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November 30, 2021

US Navy Seabees conclude COMMEX exercise with 9th ESB Marines

The exercise offered an opportunity to practice communicating in a degraded simulated environment.

US Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 has successfully concluded a joint Communications Exercise (COMMEX).

The exercise was conducted with 9th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) Marines aboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Japan.

According to the US Navy, the exercise allowed the battalion to practice communicating in a degraded environment using different communication equipment.

It offered the battalion an opportunity to self-evaluate their capability, identify challenges or gaps, and learn to operate effectively in the evolving battlespace.

The exercise also proved that they could execute command and control of the battalion’s detail sites across the Indo-Pacific region.

NMCB-5 Marine Corps liaison officer 1st lieutenant Brandon Jackson said: “It provides the commander a snapshot of his battalion’s current readiness to operate, should he need to transition into the ‘Fight Tonight’.

“I was able to see things from an outside perspective and identify potential gaps in how the Seabees currently operate concerning the evolving battlespace.

“This, in turn, allowed the staff to drive the battalion to experience unfamiliar concepts.

“Concepts such as minimal communication windows with subordinate commands, new reporting formats, and an emphasis heavily placed on actions needing to be taken via implicit tasking and following commander’s intent.”

Furthermore, the marines executed a proof of concept to reach an adjacent unit over voice and data via the ‘Mobile User Objective System’ assets.

In May last year, NMCB 3 successfully concluded a command sustainment exercise, which included one construction project in support of Naval Base Ventura County and two Seabee Technical Training modules.

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