OKINAWA, Japan –
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 completed a 48- hour Mount-Out Exercise (MOX) onboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan, June 19-20.
This exercise simulates one of the core capabilities of a construction battalion to deploy an Air Detachment (Air Det.), along with construction equipment, within 48-hours to any location around the globe in support of Major Combat Operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
The scenario for NMCB 5 involved a super typhoon that caused severe damage to a Pacific country where people were suffering and the host nation government’s infrastructure was critically impaired.
“Our timeline is 48 hours to mount the Air Detachment (Air Det),” said Construction Mechanic Chief Petty Officer Christopher Norris, from Albany, N.Y., maintenance chief for NMCB 5, “It's important so that we can get on scene as soon as possible so we can start providing that life sustaining relief to the people.”
The evolution requires coordination and teamwork to build pallets and wash, weigh and measure each piece of equipment. NMCB 5 has been training over the past few weeks to prepare for the exercise.
“The past couple weeks we've started off with marking and weighing equipment” said Construction Mechanic 1 st Class Salvador Linares, from Greenville, Calif., the embark leading petty officer, “We showed the crew how to build pallets and how to net them or chain them down to that pallet, and our last training was on how to prepare all the paperwork to be able to ship all this equipment out.”
Specialty-trained load planners input the weight and measurements into a computer program called Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movements System (TCAIMS) to determine how the Air Det. equipment will fit onto a military aircraft. If the load is not properly planned, it could endanger the flight.
The equipment is then chalked, which means the equipment is put in place exactly as it would be on the plane, but on the ground said Linares. This ensures all the equipment will fit before it’s put on the plane.
Each Battalion that deploys does the exercise yearly, so they’re ready at a moment’s notice.
“I think it’s important to know that this is a training exercise, but also this is no kidding, getting us ready for a real world natural disaster and humanitarian assistance for relief,” said Norris. “So we're here and we're here to proof of concept and to validate we're ready to go.”
It lets the team see where they are at operationally added Linares, and it also helps us train new people so they know what to do in case of an actual mount-out.
NMCB 5 is forward deployed to execute construction, humanitarian and foreign assistance, and theater security cooperation support of United States Indo-Pacific Command.