Because the Global War on Terror necessitates the ability of all branches of the U.S. Military to be able to deploy to remote locations and quickly establish operating bases, the Seabee community has been particularly busy over the past decade. One of the biggest aids for Sailors serving in the Steelworker rating (SW) has been the introduction of the Ultimate Building Machine, or UBM. Used exclusively by SW Sailors, the UBM increases their productivity on an order of magnitude, saving time, money, and potentially lives in the process.

Currently employed by more than six dozen nations around the world, the Ultimate Bulding Machine was developed in 1994. The UBM is an all-terrain “factory on wheel” that is transported by truck or aircraft directly to a construction site. At the heart of the UBM is an integrated microprocessor that produces unique designs crafted specifically with operational needs and environmental constraints in mind. The cost of the steel buildings the UBM produces cost between 40 to 60 percent less than conventionally constructed buildings or even prefabricated buildings, with much of those savings directly attributable to the elimination of the need for architects or engineers in the design process.

Cost-analysis software written to support the UBM allows Steelworkers and other Seabees to maintain accurate cost predictions, and remote access allows adjustments to the software by Navy personnel or even by the UBM’s manufacturers. What all this translates to in real life is that a crew of a dozen or less Seabees can manufacture, assemble, and erect a 10,000-square-foot structure in as little as one day—structures that are rustproof, watertight, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes, gales, and even heavy snowfall.

Besides dramatically decreasing the time it takes to erect buildings at new installations, the UMB is also beneficial in conducting training exercises. In 2015, for instance, two dozen Seabees built two steel panel buildings dubbed K-spans and over 300 feet of four-foot retaining walls as part of the Integrated Training Exercise; the K-Spans provided quarters for Marines taking part in the live-fire Exercise Mojave Viper, with the retaining walls preventing erosion and offering protection from flooding for facilities that had already been erected. Using the UMB in such a setting provides Sailors in the Steelworker rating with valuable hands-on experience that will prove invaluable when deployed into a real-life operational setting.


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As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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