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    CLB-3 sets bar in Afghanistan

    Combat Logistics Battalion 3 sets bar in Afghanistan

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer | Lance Cpl. Robert Burgos (left), and Jesus A. Chavez inventory gear in the supply lot...... read more read more

    By Lance Cpl. Ronald W. Stauffer
    Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan

    CAMP BARBER, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Swapping the sandy beaches of Oahu for the sands of Afghanistan, Marines and Sailors of the Hawaii-based Combat Logistics Battalion 3 are leaving their footprints while forward-deployed to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

    The Corps' newest battalion serves as the logistics combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan and provides direct support to the success of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of SPMAGTF-A.

    The unit made its mark in the history books June 27, 2008, when it transformed from the nondeployable Combat Service Support Group 3 to the smaller and more deployable CLB-3. A little more than 100 days later, the battalion began deploying its members to Afghanistan.

    "The battalion had already assumed that it would be deploying by the time the official order was issued," said Capt. Robert Barber, CLB-3's operations officer. "We were already conducting predeployment training and while training quickly, we trained thoroughly."

    Barber said CLB-3 was not officially issued a deployment order until Sept. 27, 2008. The combat logisticians deployed a quartering party Oct. 1, the advance party Oct. 15 and its main body, Nov. 2 –all of which they completed within 37 days' notice.

    Barber also said in addition to the predeployment training, there were numerous additional requirements regarding personnel and equipment readiness and the logistical planning required in order to move the battalion from Hawaii to Afghanistan for combat.

    Cpl. Joseph W. Iovinelli, Headquarters Company's noncommissioned officer in charge of organic supply, said it's a testament to the fact that Marines are always ready at a moment's notice.

    Within the battalion, Headquarters, Support and Motor Transportation Companies supply the unit with the right mix of Marines and resident expertise necessary to create a self-sufficient logistical force ready to complete any mission it's tasked with.

    "The missions that we're here to [accomplish] are to conduct operations to rid the country of insurgencies and eventually turn it over to the people of Afghanistan, and train and mentor the Afghan national police," said 1st Sgt. Michael W. O'Donnell, Headquarters Co. first sergeant. "We support the battalion by making sure that everyone out here has what they need."

    O'Donnell went on to explain that the key role of Headquarters Co. is supporting staff functions, such as intelligence, logistical supply, medical, administration, legal, communications and more.

    The Marines of Support Co. are the architectural force of the battalion, making something of nothing using ingenuity and craftsmanship, while utilizing their engineers, bulk fuel specialists and other assets to cover all maintenance aspects.

    "We're the builders and fixers," said 1st Sgt. Mike Lanpolsaen, Support Co. first sergeant.

    Lanpolsaen went on to say that he's very impressed with their performance of the Marines and the battalion and is proud to be a part of it.

    Turning the wheels for success, Motor Transportation Co. brought everything it needs to support 3/8 in the way of supplying and resupplying the forward operating bases to ensure the Marines at the FOBs in the remote reaches of southern Afghanistan receive everything they possibly need to do their jobs. Motor Transportation Co. accomplishes this through its robust combat logistics patrol capability.

    "Any logistics items we can take to make their day a little better, we're going to take to them," said Staff Sgt. Chris O. Ross, platoon sergeant for Motor Transportation Company's 2nd Plt. Ross said the Marines of Motor Transportation Co. are very efficient at what they do and are some of the very best Marines in the Corps.

    Proving that it's the sum of all parts that matters most, each company works with the other to accomplish any task, whether it's gathering supplies, loading them on the trucks, providing construction support or moving equipment from FOB to FOB.

    "Once we get to the FOBs, we are repairing equipment, revamping power grids, providing sustainment supplies, delivering mail, disbursing money and operating mobile post exchanges, building survivable positions and providing life support in the form of laundry, shower and heat to the Marines," Barber said. "We then return to Camp Bastion and prepare for the next FOB."

    Working around the clock, the battalion has thus far completed 22 combat logistics patrols and participated in strategic operations in support of 3/8.

    "We have the 'North Pole' model of work," said Lt. Col. Michael Jernigan, the CLB-3 commanding officer. "In CLB-3, we have the Marines and sailors that do the [work] behind the scenes like Christmas elves making toys, so 3/8 can get the magic of Christmas every day."



    Date Taken: 01.31.2009
    Date Posted: 01.31.2009 07:14
    Story ID: 29490
    Location: AF

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