BARSTOW, Calif. - Supply and logistics students and instructors with the Expeditionary Warfare School, Quantico, Va., toured Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., as a part of a military occupation specialty specific portion of their training, April 10 and 11.
Preceding their spring field exercise in Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, students with the EWS break up into their MOS groups for specialty training and learning, said Lt. Col. Gregory Field, director of Fleet Support Division Barstow. The group made 22 students, 18 of which were Marine Corps captains, two Navy lieutenants, and two international officers, one captain from the Philippines, and one captain from Columbia, and two Marine majors who were the group’s faculty advisors.
“What we are trying to do is broaden their horizons on operational level logistics,” explained Maj. Joseph Garaux, faculty advisor with the EWS. “Most captains have a very good understanding of tactical level logistics, which is what we largely focused on during the academic year. This is an opportunity for us to get out of Quantico and see the Logistics command (Log Com) enterprise.”
The tour started its first day with an overview brief of Marine Corps Log Com from Maj. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Command, and Col. Cook, Log Com operations officer, said Field. This gave the students an idea behind the bigger picture of logistics in the Corps, and how Log Com fits into that.
Following the brief, Col. Michael L. Scalise, commanding officer of MCLB Barstow, and Karen Grey, strategic planner here, gave them a brief on what MCLB Barstow does to support the Logistics Mission in the Marine Corps, Field further explained. From there they toured Production Plant Barstow and learned about depot level maintenance. This gave the students the opportunity to see the highest echelon of maintenance, which few logistics Marines, even officers, get to see.
The next day started with a brief and tour of Fleet Support Division, a storage operation for the Marine Corps, said Field. Following the FSD tour, the last stop was a tour of rail operations, the training MCLB can provide for it, and the possible financial savings railway transportation can offer.
By the end of the tour, the hope was the EWS students learned of the resources MCLB Barstow offered to Marine Corps logistics, and a broader picture of how Marine Corps Logistics worked as a whole, said Garaux.
“I could tell the students got a lot out of it,” Garaux added. “They asked a lot of engaging questions. Even when no instructors were around, I could hear them discussing the events of the day, and everything that they learned. That tells me, as an instructor, that they enjoyed their time here.”
Ideally the tour was designed to let the students learn an aspect of Marine Corps logistics that few get to see in their careers, said Field.
“I told the students I was in the Marine Corps for 17 years before I stepped foot on one of these logistics bases,” Field said. “The idea that we can bring these guys in at an earlier stage in their career and let them see what goes on so they know how to use it to their advantage ... is great.”