WILLIAMSBURG, Va –
Navy Cargo Handling Battalion ONE (NCHB 1) returned from Camp Pendleton, California, Nov 8th, supporting Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) during joint exercise Pacific Horizon 2015(PH15).
PH15 is a scenario driven, simulation supported crisis response exercise designed to improve 1st MEB's and ESG-3's interoperability and strengthen Navy-Marine Corps relations by conducting an in-stream Maritime Pre-position Force offload of equipment by providing host country civil-military security assistance, and by conducting infrastructure restoration support.
"NCHB 1 worked within the Naval Support Element for CNBG-1," said Cmdr. Nathan Johnston, Commanding Officer, NCHB 1, "everyone involved benefits from an exercise like Pacific Horizon."
NCHB 1, utilizing the ships' cranes, performed load on load off (LOLO) to offload the Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) from USNS Dahl (T-AKR-312) to construct the roll on roll off (RORO) discharge facility (RRDF) and two causeway ferries.
During the course of the exercise Amphibious Construction Battalion ONE (ACB 1) assembled and operated the INLS performing RORO in conjunction with USNS PFC Dewayne T. Williams (T-AKR-3009) supporting ESG 3 and 1st MEB.
"There are many challenges when working in-stream," said Johnston, "sea and winds were major factors during the exercise, but it's the reality of cargo operations at sea."
Pier side conditions generally present a much more controlled environment for the stevedores of NCHB 1. Pacific Horizon offered an opportunity to get much needed in-stream training.
"It is nearly impossible to create at sea conditions in the pier side training environment," said Johnston, "the in-stream environment is necessary in developing and maintaining our in-stream capability."
Johnston went on to say how proud he was of his Sailors for their hard work in a challenging environment, looking forward to the next opportunity to once again work in-stream.
With the conclusion of Pacific Horizon 2015, NCHB 1 now sets its sight on its next mission of Operation Deep Freeze, the annual resupply of McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
NCHB 1 is homeported in Williamsburg, Virginia, the only active duty cargo handling battalion located at Cheatham Annex. Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (NAVELSG) provides Sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the Fleet's surface and air-handling mission. More than 100 Sailors and civilians work hand-in-hand with the Fleet and are dedicated to ensuring training is current and well executed on behalf of 3,500 active duty and reserve Sailors in the administration, logistics and training of their active and reserve components.