News: Transportation Marines build cohesion, readiness during FEX
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
More than 90 Marines with Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a field exercise here, Aug. 18-21, 2014, to build unit cohesion and assess their capabilities before beginning a summer training package at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.
“The exercise was mostly for the camaraderie and re-introduction to the field environment,” said 1st Sgt. Sarah J. Nolan, the first sergeant of TS Company. “Of course, we can’t give them the mountains and we can’t give them the cold mornings [of MWTC], but we can at least get them back in the habit of life in the field.”
The company conducted a variety of training, including: vehicle-mounted and foot patrols with fellow Marines role-playing the enemy aggressors, classes in lifesaving battlefield medical procedures, helicopter support exercises, and a vehicle-mounted machine gun range.
“Some of the Marines did their crew-served weapons shoot,” said Nolan, a native of Hibbing, Minn. “That’s a good training event because the [Transportation Support] Marines don’t often get a chance to move and shoot and maneuver their vehicles. They got a lot out of it and it was a big confidence builder.”
The three motor transportation platoons practiced maneuvering under fire in High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles, or HMMWVs. While one vehicle moved forward, another provided covering fire with live ammunition. The realistic training ensures the Marines react properly when facing an ambush or other enemy contact in a combat zone.
“The training is beneficial because … the Marines now know how to bound and provide suppressive fire,” said Staff Sgt. Jo Moody, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of Second Platoon.
The Marines with Landing Support Platoon were also given a chance to strengthen their skills during Helicopter Support Team training, working with student CH-53E Super Stallion pilots from Marine Corps Air Station New River. They practiced attaching thousands of pounds in supplies to a cable suspended below the helicopter, hovering above their heads.
Second Lt. John C. Vroom, the platoon commander of LS platoon, said that the Marines in the platoon trained frequently to perform this task, knew their jobs and worked well together.
The Marines ended the nearly week-long exercise with a field meet to solidify the camaraderie built by the company during the operation. Activities included a football tournament and a cookout meal of hamburgers and hotdogs off the grill. A warriors’ night followed the field meet where the Marines entertained each other with skits, jokes and impressions.
“The biggest takeaway for this training is the camaraderie and the teamwork aspect of the exercise,” said Nolan. “They’re going to need it at the mountain warfare training because it’s going to be a gut check.”
The company is scheduled to endure the harsh field conditions of mountain warfare training in September 2014 at MWTC Bridgeport, Calif.