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    Combat Logistics Battalion 3 counters insurgency during patrol in southern Afghanistan

    Combat Logistics Battalion 3 Counters Insurgency During Patrol in Southern Afghanistan

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Ronald Stauffer | Vehicles operated by Marines with second platoon, Motor Transportation Company,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command

    HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – After completing an important logistics mission, a group of Marines braved insurgent attacks while transiting through one of the most challenging regions of southern Afghanistan March 6, 2009.

    The second platoon of Motor Transportation Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, overcame insurgent attacks while returning to Camp Barber from Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

    While returning from a three-day combat logistics patrol, the platoon, assigned to CLB-3, the logistics combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan, received multiple rounds of insurgent mortar fire and located two improvised explosive devices.

    The combat logisticians' mission was to deliver heavy equipment and more than 50,000 pounds of provisions to the Marines of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of SPMAGTF-A.

    Insurgents attempted to strike the combat logistics patrol with indirect fire but were unsuccessful and out of range. Marines with Co. L and a detachment from 2nd Force Reconnaissance Co., assigned to 3/8, supported the patrol by patrolling the surrounding areas in front of second platoon's line of travel.

    After a short halt to assess the points of impact and origin of the incoming fire, the patrol pushed forward but was quickly diverted by Sgt. Michael T. Thompson, the platoon sergeant and driver of the lead vehicle.

    "We were coming up and out of a wadi [a dry river bed] when I saw a large rectangular patch of disturbed earth," Thompson said. "I took the vehicle hard right to avoid hitting it and advised [employing] the sweep team."

    The patrol's sweep team, a unit of Marines tasked to locate improvised explosive devices, quickly located a large object that was later identified as an IED with the help of the combat logistics patrol's explosive ordnance disposal team. Upon dismantling the device, a secondary IED was found a short distance away.

    "I was relieved that I was able to divert the vehicle in time to avoid a very bad day," Thompson said.

    According to Gunnery Sgt. Rudy Rodriguez, second platoon's staff non-commissioned officer in charge, the mortar fire was directed toward the rear vehicle in what he believed to be an attempt to push the patrol forward into the IEDs, but the Marines knew what they were looking for and were highly trained.

    Sgt. Jonathan H. Hilderman, a turret gunner with second platoon, said he could see people observing the convoy from the rooftops of nearby villages during the movement, but it was hard to decipher who was friend or foe. He explained that he didn't feel like the patrol was in immediate danger, but the Marines are always ready to take an aggressive stance if they have to.

    "I love it, and couldn't have asked for any other job," said Hilderman. "I feel like I can control my battlespace, and it makes me feel privileged to know it's been invested upon me to have the responsibility to keep people safe and guard our assets. It's what makes me tick."

    The patrol safely returned to Camp Barber with no casualties, marking another successful mission for second platoon and CLB-3.

    "In my opinion we beat the enemy," Rodriguez said. "We know what they bring to the table, and we know what we're looking for."



    Date Taken: 03.26.2009
    Date Posted: 03.26.2009 03:11
    Story ID: 31626

    Web Views: 1,208
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