CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – For Cpl. Kandice Barney, a training noncommissioned officer with Support Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, attending the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force motor transportation conference for the very first time provided her a wealth of knowledge, which she can use to help her Marines progress in their careers.
“Right now, I’m learning about what the motor transportation community considers important,” said Barney, of Oakley, Utah. “Combat readiness is number one in the Marine Corps, and as long as I know what they’re expecting from my Marines, then I can provide them with training that will allow them to accomplish the mission.”
Alongside Barney, 45 Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, General Service Motor Transportation Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 7th Engineer Support Battalion and other units with the 1st Marine Logistics Group participated in the motor transportation conference hosted by Marines with IMEF aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 10, 2014.
“The conference intends to bring together all the staff NCOs, operations officers and maintainers together to learn about new vehicles, equipment, training and procedures and how all that pertains to the IMEF and 1st MLG,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Ronald Talamantes, motor transport operations chief, 1st MLG. “We’ve become so logistically laden in the last 10-15 years, especially when it comes to motor transportation equipment. It’s important for all motor transport Marines to understand this stuff.”
During the conference, Marines were briefed by motor transportation operations staff from I MEF and personnel from the Oshkosh Corporation, a tactical vehicle manufacturer, on the latest applicable technologies and processes.
“Whether it’s an armored Humvee with a new fire suppression system or a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement with new trailers, we need operators and mechanics that understand the equipment and know how to operate it and this forum provides our Staff NCOs with up-to-date information so that they can better prepare their Marines,” said Talamantes, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In addition, the conference provided participants with an overview of the logistics and motor transportation side of the Marine Corps, and how the processes apply in a forward environment, where 1st MLG complements I MEF’s expeditionary capabilities.
“It’s a form of networking, bringing all the senior enlisted from 1st MLG and I MEF together, helping them understand each other’s functions and allowing them to build relationships, which enhances the interoperability between the units,” said Talamantes.
The conference was open to Marines at all levels. Some junior NCOs who participated in the conference said the meeting broadened their understanding of the Marine Corps’ logistics and motor transportation capabilities.
“It’s important to keep everyone at all levels well-informed,” said 1st Lt. Dominic Svatos, a motor transportation platoon commander with 7th ESB. “The more junior NCOs can disseminate the information effectively to their platoons and the information can filter down to the lower levels, keeping them updated.”
Ultimately, the forum created a dynamic environment where participants could communicate with each other freely and discuss current issues, improvements and solutions within the field of motor transport.
“The more information the better,” said Svatos, a native of Kansas City, Missouri. “This gets everyone together and we’re able to bring issues to the table allowing us to discuss and provide solutions. It’s better than sitting behind a desk and reading e-mails about these topics.”