YUMA, Ariz. - Early in the morning of Jan. 12, a group of 40 Marines wished farewell and good luck to those departing to Afghanistan. Many of the Marines present will soon be joining those who left.
Nine Marines from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-13 left last Thursday morning as an advance party for the unit. Those Marines who left each have jobs and responsibilities that require more turnover time than other fields. They will spend the next couple weeks acclimatizing to Afghanistan and getting used to how the command structure and operations work in country.
MALS-11, MALS-39 and MALS-13 will be attached to MALS-16 while in Afghanistan. These units will be replacing MALS-40, which is the East Coast equivalent to what MALS-16 will be.
“We are going to sit there and work with MALS-40 for a good while and monitor everything they do,” said Sgt. Joseph Klennert, an aviation ordinance technician with MALS-13 and a native of Lake City, Minn. “Then, we will jump headfirst into everything that has been done and become completely involved. We are going to be working side by side with them, and when they leave it’s almost like we are that exact person we are replacing.”
MALS-13 will be responsible for building, delivering and accounting for ammunition and gear, weapon systems repair and transportation procedures for equipment. The unit will be providing logistical support first for VMA-223 and later in the deployment VMA-211.
The rest of the elements of MALS-13 that are deploying will be leaving later this spring. Many Marines from MALS-13 will remain on MCAS Yuma to continue to support operations here.
“The main bodies don’t need as much change over time because they will be doing the same thing only on the other side of the world,” said Klennert.
“The only thing you have to worry about is the days ticking by on the calendar,” said Klennert. “If you keep busy, even that won’t be anything to worry about.”
Klennert, who will mark this as his first deployment, also said he is glad to be getting out of the office and is excited for a great opportunity to do something that will make a difference in his career.