News: CLR-17 utilizes railhead in exercise
Story by Cpl. Thomas Bricker
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - With its premier location for transportation methods, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow offers many training opportunities for United States service members including its sizable railhead.
Marines with Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., utilized the railhead at MCLB Barstow for a training exercise, Jan. 27.
The week-long exercise allowed the Marines of LS company to re-familiarize themselves with certain aspects of their military occupational specialty. During their operations here, the LS Marines loaded and secured cargo to rail cars, prepared groups of military vehicles for transportation, and acted as safety officials during the Army’s transfer of material.
“The purpose of this training here was to re-instill the knowledge and importance of railhead work within the continental United States for our Marines,” explained Sgt. Kevin Myers, landing support specialist with LS company. Myers said during the week-long event, the Marines were enhancing skills in their MOS they usually don’t do.
With the recent draw-down in Afghanistan, Marines will need to begin focusing more on the logistical aspects of transportation within CONUS instead of cargo transportation by sea or air, Myers explained.
The company’s training opportunity came about because of the soldiers’ daily work on the railroad. MCLB Barstow has the largest railhead in the Department of Defense and it only seems fitting to conduct the training here.
Myers explained joint operations started four years ago when a Marine from LS company contacted the Army Movement Control Company to see if the Marines could participate in railhead operations with the soldiers.
“Since then, we’ve been doing joint training with the Army here and it’s worked out well for both services,” said Myers, a 27-year old Avon Park, Fla., native.
The Army MCC stationed at MCLB Barstow complimented the Marines of LS company for their contributions over the week-long event.
“It works out for both services when they’re up here training,” said Sgt. 1st Class Chris Hammersky, senior movement coordinator with MCC. “While they’re here, we have twice as many people to keep an eye out for safety issues and get the work done faster and easier.”
Training conducted on base by the LS Marines has become an unofficial annual event for the company. Since their first training exercise in 2008, the LS Marines have contacted the Army for possible training opportunities for the future.
Along with scheduling potential training events in Barstow, the Marines have invited the soldiers to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to train together in various exercises.
“While they don’t get to do much training with railways, the same goes for us and beach operations. It’s good to know we can help each other out in these ways,” Hammersky added, referring to the Marines and soldiers’ training events.