Seabee Recognized for Supporting Naval Special Warfare

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter awarded Chief Warrant Officer Mark Bierce, Logistics and Support Unit 2’s Combat Service Support Detachment (CSSD) officer in charge, a Bronze Star on June 5 at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. Bierce is one of three Seabees from his detachment of 30 who were presented this medal in the past 18 months, including Senior Chief Equipment Operator (SCW) Michael Metheny and Chief Builder (SCW) Darren Drake. All three served as officers in charge of a Combat Service Support Task Unit supporting Naval Special Warfare (NSW) operations in some of the most dangerous areas in Iraq.

Most Seabees operate as part of a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, which consists of about 500 people. These three led groups of only about eight to 10 personnel, but were responsible for the same types of projects as a battalion, just on a smaller scale. Some of these projects included establishing a base camp, building berthing tents, shower tents and construction of numerous Southwest Asia huts to function as Tactical Operation Centers and other essential buildings. A task unit will build about 10 structures per deployment, while a battalion may build 100.

One thing that isn’t similar between a battalion and a task unit supporting NSW operations is the operational tempo. Battalions usually operate on a strict deployment cycle. For each six or seven months they are deployed, the battalion is in homeport for the next 10 months. The average number of days away from homeport for each individual in the CSSD over the past three years is 285 days per year, according to Bierce. “This is a job for someone who likes working outside of their comfort zone,” said Drake. “It’s a whole new ball game here. You’re still doing Seabee things, but we do SpecWar (special warfare) things too.”

Of the more than 17,000 Seabees in the Navy, fewer than 500 are assigned to Naval Special Warfare. The members of CSSD receive extra training to prepare them for the environment they’ll be working in, such as Blackwater Technical Training; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE); Airload Planner and Tactical First Responder medical training. The in-rate training also continues, as well as a few extras. Since it’s such a small group of people responsible for supporting an entire SEAL team, each person has to be a jack of all trades and rates. The unit is responsible for each step of the mission from embarkation to logistics, vehicle maintenance and convoys.

On Drake’s deployment, he had to run convoys to pick up food from the nearest forward operating base and bring it to the camp, build a galley and set up a buffet. He was the final approval for a budget of more than $100,000. Bierce handled more than $2.5 million in contracts, but didn’t have to build a camp from the ground up like Drake. Each deployment is different, and each presents its own set of challenges. “All of the deployed Seabees face challenging and tough assignments -– no matter what unit they are attached to -- but I considered my Seabees to be some of the best the Navy has to offer,” said Bierce.

With only a 30 member detachment to support four SEAL teams and three other NSW units, no matter where in the world they’re training or deployed, the Seabees attached to the CSSD have to be up to the challenge. “The SEALs depend on us —- they really rely on us to make things happen no matter what they need,” said Drake.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Katt Whittenberger, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Ingram to Build 20 Tank Barges in 2015

Ingram Barge Company announced that it will build 20 tank barges in 2015 to meet growing demand for chemical shipments. While most of the company’s recent tank

Webinar: 3D Laser Scanning in the Marine Industry

Maritime industry professionals have increasingly taken notice of 3D laser scanning in recent years as acceptance for the technology and its applications mounts throughout the sector.

Shuster Receives Champion of Maritime Award

Congressman honored for support of domestic maritime industry.   Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) this week received the 2014 Champion of Maritime Award from the American Maritime Partnership (AMP),

Navy

Navy Ships Deliver Supplies to Solomon Islands

Two Royal Australian Navy landing craft have delivered vital supplies to remote communities in Solomon Islands as part of Australia’s commitment to provide support to the region.

MacGregor Wins RoRo Cargo Access Equipment Order

MacGregor has won an order from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea for the design and delivery of MacGregor RoRo cargo access equipment.

Australian Navy Delivers Solomon Island Supplies

Two Royal Australian Navy landing craft have delivered vital supplies to remote communities in Solomon Islands as part of Australia’s commitment to provide support to the region.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1847 sec (5 req/sec)