U.S. Navy Sailors with Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 operate heavy machinery equipment to prepare land for the life sustaining area utilized during a combined joint logistics over the shore operation in preparation for Balikatan 23 in Casiguran, Philippines on March 24, 2023. U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Brianna Curley.

Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 Sailors who are headquartered in San Diego constructed a life support area and channel crossing this spring in support of Exercise Balikatan 2023 in Casiguran, Philippines.

ACB 1 is the sole Navy unit to conduct Improved Navy Lighterage System or INLS missions, and it supports Joint Force operations and humanitarian aid response with ship-to-shore logistics and rapidly deployable construction teams around the globe, according to the Navy.

The life support areas, built in April, are camps that provide service members with housing, food, medical services, and sanitation and preparation areas while deployed ashore.

To build the areas, ACB 1 Sailors cleared and leveled six acres of land and constructed facilities to support 500 personnel for the duration of the mission.

Balikatan is an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. military designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences.

Channel Crossing

The construction crew members also built a 70-foot-by-15-foot channel crossing requiring 900 cubic tons of material, large enough to support Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore operations and the movement of heavy equipment to and from the Military Sealift Command ships supporting the exercise.

Paired with the channel crossing, ACB 1 utilized Improved Navy Lighterage System craft to conduct over ther shore missions due to the crafts’ portability and modular capabilities.

The exercises maintain the U.S. Joint Force and allied capability to strategically maintain ship-to-shore logistics around the world.

Roll On/Roll Off and Amphibious Bulk Liquid Transfer System missions also rehearsed during the exercise.

With the construction efforts, the mission was successfully completed as the combined team was able to transport 200 pieces of military equipment while maintaining unbroken services for all 500 service members, according to the Navy.

“The construction projects we completed here were critical to the success of the overall mission, and our Seabees were able to complete them safely and quickly,” said Chief Equipment Operator Christopher Ransomer. “What the construction team did here is the bread and butter of being a Seabee, and as always, they did it well.”

Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Storm Henry

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