NMCB 3 carries out weapons qualifications

SW3 Mark Bowlin from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 helps his gunner locate and eliminate practice targets during an M240B machine gun qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Photo by UT3 (SCW) Jennifer Stewart / NMCB 3

SW3 Mark Bowlin from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 helps his gunner locate and eliminate practice targets during an M240B machine gun qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday, Jan. 29.

A Marine Corps range safety officer from the 31st Seabee Readiness Group provides a safety brief to Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29 and 30.

Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Chris Fahey / NMCB 3

A Marine Corps range safety officer from the 31st Seabee Readiness Group provides a safety brief to Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29 and 30.

BUCN Rachel Aldridge from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoots three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Chris Fahey / NMCB 3

BUCN Rachel Aldridge from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoots three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoot three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Chris Fahey / NMCB 3

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoot three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Tuesday, Jan. 29.

BUCN (SCW) William Reaws from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 readies 40mm grenades to fire from the Mk19 grenade launcher during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held in Central California last month. Nearly 400 Seabees completed this vital step in deployment preparation.

Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Chris Fahey / NMCB 3

BUCN (SCW) William Reaws from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 readies 40mm grenades to fire from the Mk19 grenade launcher during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held in Central California last month. Nearly 400 Seabees completed this vital step in deployment preparation.

CM3 (SCW) Christopher Sanford and CM3 Alex Miley from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoot three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles, Calif., Tuesday. Nearly 400 Seabees from NMCB 3 received weapons training in preparation for a deployment scheduled later this year.

Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Chris Fahey / NMCB 3

CM3 (SCW) Christopher Sanford and CM3 Alex Miley from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 shoot three-round bursts from an M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles, Calif., Tuesday. Nearly 400 Seabees from NMCB 3 received weapons training in preparation for a deployment scheduled later this year.

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 fire the AT4 anti-tank rocket during a weapons qualification and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Photo by UT3 (SCW) Jennifer Stewart / NMCB 3

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 fire the AT4 anti-tank rocket during a weapons qualification and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 prepare to fire the M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

Photo by UT3 (SCW) Jennifer Stewart / NMCB 3

Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 prepare to fire the M240B machine gun during a weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

BUCA Stephanie Snyder from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 fires an AT4 anti-tank rocket during last month's weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

Photo by UT3 (SCW) Jennifer Stewart / NMCB 3

BUCA Stephanie Snyder from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3 fires an AT4 anti-tank rocket during last month's weapons qualifications and familiarization exercise held at Camp Roberts in Paso Robles.

PASO ROBLES Nearly 400 Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 completed a vital step in deployment preparation last month after qualifying on five different combat weapons systems.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard Anglin, the training event’s officer in charge, participants safely operated the M240B and Mk2 .50-caliber machine guns, the Mk19 and M203 grenade launchers and the AT4 rocket launcher.

“When deployed, we are responsible to provide our own security — our Army and Marine Corps counterparts rely on that ability and don’t see us as an element needing their defense,” said Anglin. “These weapons are part of the defensive layers we use to protect ourselves. They are a critical skill set, and I’m seeing a lot of great effort by our Seabees.”

The weapons allow Seabees to engage enemy combatants at greater distances and in larger quantities than the standard issue M4 or M16 semi-automatic weapons. Each of the M240B and Mk2 .50-caliber machine guns has a maximum effective range of up to 1,800 meters.

The Mk19 grenade launcher can engage pockets of enemies at 2,212 meters with a blast radius of 15 meters.

In contrast to Mk19, which sets on a tripod, the M203 is a personnel-carried grenade launcher that fits underneath either the M4 or M16. It carries a maximum effective range of 350 meters with the same blast radius as the Mk19.

Unlike any of the machine guns or grenade launchers, the anti-tank AT4 is a hand-carried rocket launcher with a maximum effective range equal to the M203, but it can penetrate heavily armored vehicles and boasts a 65-meter blast radius.

The AT4’s kinetic power all but hypnotized Builder Constructionman (SCW) Michael Dorsey.

“It has a really big boom!” said Dorsey. “You can feel the force thump your chest and see a good-sized mushroom cloud upon contact. It’s nice!”

The weapons familiarization and qualifications event is a critical step in preparing to deploy. Following completion, NMCB 3 will participate in a graded field training exercise (FTX) that determines whether or not they are ready to put boots on ground. Ensuring the Seabees are confident and ready before the exercise places NMCB 3 in the best possible position to succeed.

“When I’m gearing up to take charge of whichever weapon I’m assigned to operate, I feel ready more than ready,” said Equipment Operator 3rd Class (SCW) Izzy Hidalgo. “I know I can help my fellow Seabee if we take fire, and I feel completely secure that the person next to me has the same knowledge. Thanks to this training, I feel 100 percent confident that we are all capable warfighters, and I know we will smoke FTX.”

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Commanding Officer

CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

Chief Staff Officer

CAPT. SCOTT LOESCHKE

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ANDREA HOWRY, 805-989-5281

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KIMBERLY GEARHART
Ventura County Star - 805-437-0000

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MARGIE COCHRANE, Ventura County Star

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NSWC Port Hueneme and representatives from eight allied, international navies joined forces on April 7 to establish a unified strategic plan for modernizing and sustaining the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) on a global scale, yielding enhanced worldwide fleet readiness and collective maritime strength against ever-evolving threats.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
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