News: Amphibious Platoon trains in rough terrain
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Marines with Motor Transportation Operations, Combat Service Support Company, The Basic School, has continued to support Infantry Officer Course in their final live fire exercise at Range 210, Monday, June 11.
“Well we’re the ones that are keeping them going,” said Cpl. Eric Wallace, motor transportation operator, MTO. “We make sure they have chow, water and anything else they need to continue training in these harsh weather conditions.”
The terrain at Twentynine Palms is rocky and mountainous, with undeveloped roads that have sharp drops due flash floods which make it difficult for the large seven ton trucks driven by motor t operators to traverse.
“There is definitely pressure when you’re driving out here. There is little room for error,” said Lance Cpl. Trevor Bondley, motor transportation operator, MTO. “We had a few instances last year where our trucks got stuck and we had to go tow them out.”
In ensure there are no accidents Marines are periodically rotated from the field to garrison, giving them a chance to shower and rest. Unfortunately for some, because the training is live-fire, roads are not always accessible to rotate Marines.
“Me and my Marines have been out here for 10 days,” Wallace said. “We’re tired, dirty and smelly. It’s great though, because most Marines stationed at Quantico will never get to experience this, and this is what being a Marine is all about.”
Although most of the time Motor T is busy helping transport Marines and supplies, when they do get some time off they spend it strengthening the bond between each other.
“When we get a chance to relax for a bit, we usually play cards or bring out the football,” said Pfc. Braden Wright, motor transportation operator, MTO. “It’s just us blowing off some steam. It’s my first time out here for this exercise and I hope it’s not my last.”
Despite the long days and adverse weather, Marines with CSS Co. feel pride in knowing they are having a direct impact on the Corps future officers.
“There’s not a lot of Marines that can say they are influencing tomorrow’s officers,” Wallace said. “For most of these officers we are the first enlisted Marines they work with directly. So we have to set a professional environment so they don’t pick up bad habits.”