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A Seabee with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE applies some finishing touches to a concrete pour March 18, at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sky M. Laron)

Photo by Sky Laron

Seabees support MCTSSA during PACBLITZ 2019

2 May 2019 | Sky M. Laron, Public Affairs Officer, MCTSSA Marine Corps Systems Command

A swarm of U.S. Navy Seabees put their renowned “can-do” spirit to work during construction projects aboard Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity in March.

Thirty-three Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FIVE built a concrete pad and a new permanent block-style command sign for MCTSSA as part of their training during Pacific Blitz 2019.

PACBLITZ 2019 provided relevant training that replicated a realistic maritime threat environment. The exercises were designed to improve naval amphibious core competencies necessary for effective, global crisis response expected of the Navy and Marine Corps.

“The training we received was invaluable,” said Lt. j.g. Joshua Lamb, NMCB 5 construction detail officer-in-charge. “The skills these guys get to exercise will be deployed downrange winning hearts and minds for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief events in the future.”

The MCTSSA compound aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton served as home for the Seabees for two weeks as they completed their tasks.

“[The MCTSSA team] took care of us, and it was a joy to work here,” said Builder 1st Class Antwon Horton, NMCB 5 project supervisor.

The construction at MCTSSA was the first time Horton participated in PACBLITZ, but he is no stranger to deployments. His last overseas tour involved building out Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan.

“This has been great training and really tailored to what we do during deployment,” said Horton. “Plus, it gets us working back with the Marines again, building that relationship.”

That partnership Horton described has been a win for MCTSSA as well.

“Traditional construction projects involving outside vendors and contracts have an order of precedence and different types of money involved, which doesn’t always allow for certain jobs to get done in a timely manner,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Hoffman, MCTSSA logistics chief. “Having the Seabees come out, it is guaranteed that the job will be done right and quickly, which has been impressive to watch.”

Beyond the skill-building his team receives, Horton added that there is a level of pride that comes from building something he knows the Marines need. He called the training “a win-win,” adding that he couldn’t have done it without his team.

“They are a great group of guys that I’d take anywhere with me and do any project,” said Horton. “The whole crew was motivated, which made my job easy.”

It is that motivation and “can-do” spirit that has served the Seabees of NMCB 5 well since their original commissioning in 1942. Since then, NMCB 5 has held its reputation as “The Professionals” who facilitate construction on every continent and perform tirelessly in support of every major U.S. conflict.

“These top-rate builders have lived up to their name and are true professionals in what they do,” said Col. Robert Bailey, MCTSSA commanding officer. “The Seabees have left a positive mark on MCTSSA and the projects they created will be their legacy here.”

MCTSSA, an elite, full-scale laboratory facility operated by the Marine Corps, is a subordinate command of Marine Corps Systems Command. MCTSSA provides test and evaluation, engineering and deployed technical support for Marine Corps and joint service command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems throughout all acquisition life-cycle phases.

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