News: Combat Logistics Regiment 3 leads the way in Maritime Prepositioning Force operations
Story by Lance Cpl. Daniel Flynn
By Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Flynn
III Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs
LAEM CHA BANG, Thailand -- Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, conducted a Maritime Prepositioning Force offload operation in Laem Cha Bang, Thailand Jan. 28 in preparation for Exercise Cobra Gold 2009, scheduled for Feb. 4-17.
Cobra Gold is an annual joint, combined exercise hosted by Thailand and focused on maintaining and improving military interoperability among its participants.
This marks the second year CLR-3 has undertaken the MPF operation for Cobra Gold, putting them ahead of other units in the Marine Corps.
"CLR-3 is the center of excellence when conducting MPF operations because we are the only unit to have done back-to-back MPF operations," said Capt. James Warner, operations officer, CLR-3.
Warner also added that the regiment has the essential capability of executing in-stream and pier-side offloads. An in-stream offload is conducted when the ship is unable to enter the port, and the equipment is ferried to the shore. Pier-side offloads are carried out directly from the ship to the pier – this particular undertaking was a pier-side offload.
Basically, the MPF is made up of ships that are loaded with various types of equipment and supplies such as Humvees, 7-ton trucks, ammunition, food, petroleum products and spare parts. These ships are spread out and their mission is to rapidly deliver equipment and supplies ashore when and as needed.
The equipment for this mission arrived on the SS Maj. Stephen W. Pless, a Navy Military Sealift Command Maritime Prepositioning Ship.
"It's a good learning experience that puts us in a different type of environment," said Cpl. Brennan Seitz, a motor transportation operator with CLR-3, "it gives us a much better idea of what it would be like doing this in a combat zone."
Once the equipment is unloaded from the ship, it is taken to the arrival assembly operations echelon. At the AAOE, the equipment goes through a limited technical inspection, it is scanned to show that it was received, and then it is ready to be issued, said Master Sgt. Frederick Conner, AAOE staff non-commissioned officer in charge.
"This exercise gives the Marines realistic training at what they would be doing in a combat zone," said Conner. "It allows them to exercise their skills, work with the equipment, and better develop the knowledge and skills needed to do this type of operation in a real-world combat situation."
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