News: CLB-11 conducts Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief training
Story by Lance Cpl. Khoa Pelczar
Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marines Logistics Group, conducted a weeklong Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief training here, Jan. 24-30.
Throughout the week, Marines and sailors received classes on the rules of engagement, force protection, entry control points, and risks and threats identification. They also conducted numerous exercises to include resupply missions, water purification exercises, noncombatant evacuation operations and mass casualty evacuation drills.
“The training is a refresher of what we’ve learned from boot camp and [Marine Combat Training],” said Lance Cpl. Tuan Nguyen, radio operator, CLB-11, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “The training is necessary because it prepares us for all aspects of what we can expect during the upcoming deployment and not just our [Military Occupational Specialty]. It helps us to think outside the box.”
Marines and sailors conducted a combat logistics patrol to a training site, where they provided medical support and evacuated the villagers from the danger zone, explained an instructor with the Special Operations Training Group. In the scenario, the village received terrorist threats and a house collapsed and injured 24 villagers. The villagers needed security and medical support on site while there were still hostile forces in the area.
“The SOTG team was very professional in providing us a great opportunity to train,” said Cmdr. Hermann Gonzalez, emergency physician, CLB-11, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “We couldn’t have done this without their support.”
The scenario was very realistic, providing the Marines and sailors with a chance to get a good feel for what it’s really like, said Gonzalez, 47, from Sevilla, Spain. The service members also had a chance to practice calling in air support to load and evacuate casualties.
“This is a good training and it’s going to get us ready for our deployment,” said Lance Cpl. Filmore Perez, motor transport operator, CLB-11, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “Today we’re supporting a [mass casualty evacuation] mission and it consists of everything we’ve learned up to this point. From providing medical care to the wounded, resupplying the village and our friendly units, to doing evacuation drills, we’ll put everything we know to the test.”
As these Marines and sailors went through the mock mass casualty evacuation mission, they learned the key factors to successfully complete the mission, such as setting up security around the objective site, moving casualties out of danger/open areas, applying basic medical care to the wounded, securing a landing zone and communicating with air support.
“We started out slow but we began to be more proficient as we continued with the mission,” said Nguyen, 22, from Arlington, Texas. “Once we got a taste of what life might be like on deployment, we understood the mission more.”
Overcoming a rough start of getting their equipment unloaded at the site, the Marines and sailors accomplished every mission set before them. They provided security and secured the site, cared for the wounded and called in air support to successfully evacuate all personnel. They were also able to provide a fresh source of water to both service members and villagers.
“A lot of the countries we go to, there’s no clean water source,” said Sgt. Johnny Moore, utility chief, utility team, CLB-11, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “Our team’s main objective is to get water from natural resources and turn it into fresh water. By using the Tactical Water Purification System, we’re able to provide clean water to the locals and our troops. It’s a great morale booster for everyone.”
The TWPS system provides the war-fighters an unlimited water resource, explained Moore, 26, from Lansing, Mich. The troops are able to stay hydrated to complete their missions.
“From what I saw, it looks like we have a solid unit,” said Perez, 21, from Covelo, Calif. “There are still some things we need to improve. But overall, we are ready for this upcoming deployment.”