SAVANNAH, Ga. - Service members with Combat Logistics Company 23 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort participated in a field training exercise at Fort Stewart, Ga., Dec. 3 - 11.
During the week-long event, troops conducted convoys around their mock forward operating base, endured simulated firefights, improvised explosive devices and medical evacuations. They were given classes on IED awareness, combat lifesaving procedures, patrolling, making vehicle repairs with limited equipment in hostile situations, and more. The training site consisted of a food service facility, battalion aid station, combat operations center, armory and other combat critical facilities.
“The main purpose of this training is to teach our Marines how they would operate in a deployment setting,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Travis Bestul, the maintenance officer for CLC-23. “This training is especially useful to the Marines that haven’t had the opportunity to deploy. Our individual roles stateside may differ, and can easily change on a deployment. That is why teaching Marines where they fit in and how to adapt to change is important.”
Throughout the training exercise, classes were taught to reinforce to the Marines that at a moment’s notice an event can change for the worse.
“The biggest thing here is the vast number of scenarios that could happen during a mission,” said Gunnery Sgt. Alma Fabre, the operations chief for CLC-23. “Marines and sailors might not know what to do immediately, but after a while, properly reacting to scenarios will become second nature. Because of training exercises like this one, if the Marines find themselves faced with a challenge on a deployment, they will know what to do.”
The mission of CLC-23 is to provide supply support and motor transport and engineer equipment maintenance for squadrons in the Marine Air Wing.
Throughout the exercise, Marines conducted maintenance on the vehicles and equipment that helped run the base, such as generators, with minimal space, time and equipment. From flat tires, to broken down and stuck vehicles, Marines learned how to use a limited number of tools and space to make mission critical repairs.
When resupplying the base they had to stay alert and rely on what they learned from their classes and one another. They had to keep an eye out for IED’s, attacks, injured Marines and vehicle issues.
The exercise made them think outside the box and get into a combat mindset when completing their normal tasks.
“I’ve deployed and can honestly say that this training environment reminds me of life on the FOB in Afghanistan,” said Sgt. Cesar Navarro, the motor transport chief for CLC-23. “This training has been eye opening for many of the Marines as they learned about how much work goes into a deployment, and the additional duties each Marine holds on post. Coming away from this we will all walk away with something new, and hopefully continue utilizing what we have learned to better our work environment and ethic every day.”
Throughout the training exercise, the Marines came together, the corporals and lance corporals took on more responsibilities, they quickly learned from their classes and mistakes, and worked more efficiently as each day went by.
“Coming out here I learned how quickly my job, as well as any situation, could change at the blink of an eye,” Caramege said. “Normally, I just do paperwork, but if someone attacks us, I’ll have to fight. If something breaks down I’ll have to help fix it. This training brought me out of my normal routine and exposed me to classes and situations that I normally don’t get to experience. I learned a lot, and will not forget what I was taught through the classes and scenarios that we went over during this exercise. It was eye opening and gave me a better understanding for my job, and the roles I might fulfill during a deployment.”