MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – As they prepare to rotate to Afghanistan early next year, Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, are learning to properly apply tactics, techniques and procedures in harsh terrain resembling the desert they will face.
To get an idea of what they will be facing in Afghanistan, Marines and sailors with Motor Transport Company, CLB-5, CLR-1, 1st MLG, conducted a field exercise to teach them the details about combat logistics patrols, Aug. 8-12.
The Marines and sailors used the rugged Pendleton terrain to challenge themselves in some of the same ways Afghanistan will challenge them.
“[This exercise] gets us out of the motor pool and into a field environment,” said 2nd Lt. Chris S. Scheckel, Platoon Commander, 3rd Platoon, Motor Transport Co., CLB-5, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “The dirt kicking up in our faces gets us better acclimatized to Afghanistan.”
The Marines with Motor Transport Company will be responsible for providing transportation of supplies to International Security Assistance Forces scattered throughout Helmand and Nimruz provinces.
“We provide motor transport of all classes of supply to complete the mission,” said Scheckel, 29, from Rensselaer, Ind.
There are a lot of details when it comes to properly conducting a combat logistics patrol. Small details such as maintaining distance or vehicle order can be the difference between life and death when the situation takes a turn for the worst.
“We’re trying to get in the mindset for convoys out in Afghanistan,” said Lance Cpl. Brian S. Faul, motor transportation operator, Motor Transport Company, CLB-5, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “We’re looking out for something that could happen in Afghanistan, such as an ambush or IED. We’ve learned about what we should do in each kind of situation and how to react.”
During the training, the Marines focused on wreckers and how to tow; How to properly load vehicles; self recovery efforts; and in all they completed about 15 combat logistics patrols.
“It definitely helped me,” said Faul, 19, Peoria, Ariz. “I haven’t done a whole lot of convoys, so it’s helped me out with knowing the basics of convoys. It also helped me get to know the Marines of my platoon. Many of them have deployed before, and they have all kinds of knowledge to share, so I have really learned a lot.”