News: 4th MLG Marines keep heavy equipment in the fight at Twentynine Palms
Story by Lance Cpl. Brytani Musick
NEW ORLEANS - 4th Marine Logistics Group Marines played their part in the behind-the-scene work needed for Marine Forces Reserve’s upcoming Integrated Training Exercise.
ITX is a large-scale Reserve and active-duty integrated, scenario-driven, live exercise with all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force working together.
4th MLG Marines participating worked in the Enhanced Equipment Allowance Pool Dec. 8-21 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., as part of the Personnel Temporary Augmentee Program.
The Marines deployed from all over the nation to help the Exercise Support Division’s efforts to repair and restore equipment used during training aboard the Combat Center.
This is the first of six opportunities 4th MLG Marines will have to receive annual training this fiscal year. Combat Logistics Regiment 45 and CLR 4 share the lead during the six rotations.
ESD’s mission is to maintain safe equipment for those who train aboard MCAGCC, said Maj. Garey Burrill, ESD’s operations officer.
There are 174 civilians and 55 Marines who work full time in support of ESD’s mission to maintain equipment functions, ensuring everything sent out is complete, safe and serviceable, Burrill said.
An additional 82 Reserve Marines from CLR-45, CLR-4, 6th Engineer Support Bn. and 4th Medical Bn. deployed to MCAGCC for two weeks of training to augment the full-time staff.
It’s a big benefit for us,” said Burrill. “Maintenance requirements here are constant; they never end.”
This exercise not only benefits ESD, but the Reserve Marines get invaluable wrench time they don’t get working at their home training centers, said Col. Gregory Lemons, the CLR-45 commanding officer. The Marines come in and work with civilians who teach them beyond their experiences at their Military Occupational Specialty school.
“The most beneficial thing for the Marines is to actually work in their MOS. They may not have the opportunity to work several days in a row; here they learn from each day and apply those lessons learned to the following day,” said 1st Lt. Juan Gonzalez, the EEAP officer-in-charge.
The Reserve component is training to augment the active component, like ESD, who plays a big part in the Marine Corps as a whole, Lemons said. Additionally, the Reserve Marines bring outside skills and unique experiences from their civilian jobs.
Marines are learning from the full-time staff here, but in one instance the Reserve Marines got the opportunity to share some tricks of the trade with the civilians, said Lemons. “It works both ways.”
Exercise Support Division received a significant amount of help in their mission by simply having more hands on deck to maintain unit readiness while allowing 4th MLG Marines to get much needed time working in their MOS. Marines worked in their sections including light, medium and heavy equipment, communications, supply and engineering. Gonzalez and Lemons agreed the benefits aren’t just in the number of vehicles repaired, or the number of Marines participating, but in giving all the Marines and civilians the opportunity to grow and learn from one another.
The Reserve Marines coming out here and working together with Marines from all across 4th MLG are building upon their knowledge of the Marine Corps ethos and gaining a deeper respect for the camaraderie,” Lemons said about the benefit everybody participating gains.
As each ITX approaches, requiring ESD to maintain the safety and serviceability of all equipment from vehicles to radios to the small parts stored in supply, the opportunity for Reserve Marines to gain valuable training is made available. More than 4,500 Marines from Marine Forces Reserve will participate in the only Reserve-focused ITX next July.