News: CLR-2 Marines complete first logistics operation
Story by Cpl. Paul Peterson
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Tense and facing the unknown, long months of meticulous training and preparation finally solidified into action for the Marines of Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), July 25.
While the regiment welcomed its new crew of Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., at a Relief and Appointment ceremony here, the first convoy had already went underway to support combat logistics operations in Helmand province.
“As we’ve gotten to Afghanistan, it’s amazing how everything we’ve done prior kind of came together,” said 1st Lt. Taylor Bates, a platoon commander with Transportation Support Company. “Everybody understands what their piece of the pie is … from there we’ve been able to really step right in.”
Bates led the first CLR-2 major logistics convoy to venture outside the defensive perimeter of Camp Leatherneck since the beginning of CLR-2’s transition. The Marines shadowed their predecessors for more than a week, digesting hard earned lessons before embarking on their final mission together.
The convoy set to deliver supplies and equipment to Marines working out of Forward Operating Bases Shukvani and Sabit Qadam, where isolated personnel rely almost solely on the logistical capacity of the CLR.
“It was good to see how they did things and see how we can improve on them, even improve ourselves,” said Bates, an Annapolis, Md., native. “We can take some ideas and really mesh them together to make one of the best platoons and have one of the best convoys out there.”
The Marines launched into nearly 24 hours of continuous operations, splitting their convoy into several sections to provide simultaneous support for multiple installations.
A string of more than twenty vehicles moved along dusty roads crowded with improvised and antiquated vehicles.
Motorbikes and cars with seemingly impossible loads scurried between the Marines’ towering armored vehicles as the convoy moved through the province’s various Afghan villages.
The Marines share the area’s thoroughfares with the local population.
“We’re in their country,” said Bates. “We’re coming in here, and we want to resupply our Marines that are out there without damaging the local populace, without damaging their roads and stopping their [daily lives] … If we become more of a nuisance, then we’re not helping them in the way that we need to.”
The Marines will continue to provide combat logistics support to units operating in the area over the next several months.