|08-31-2005, 01:16 AM||#1 (permalink)|
U.S. Marine ( FAST )
Join Date: Sep 2004
Seabees rappel, swim, trudge through muddy, mountainous terrain in timed endurance co
Fifty Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74’s Air Detachment divided into four teams to participate in a timed endurance course that pitted the teams against each other in a 3.8-mile race through the dense jungle of northern Okinawa at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Aug. 17.
This is the first time the majority of these Seabees have participated in jungle training, explained Master Chief Petty Officer Pete T. Grundy, the detachment master chief for NMCB 74’s Air Detachment.
The mountainous terrain proved challenging as the Seabees rappelled, swam and crawled to negotiate the course’s cliffs, creeks and trenches.
Evaluators accompanied each team and ensured the participants followed the course rules. Any major violation of the rules incurred a five-minute penalty.
Violations included using boundary ropes for assistance and carrying simulated casualties in a manner other than on an improvised stretcher made from sticks and uniform blouses, such as a fireman’s carry.
The teams began the race by rappelling down a steep rock slope. Each successive team started the course in 15-minute intervals.
The Seabees traversed a path over rock faces, through a creek and beneath a bridge to reach the first of three check points. After completing each obstacle, the teams earned five-minute breaks for time to adjust gear and fill canteens.
More jungle environment and a zip line stood between the teams and the “Pit and Pond,” an area consisting of muddy three-foot-deep trenches, mud pits covered with concertina wire and a sunken culvert.
While rappelling a rock face, Seaman Apprentice Matthew Darr, a utilitiesman with the detachment, fell, breaking his leg before he reached the zip line.
The staff of JWTC was on the scene within minutes to treat Darr. They extracted him from the dense jungle before sending him to U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester.
Seabees had to low crawl, back crawl and swim to navigate the “Pit and Pond” successfully. The end of the obstacle involved the Seabees pulling their muddy bodies under a mock booby trap to the second checkpoint.
“This is insane,” said one of the exhausted Seabees as he headed toward the final checkpoint.
During the final stretch, the teams endured the toughest portion of the course, explained Lance Cpl. Jesse J. Scheper, a jungle warfare instructor.
The teams had to carry one of their teammates on a stretcher over hills and through “Peanut Butter Alley,” a 100-meter-long lane of waist-high mud. The mock casualty had to remain on the stretcher until the end of the course.
“The mud has the consistency of peanut butter and is notorious for stealing loosely tied boots,” explained Sgt. Jason B. Drobish, assistant instructor and operations chief for JWTC.
Three steep inclines were the only things between the Seabees and the final checkpoint once they cleared “Peanut Butter Alley.”
All four teams completed the course completely drained of energy, Grundy said.
“It definitely opened (our) eyes to jungle survival,” said Grundy. “A lot of hard chargers thought it would be a breeze.”
|endurance, mountainous, muddy, rappel, seabees, swim, terrain, timed, trudge|
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