News: Rolling Thunder puts logistics Marines to the test
Story by Pfc. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors with 2nd Marine Logistics Group left here, March 7 to support 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division during Rolling Thunder, a biannual joint training exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The Marines with 2nd MLG formed a logistics combat element, or LCE, which consisted of detachments from 2nd Supply Battalion and 2nd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, and 8th Engineer Support Battalion, to distribute supplies including water, fuel, ammunition and repair parts for 10th Marines.
The LCE scheduled and conducted resupply missions and provided on-call support for broken down vehicles and artillery.
“It seems like a simple task to get in a truck and move some supplies, but there’s a lot of coordination that goes into it,” said Capt. Robert A. Foulkes, a Long Island, N.Y., native and commander of the LCE. “You have to know where the area is, you have to know what you’re hauling, and communications have to be up. When you deploy to a rough environment, communications run ashore a lot, so we have to be creative when we communicate with the units we’re supporting.”
The LCE provided components that 10th Marines could not, like bulk fuel and water purification equipment. These assets are realistic to what the supporting units would encounter in a deployed environment.
“We created as much of a realistic scenario as we could get without actually deploying,” said Lt. Col. Jesse A. Kemp, an Ardmore, Okla., native and the commanding officer of 2nd Supply Bn. “This simulates real-world battlefield conditions in terms of how far removed the direct and general-support elements would be, the need to communicate between them, and the need to transport and distribute supplies between them.”
The unit received compliments from 10th Marines’ command about its speed and efficiency as it effected repairs and kept the regiment supplied with the food, water and fuel it needed to continue training operations.
“We have committed a lot of time to practice and rehearse before we came out here to support 10th Marines, and I think our practice is paying off,” said Kemp. “We’re getting lots of good feedback from 10th Marines about the support we’re providing. From day one, we were able to fully integrate into 10th Marines’ standard operating procedures, and I am confident 10th Marines will be very satisfied with the support we’re giving it.”
Although the role of the LCE usually falls on a combat logistics battalion, the intent is to see how some of the other units within 2nd MLG can handle the stress of providing full logistics support to a regiment, said Kemp. “Seamless is what I’m looking for, and it’s the word I’ve been hearing.”