News: Camp Pendleton Marine unit invades China Lake
Story by Matthew Denny
CHINA LAKE NAVAL WEAPONS CENTER, Calif. - Marines and Sailors from 1st Marine Division and 1st Marine Logistics Group used NAWS China Lake as an overnight rest point as part of their transit from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport on Sept. 23.
The convoy consisted of 55 Marines, two Navy Corpsmen and 28 tactical vehicles from 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st MARDIV and Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment, 1st MLG.
“We got the heads up from Lt. Col. Coppersmith that they may stop for the night,” said Cmdr. Matt Jackson, NAWS China Lake executive officer. “We did some research and found the best spot for their vehicles and gear. We are happy to support the unit anytime.”
The unit went to Bridgeport as part of their pre-deployment training before heading to Australia for seven months. The training consists of the mountain mobility training package, which gives Marines mountain warfare and high altitude experience. The road march from Camp Pendleton to Bridgeport is a two-day trip with a convoy speed of 45 miles per hour.
The stop at China Lake allowed drivers and vehicle commanders to rest and refuel for the night.
“The hospitality here at China Lake has been excellent,” said Marine 2nd Lt. Blaine Worthington, convoy commander. “Everything we need has be provided for - a place to sleep and access to the amenities of the base. They really rolled out the red carpet for us and we appreciate it.”
The unit set up camp in the gravel area next to the Marine Aviation Detachment China Lake headquarters building. A rotating fire watch was coordinated that allowed the gear to be protected while Marines rested.
“This road march proves to the junior Marines that their equipment and vehicles can make it on a long journey; it also builds trust and faith between a Marine and his vehicle,” Worthington said.
The convoy is scheduled to use China Lake as a resting point on the return trip.