News: Combat engineers train at forward operating base
Story by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors with Engineer Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group built and operated out of a forward operating base as part of a 10-day training exercise here, in February.
The company had only a limited time to construct the FOB in order which simulated the short deadline it would have during a deployment.
“Within 48 hours, we had to create a FOB to help with combat operations,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas S. Chavez, a Yuma, Ariz., native and combat engineer with the unit. “We had to set up security to mitigate any threat around the area so [the fuel supply], heavy equipment, utility platoon and motor transportation [sections] could continue operations.”
The engineers then went to work providing guards for the base, and the unit’s fuel supply section set up containers to hold 60,000 gallons of water, simulating fuel bladders at a deployed FOB.
The unit’s command also tasked approximately 110 Marines of the company to conduct local patrols and install a non-standard bridge constructed with nearby materials.
“We basically wanted to accomplish all our mission-essential tasks in preparation for our deployment to Afghanistan,” said Capt. Jarod A. Drennan, a native of Odessa, Texas, and the company commander. “A lot of the heavy equipment operators are newer Marines, and this gave them a chance to get a lot of experience on the equipment.”
The pre-deployment field operation was the first time the company built and worked with a FOB as part of a training exercise.
“It’s essential to have a place to work, be secure and be able to work without having to worry about threats,” said Chavez. “We have everything we need, and I think it went really well.”
Armed with shovels and crowbars, the engineers tore down the FOB with the support of heavy equipment operators just days after building it, which they may have to do in Afghanistan.
“We learned a lot and developed a lot of standard operating procedures to move [forward] from this point,” said Drennan. “This was our first company field operation, so we got a good base line for where we are.”
Members of the company will return to the field again in the coming weeks as they continue to train for their upcoming deployment.