CAMP LEATHERNECK, AFGHANISTAN
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – After a successful deployment as the commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Command (Forward), Col. Christopher J. Michelsen relinquished command to Lt. Col. Matthew S. Cook, who will now be in charge of the unit’s responsibilities to support International Security Assistance Forces and Marine Corps Forces Central Command with logistical support.
“Marine Corps Logistics Command’s mission is to sustain the ISAF (Marine Air Ground Task Force) with operational logistics support,” said Michelsen, 46, from Louisville, Ky. “In addition to that, we do other missions directed by MarCent, and support the commandant’s reset strategy via the reset, redeployment and retrograde.”
The role of MCLC (Fwd) has expanded throughout the last six months with the drawdown of troops.
In accordance with the commandant’s reset strategy, MCLC (Fwd) is helping decrease the Marine Corps’ presence in Afghanistan and increasing their workload because of drawdowns throughout the country. They keep Marines supplied with items such as vehicles and parts while making sure the units still deployed have what they need, said Michelsen.
The Marines control many moving parts, with several units leaving Afghanistan. Because it is their role to see that their gear leaves as well, MCLC (Fwd) grew about four times in manpower during Michelson’s deployment to help with the dramatic increase of their activity.
“We grew substantially in size,” said Michelsen, “From a small handful of Marines and contractors to an organization of almost 400 personnel in strength. While growing in size, we have refined our processes on how we manage equipment.”
The Marines who make up MCLC (Fwd) are sourced from all parts of the Marine Corps.
“They built a great team and I’m looking forward to the next few months,” said Cook, during his speech at the ceremony. “There’s going to be a lot of changes, but the team Col. Michelsen built will be able to perform more than the task at hand.”
With the increase in work, the personnel have been refining their methods to increase efficiency.
“The Marines, the contractors and the Civilian Marines have performed marvelously,” said Michelsen “In tough environmental conditions,they’ve worked extremely hard, and they have done a great job in maintaining tight procedures.”
Michelsen has enjoyed being a part of MCLC (Fwd) at such a crucial time in their legacy.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to command such an organization, and I’m humbled every day to work with such a strong team of Marines, civilian Marines and contractors,” he said.
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