News: Life in the Lot: motor transport lot keeps wheels turning for Helmand province Marines
Story by Cpl. Paul Zellner
CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan – Marine motor transport companies move personnel, gear and supplies wherever the mission dictates in order to support Regional Command (Southwest) forces. However, keeping vehicles moving requires organization, efficient use of space and a constant emphasis on safety.
A select group of Marines from Motor Transport Company B, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), ensures all vehicles and personnel inside of the motor transport lot are accounted for and ready to accomplish their daily missions.
“Our mission is to provide a well organized and maintained motor pool that will allow the platoons to safely stage, load, perform pre-combat checks, pre-combat inspections, as well as preventive maintenance checks and services before departing on their daily missions,” said Gunnery Sgt. Charles P. Berglund, motor transport chief, Motor Transport Company B, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). “By doing so it helps ensure we provide seamless combat logistical support to all the units in the Regimental Combat Team 1 area of operations.”
The lot is run by a small group of motor transport operators and one motor transport mechanic. With more than 140 trucks in the lot, the Marines must make sure they are all in working condition or are inducted into the maintenance cycle for corrective and preventive maintenance.
In addition to providing maintenance, the Marines also select which vehicles will be used for each mission.
“The mission dictates which vehicle assets are needed to push the various classes of supply forward to the warfighter,” said Berglund. “It sometimes becomes a mental game to try to put the least amount of vehicles and personnel on the road and deliver the maximum support needed to accomplish the mission successfully.”
The lot is set up in a fashion that looks like a regular parking lot, but lined with tactical vehicles separated into groups.
“The separation of vehicles into like groups makes it easy to account for what is on the lot at a glance should the need for a short-fuse mission arise,” said Staff Sgt. Dale D. Malone, operations chief, Motor Transport Company B, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). “It also allows the Marines to perform their preventive maintenance checks and services in groups as the different vehicle types require different maintenance actions.”
It is also up to the Marines who run the lot to maintain the gear and its organization for distribution depending on the mission and its necessities.
“Making sure we keep the gear serviceable and organized is extremely important for the Marines who will be using it on the convoys,” said Cpl. Jonathan C. Kamer, motor transport mechanic, Motor Transport Company B, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). “It ensures the Marines have the tools to secure a load or vehicle that may have battle damage and needs to be retrograded for repairs.”
With the demanding operational tempo of Operation Enduring Freedom, there are many units who rely on the transportation of gear and equipment by motor transport companies. The Marines on the lot ensure that they provide a much-needed service to keep the vehicles rolling, which allows the Marines in the fight to remain well-equipped to conduct counterinsurgency operations.
This work, Life in the Lot: motor transport lot keeps wheels turning for Helmand province Marines, by Cpl Paul Zellner, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.