29 December IP: 188.8.131.52 Posted on December 29, 2018 at 02:28:06 PM by Terry
1965…The Bob Hope USO Show was presented adjacent to Camp Hoover.
1967…NMCB-58 began construction of miscellaneous structures for a Helicopter repair facility at Red Beach, Da Nang . The project consisted of 12 bunkers, running security wire around the perimeter and jetting three wells as well as miscellaneous earth work and three showers, 33 tent decks, and 14 4-hole heads.
…NMCB-53 Advance Party, consisting of 9 officers and 124 enlisted men, deployed to Da Nang on two C-141 aircraft from CBC Davisville.
…Seabee Team 0910 returned to the main body 29Dec67 at Da Nang via Boeing 707 aircraft, from leave in CONUS after competing a six-month deployment to Thailand in Nov 67.
1968…NMCB-1’s highest priority, most demanding and certainly most challenging continuing project of the 1968-1969 deployment was the operation of Phu Loc Quarry. When NMCB-1 took over in June 1968, the basic camp had been built, and the quarry and crusher were in full operation by NMCB-9. Because of the large rock requirements, in early June, NMCB-71 began developing the northwest corner of the camp into a complete quarry and crusher operation of its own. Throughout the deployment NMCB-1 exercised administrative control over the Phu Loc Quarry; however, each quarry reported for operational control to the Third Naval Construction Brigade. Responsibility for rock production and repair parts retained at the Brigade level had its good and bad points; however, the main consideration was that it worked and the quarry met its assigned production goals.
The quarry was quite a complex operation with a simple goal, making rock for whatever purpose the shifting priorities demanded; i.e., road run, concrete aggregate, asphalt aggregate, railroad ballast, or primary run. In order to logically cover the complexities envolved to produce the goal, the quarry operation will be broken down into Rock Production; Camp Administration; Camp Security; and Personnel.
The basic quarry equipment in June 1968 consisted of rock drills, shovels, rock dump trucks, a 200 ton per hour crusher, assorted conveyors, a shaker unit, and various support vehicles. The major items noted above were provided from the Brigade as augment equipment with the Brigade retaining tight control over utilization and repair parts support. Miscellaneous support vehicles were provided from NMCB-1’s organic equipment allowance.
The most serious single problem which adversely affected rock production throughout the whole deployment was the lack of repair parts for shovels and other augment equipment. At one point during the first month on site, all shovels were down and production was continued only through the use of a hastily built loading ramp whereby dozers pushed the rock into the dump trucks. Since much of the 140 pieces of augment equipment at the quarry was specialized, auch as the 200 ton per hour crusher, the 2 ¾ yard shovel, etc. and with only one or two pieces of each type of equipment in-country, spare parts on hand were almost non-existent. For much of the equipment with the result that items were on deadline for considerable periods awaiting repair parts. It was impractical to maintain a stock of spare parts either in-country or at CBC Port Hueneme for the specialized equipment as was done for organic equipment and the spare parts support for organic over augment was clearly apparent. Something could be done to reduce the many different types of augment equipment. Foer example, each Battalion in-country had two Northwesy crawler cranes as organic equipment while Phu Loc Quarry had 5 different model cranes from three different manufacturers. By using extra effort, tender loving care and Seabee ingenuity, at least one of the shovels was kept operational in out-loading from the rock face the remainder of the deployment. The dedication and determinination of the shovel operators and mechanics cannot be over-emphasized. .
Quarry operations like any sequential series of operations is dependent upon the weakest link in the chain. Thus considerable time and effort was spent in achieving optimum production in each step of the process from quarry to stock pile. Some of the key factors were quickly found to be crew motivation, dedication and innovation in addition to the pure mechanical operation limitations of the equipment. For the most part the crews developed a fine sense of spirit and competition when day and night crews were started. This lead to their finding seemly small ways to squeeze extra production from the machines as well as develop an alertness to catch minor problems before they became major breakdowns. Most every job in a quarry is dirty and dangerous, the former because of the copius amount of dust produced by the crusher, and the latter from the large machinery involved as well as the blasting and its attendant hazards. The oise, the dirt, the danger, the constant alertness to trouble, the rough living conditions, the danger of enemy attack, the frustrations of keeping heavy equipment operating at the end of a long, long supply train and the driving determination to improve production all made the men of the NMCB-1 Phu Loc Quarry detail special in their accomplishments and richly deserving praise for goals achieved.
Equipment upkeep and care by mechanics and operators was a most important element to achieving rock production goals; however, it was soon discovered that the blaster and his crew had a significant effect on all other processes of quarry production. Unfortunately, NMCB-1 never had a truly outstanding blaster who could handle the quarry operation for the whole deployment. In fact, without the help and guidance of the Brigade civilian expert, NMCB-1 would have not have produced the rock output they did. Blasters were changed frequently looking for the man with the right “touch”. Electric caps with delays and the room quarrying method were all introduced and improved during the deployment. Yet the fact still remains that the Battalion did not have an outstanding blaster. This is an area in which large dividends would accrue from the selection, training, and development of experienced blasters for the Seabees. If expert blasters could not be developed within every Battalion, then the most modern equipment and techniques should be available to maximize the productive efforts.
1969… Led by LCDR L.C. Struthers, CEC, USN, Operations Officer, NMCB-10’s Advance Party arrived at Camp Wilkinson, Gia Le Combat Base.
…LCDR D. Plunnecke relieved LCDR G.W. Jackson as NMCB-74 Operations Officer.
…The MCB-10/MCB-133 equipment BEEP commenced.
1970…In Quang Nam Province 15 miles southwest of Danang, a five-ton dump truck from NMCB-3 detonated a 60-100 pound mine on LTL-4 causing major equipment damage and serious injury to EO1 A.W. Roy. The wounded Seabee was medevaced to the 95th Evacuation Hospital, Da Nang.
1971…CBMU-302 completed dependent shelter construction at Nam Can and Cu Lao Re Island