Point Mugu, California - Civil Engineer Corps Officers School (CECOS) Basic Class 263 students concluded the course's expeditionary phase during a five-day field training exercise (FTX) across Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu's coastal terrain August 25.
The 47 future civil engineer corps (CEC) officers applied what they learned from the expeditionary academic week at the schoolhouse in Port Hueneme. Classroom and laboratory instruction covered construction methods, contingency planning and operations, engineering reconnaissance, and land navigation.
"The whole point of FTX isn't so that they leave feeling like they have it all figured out and they are perfect CEC officers and they are ready to take on all of the field aspects," said CECOS Command Adjutant Lt. Andrew Stitt. He explained that the goal is to have the officers take away a confidence in knowing they can succeed while also understanding that they have more to learn.
As an integral part of the school's training cycle, the FTX tests the class's ability to operate as a team during challenging missions. Students learn basic principles and skill sets, such as leadership, teamwork and accountability, which they will need to be successful when leading Seabees in naval construction force expeditionary units.
Students were placed into four squads, and each squad was assigned an officer, chief and Marine as advisors. All squads were given mission taskers on security patrols, command post exercises, and engineering reconnaissance, culminating in a brief to the commander of the notional combat logistics battalion.
"(The advisors) led me in the right direction and gave me advice on how to handle the situation that I was going to encounter," said Lt. j.g. Francis Felix, who was a squad leader. "Since I have been here, I have learned a lot in terms of leadership. Always take care of your people."
CECOS Commanding Officer Capt. Glenn Hubbard acknowledged the efforts of the support staff in putting together the FTX training for the new CEC officers.
"Even though this exercise is a short introduction to naval construction force operations, it still requires significant logistics and training support," said Hubbard. "We could not have accomplished this without support from the Port Hueneme-based naval mobile construction battalion, Naval Construction Group 1, our Marine cadre, and an all-hands-on-deck mindset from the combined effort of CECOS, Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering, Defense Acquisition University, and Naval Facilities Institute team."
CECOS provides Seabees, civil engineer corps officers, facility engineers and environmental professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and education to enhance lifelong learning and to provide quality support to the fleet.