News: 9th ESB prepares for deployment
Story by Lance Cpl. Matthew Manning
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan - Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force held a battalion commander’s inspection at the bulk fuel depot on Camp Hansen Oct. 26.
During the inspection the battalion’s commanding officer and sergeant major examined each Marines' gear display to ensure the Marines are prepared for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
“We are going through all the Marines’ equipment before the deployment for Afghanistan and we are getting everything all packed up to go,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matthew D. Lovely, the heavy equipment platoon commander with 9th ESB. “Today there are Marines from all over the battalion being inspected. There are Marines from Alpha Company, Engineer Support Company, and from Headquarters and Services Company.”
‘We have a little bit of every company under 9th Engineer Support Battalion so we can set things up for the main bodies’ arrival when we get to Afghanistan,” said Lovely.
The Marines had to bring all of their issued gear for the inspection.
“Some of the things we are required to have are two pairs of boots, four pairs of cammies, two flack jackets, sleeping systems, cold weather gear, personnel protective equipment, pretty much anything and everything we will be taking into country with us,” said Lance Cpl. Michael J. Kirkpatrick, a bulk fuel specialist with 9th ESB.
During the inspection, the battalion commanding officer and sergeant major looked at each item the Marines had to ensure they were ready to deploy.
“One thing looked for during the inspection is markings,” said Sgt. Joseph M. Valdez, the battalion’s ammo chief. “Making sure all of each Marines’ gear has his name on it is a critical step when it comes to being accountable of your belongings.”
Ensuring the Marines had all their gear labeled properly was not the only thing looked at during the inspection.
“They also inspected everything for serviceability, making sure nothing is torn, worn down or broken. They want to be sure the gear we have will take care of us on this upcoming deployment,” said Valdez.
According to Lovely the inspection went well. He said there were no issues with anyone’s gear being unusable and everyone had all the gear they needed.
The predeployment training for the battalion went well and prepared the Marines for their upcoming task, said Valdez.
“I am highly confident in each Marine in this group,” he said. “We all went to Exercise Mojave Viper and everyone gave it their all, they are all good Marines and they know what they are doing.”
The attitude toward the upcoming deployment was one of anticipation and excitement for all.
“I am excited, it should be fun,” said Kirkpatrick. “This is my first deployment and I am anxious to see what happens.”
This attitude is common for the Marines throughout the battalion.
“I live for getting to deploy like this,” said Lovely. “This will be my second deployment with 9th ESB. I deployed with the battalion last year and we were able to do great things and had a really good deployment there. I am expecting the same this year.”