News: Logistic Marines re-familiarize themselves with convoys
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistic Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, revisited the fundamentals of convoys, while learning that there is more to combat than just fighting during exercise Backlog aboard Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., August 7, 2014.
This exercise was the culminating event of a 30-day integrated training exercise in which Marines were instructed in multiple types of convoys and standard operating procedures for unfamiliar scenarios.
“This training really helped the Marines embrace the procedures and understand what to really expect in certain scenarios,” said Cpl. Garrett Kastl, the security element leader with CLB-5.
During the training, the Marines interacted with role-players and faced a scenario where they needed to remove, replenish and return the village’s water tank without making it seem like they were only removing it. The role-players simulated possible complications the Marines may see while supplying an actual civilian populace.
“We are often expected to help and support the local populace,” said Kastl. “We have to approach every situation with a cool head. Often times the populace reacts to you. If we are seen getting aggravated, then often times the people react to this negatively. This training helped us assess the situation and react accordingly.”
Along with conducting combat operations, Marines also provide humanitarian assistance during natural disasters and when countries are in need. Marines are often sent to stand security, and provide medical aid, food and water, and other relief efforts.
“This training is important for the Marines to understand because this can be a real world situation,” said 1st Lt. Asia Pastor, the assistant operation officer with CLB-5. “Marines are trained to always be prepared and maintain an aggressive stance for deterrence purposes and for fighting enemy combatants.”
Pastor went on to explain that CLB-5 often supports other units during exercises, which makes it difficult for the Marines to maintain their training. The ITX and the Backlog allows the Marines of the battalion to train and be evaluated on their performance as a unit. This tells the unit where they are the strongest and what needs more work.
“We use a building block form of teaching,” said Pastor. “From the beginning, we established our team leaders and gunners, then as we progress and add different scenarios the teams have been able to learn from each other and their capabilities. The Backlog is just a culminating scenario of everything they have learned in the past 30 days.”
Kastl went on to explain how he enjoyed seeing the improvement in the Marines.
“We started out kind of rough,” said Kastl. “But that’s what it’s all about – smoothing out all those rough edges. My favorite thing is watching these Marines get better at what they are doing.”