Electrician program and affiliated with NMCB 28 in Baton Rouge, La. In his civilian career, Harrison works as an offshore surveyor.

    NMCB 28 is part of more than 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical construction efforts in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

  3. #3
    NMCB 28’s MSR Repair Team Keeps Convoys Rolling in Iraq
    Story Number: NNS070809-21
    Release Date: 8/9/2007 6:23:00 PM

    By Lt. Michael Wilkinson, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 Public Affairs

    AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq (NNS) -- The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28 have been patching holes in the Main Supply Routes (MSR) and Alternate Supply Routes (ASR) so convoys can safely and quickly deliver critical materials and supplies to forces located along the frontlines since March.

    Road systems in the far reaches of Iraq are in poor condition. With coalition forces hauling numerous heavy loads, the roadways can have considerable deterioration which can potentially give insurgents more hiding places for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s).

    Most IED’s are discovered by route clearance teams and some are discovered by the convoys who call the Explosive Ordnance Disposal units to come and conduct controlled detonations to eliminate the threat.

    NMCB 28 is responsible for conducting repairs on more than 80 kilometers of MSR. Marine support from Combat Logistic Battalion 2 and 1st Combat Engineer Battalion enable the Seabee team to go out and patch holes that are impeding convoy progress.

    To make repairs, water is added to patch material, mixed and then poured into the prepped crater or pothole. The quick-setting mixture enables the road to be opened to traffic within minutes after the last bucket is poured.

    “Every member of the team knows the dangers involved, but they willingly go out time after time to keep coalition [forces] convoys and the Iraqi people safe and moving,” said Equipment Operator 1st Class Jeffrey Binder, MSR repair team leader. “I couldn’t ask for a better group.”

    The youngest team member, Equipment Operator Constructionman Jorge Perez, is glad to be a part of the process.

    “This assignment has really made the deployment worthwhile,” said Perez. “It’s good to get through with a mission and know you’ve made a difference. I like this job.”

    Knowledge may be the biggest asset these reservists bring to the fight. Equipment Operator 2nd Class David Grey has many years of experience working with concrete in the United States and his knowledge is invaluable to every mission.

    Construction Mechanic 1st Class Theodore Williams tracks the team’s progress. He collects their work information for reporting to higher headquarters.

    “My job is a small part of the MSR’s mission; however, if I drop the ball, their mission can get a whole lot harder,” said Williams who is responsible for maintaining an adequate supply of material to conduct operations.

    The Route Repair mission has high priority and is being tracked by the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force Engineering Department. Occasionally, the team will have a special passenger. Master Gunnery. Sgt. Keith Parshall is one of the driving forces behind the engineers’ efforts to keep these routes open.

    “The effort is really two-fold,” said Parshall. “First, to keep the routes open and second to eliminate locations for placing IED’s and reduce that threat to our troops.”

    Despite the daunting challenge of attempting to repair the numerous kilometers of MSR and innumerable kilometers of ASR, the team is determined to go out time and time again to do the behind-the-scenes work to complete the mission.

    “The success of this important engineer tasking is truly a result of coordinated security planning with supporting units allowing the Seabees of NMCB 28 to focus on the construction and repair of the roadways,” said NMCB 28’s operation officer Lt. Cmdr. Daryll Long. “The team has repaired more than 100 holes in the western Al Anbar province of Iraq since its implementation one month ago.”

    In addition to the route repair team based out of Al Asad, NMCB 28 has an identical team based out of Camp Fallujah that works on roadways in and around their area of responsibility.

    NMCB 28 is part of more than 1,100 Sailors and Marines supporting critical construction efforts in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not Create Posts
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts