COMBAT OUTPOST PUMPHOUSE FLANDERS, Iraq --
COMBAT OUTPOST PUMPHOUSE FLANDERS, Iraq -- The Marines and sailors of Motor Transportation Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group truck supplies to fellow Marines at combat outposts.
With constant convoys throughout the week, the Marines bring their brothers-in-arms the basic tenets of living in remote locations- food, water and fuel.
“We’re here to complete whatever requests that the (combat outposts) and (forward operating bases) out here have,” said 2nd Lt. Michael D. Murray, a 26-year-old platoon commander with Motor Transportation Company, CLB-5, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “Whether that is fuel, chow or water, we get it to them.”
The missions begin on Camp Fallujah, where the platoons prepare their vehicles and gather the requested supplies. Prior to leaving camp all the convoy participants gather for a briefing that includes route information and weather updates. While the route conditions could play a detrimental role in these missions, it’s the weather that can hinder the mission the most.
“The weather here is our main challenge,” said 2nd Lt. Sarah E. Miller, a 28-year-old motor transport platoon commander from San Jose, Calif. “If the weather goes bad our mission could get cancelled and pushed back to another day.”
Having the missions postponed is not only frustrating to the Marines awaiting resupply, but also to those providing it. The Marines waiting at the COPs don’t get their supplies, and the MT Marines end up having back-to-back missions.
“I really wouldn’t mind doing this everyday,” Lance Cpl. Cesar F. Garcia, a 23-year-old logistic vehicle system operator from Whittier Calif., said. “Doing these missions is really helping the time pass.”
Once the MT platoon has finished their preparations and exit Camp Fallujah, they proceed as carefully as possible to their destinations. It often takes one or two hours to reach the outposts, but safety and accountability are higher priorities than speed.
“Not only is it our mission to provide these outposts with supplies, but to maintain the safety and accountability of our Marines, sailors, and all of our serialized gear as well,” Murray said.
“Marines of CLB-5’s MT co. get the mission done well,” said Gunnery Sgt. Carlos R. Coronado, the 38-year-old platoon sergeant with MT Co., CLB-5, from Chicago, Ill. “Once we leave the wire, my Marines know where to go, and exactly what to do when they get there.”
“We’re here to support units that need it,” Coronado said. “That’s our mission now; it’s what we’re doing, and what we will do until we leave here.”