CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Sailors, attached to Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1, finished combat training scenarios to successfully complete Field Training Exercise (FTX) 2017 on Camp Pendleton, January 27.
FTX 2017 is a simulated forward-operating and scenario-based exercise designed to train and test the battalion in Seabee Combat Warfare (SCW), skills needed for contingency and expeditionary missions.
Capt. Greg Vinci, commanding officer of ACB 1, explained the mission was to simulate the offload of a Maritime Prepositioning Force ship and project combat power ashore by equipping Marine Corps units, establishing an expeditionary tent camp, and defending it.
“Despite being subjected to adverse weather, we hunkered down, safely operated the camp, ensured that all of our Sailors were safe throughout the entire event, and met all training objectives,” said Vinci.
Sailors endured Camp Pendleton’s heavy rainfall and flooding. The base was even restricted to essential mission personnel only at one point. However, ACB 1 remained on station and continued training.
“After the rain everything has been going smoothly,” said Engineman Fireman Ying Li. “We have been doing a lot more exercise scenarios and everything has been getting a lot more fun.”
ACB 1’s training team, acting as red and white cell, had the battalion reacting to scenarios such as securing the logistic support area (LSA), weapons handling, controlling various entry control point situations and defending the LSA against intruders.
“Everyone got super hyped whenever white cell would show up because we knew to expect something to happen,” said Seaman Callie M. Mergen. “The training aspect is what we looked forwarded to. We wanted to learn, and we wanted to learn what we did wrong.”
FTX is a qualifying event Sailors at ACB 1 need in order to earn their SCW qualification. It is a combination of months of classroom instructions culminating in the practical application of those skills in the field.
“I’m a hands-on learner,” said Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Falcon Allaire. “So actually seeing it and practicing it helps me make sense and fully understand what I’m actually trying to read.”
ACB 1’s FTX 2017 was integrated with Exercise Meereen Rising, consisting of Naval Beach Group 1 units and Military Sealift Command’s expeditionary transfer dock USNS Montford Point (T-ESD 1).
“I am very proud of the integration not only within the Naval Beach Group but also with our ACB 1 active and reserve component,” said Vinci. “We showed motivation each and every day, desire to learn and improve our capabilities, which we demonstrated throughout the entire exercise.”
The camp ACB 1 Sailors built was named in honor of Equipment Operator 2nd Class Dylan Malone. Malone was assigned to ACB 1 and the battalion posed for a group photo to provide to his family after completing FTX 2017.