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    Reserve Marines Provide Disaster Relief to Texarkana



    Story by Cpl. Sara Graham 

    Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES)

    TEXARKANA, Texas - Reserve Marines with Detachment 1, Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 453, Combat Logistics Regiment 4, Marine Forces Reserve, jumped into action when they were called to provide local disaster relief in Texarkana, Texas, from June 1- 3, 2015. The Marines were called upon by Bowie County Emergency Management personnel when their relief efforts were being outrun by the rising water along the Red River.

    The Marines worked with emergency management coordinators to assist the relief efforts and help move approximately 7,000 sandbags to specified locations along the levee.

    “We provided overwatch on the levee in order to give regular updates to the command post as to where reinforcements were needed as well as the level of the water in reference to the top of the levee,” said Sgt. John Padron, platoon guide, CLB 453, CLR 4, MFR. “We all assisted in the movement of sandbags with heavy equipment support and motor transport resources that allowed for swift transfer of sandbags from the filling point to the levee where they were needed.”

    With the diligence of the Marines and coordination with emergency management personnel, they were able to respond quickly and provide help in several situations.

    “The emergency management coordinators in Bowie County were great to work with,” said Capt. Aaron Hatfield, inspector-instructor, CLB 453, CLR 4, MFR. “The civil authorities were very helpful, they have a great team and coordination with them made everything run smoothly.”

    According to the Bowie County Emergency Management office, without this immediate response, a breach of the levee was imminent. Over 100,000 acres could have flooded, including the northern part of the city of Texarkana, which could have caused loss of life and significant property damage.

    “For us to be here and not do anything would be a tragedy,” said Hatfield. “We are able to assist, and it is just the right thing to do if you have the capability to do it.”

    Not only were the Marines helping prevent damage to their community and saving lives, but they were able to use all of the training they receive throughout the year and apply it to a real-world situation.

    “The Marines were very eager to assist, they love doing operational stuff,” said Hatfield.“Most of the year they are training on drill weekends, so whenever they get the chance to do real-world operations they are excited to do it and they did a phenomenal job.”

    These Marines showed how unit readiness is an important factor even on the home front when the unexpected can arise. With their training and willingness to help, they were able to respond to the call and provide assistance to the community.

    “The importance of unit readiness is what makes the Reserves an asset to the Marine Corps and the community,” said Padron. “In instances where our country calls on our expertise in individual fields, readiness means everything. If you stay ready then there is no reason to have to get ready.”



    Date Taken: 06.04.2015
    Date Posted: 06.04.2015 15:57
    Story ID: 165516
    Location: TEXARKANA, TEXAS, US

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