News: CLB-6 families prepare for deployment
Story by Cpl. Paul Peterson
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Seats filled quickly as families and servicemembers with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group filed into the Marston Pavilion here, April 4.
More than 250 Marines, sailors and family members gathered to speak with CLB-6’s leadership and gain a better picture of the road ahead to prepare for the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan.
“What’s important to our Marines, sailors and all of us is family,” said Lt. Col. Brian W. Mullery, the commanding officer of CLB-6. “We have several different venues to keep you abreast of what’s happening with your Marine or sailor within the battalion and to keep the lines of communication open.”
The battalion recently completed a series of field training exercises, but despite the high operational tempo, family readiness is a top priority for the command as it prepares to deploy, said Mullery, whose unit will provide tactical logistics support to II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and the Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
“This is my 10th deployment,” said Sgt. Maj. Roger F. Griffith, the battalion’s sergeant major. “I will tell you from experience that problems don’t fix themselves down range.”
Communication is one of the hardest parts, added Griffith.
Ensuring families have access to essential financial and legal documents, such as powers of attorney, will help alleviate some of the stress associated with deployment, he said.
“These next few months will go by like a thief in the night,” said Griffith. “Spend that time wisely to get your stuff in order … help us get on top of that game.”
CLB-6 also used the event to answer family members’ questions and laid out a rough schedule for the weeks and months ahead.
While the clock is ticking for its deployment, the battalion already has a network of support in place to bolster lines of communication between the unit and its families.
“I will be the official communications disperser while the unit is deployed,” said Mary C. Mathews, the family readiness officer for CLB-6 who helped organize the event. “Anything I send out comes directly from the [command]. It is the official word; it is the correct word.”
Mathews provided the servicemembers and families with a list of other contacts such as the battalion’s chaplain and military and family life counselor, who also spoke during the meeting.
Mathews explained how family members can remain connected with the unit through eMarine, a secure social media website that helps commands, servicemembers and families communicate at anytime.
The site even includes links to news and information to help families handle challenges they may face while their servicemembers are away.
“You have learned who your [Marine or sailor] is to your left and your right,” said Mathews as she addressed the servicemembers in attendance. “Now is the time when we need to go ahead and focus on our spouses, family members and kids to help build their support group.”
CLB-6 will host a series of additional family events and pre-deployment briefs to build those support groups and strengthen lines of communication.
“Don’t feel like you’re on an island when you’re back here,” said Griffith. “It’s not impossible to reach out to the command.”