Saturday, December 10, 2022

U.S. Navy Seabees are preparing for a nuclear or chemical attack

The U.S. Naval Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees, participate in the annual field training exercise Operation Bearing Duel. Their nickname is a heterograph of the initials “C.B.” from the words Construction Battalion.

According to a Navy news release, Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3 participated in a successful Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.

FTX is intended to test the battalions mission readiness and small unit leadership by using real-time training including chemical, biological and radiological attacks, improvised explosive devices and the use of guerrilla tactics during attacks on the battalion.


Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) decontamination is the removal of CBRN material from equipment or humans. The objective of the decontamination is to reduce radiation burden, salvage equipment, and materials, remove loose CBRN contaminants, and fix the remaining in place in preparation for protective storage or permanent disposal work activities.

Decontamination may be carried out using chemical, electrochemical, and mechanical means. Like materials, humans may also be contaminated with CBRN contamination. Changes in cellular function can occur at lower radiation doses and exposure to chemicals. At high dose, cell death may take place. Therefore, decontamination of humans while generating bare minimum waste is an enormous task requiring dedication of large number of personnel and large amount of time.

The battalion is conducted Operation Bearing Duel FTX that prepares and tests the battalion’s ability to enter a hostile location, build assigned construction projects and defend against enemy attacks using realistic scenarios while being evaluated by Naval Construction Group 1.

Photo by Michael J Lopez
Photo by Michael J Lopez

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.