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Sgt. Alex Cabreal, wrecker operator and Lance Cpl. Anthony R. Henriquez, a motor transport mechanic, both attached to Motor Transport Company B, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), await instruction from the assistant convoy commander after successfully rigging a 7-ton for tow, Nov. 1. The wrecker crew had approximately 53 successful recoveries during the span of Operation Steel Dawn II.

Photo by Cpl. Paul D. Zellner

Wrecker Crew Keeps Convoy Rolling During Operation Steel Dawn II

1 Nov 2010 | Cpl. Paul Zellner

The wrecker crew attached to Motor Transport Company B, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) conducted multiple vehicle recoveries in support of Operation Steel Dawn II, Oct. 26- Nov. 1.

During the operation, Afghan and coalition forces cleared the southern Helmand province town of Bahram Chah, known as a logistics hub for insurgents.

The Marines of CLB-3, however, were tasked with providing logistics support and transporting fuel, water and food to a logistics support area in southern Afghanistan. Due to the rough terrain of the route, the wrecker crew was busier than usual.

The wrecker crew’s mission was to keep the combat logistics patrol rolling by fixing or towing immobilized vehicles, whether due to rough terrain or mechanical issues.

“Because of the sand and the weight of the trailers we’re hauling, it’s easy to get stuck here,” said Sgt. Alex Cabreal, a wrecker operator attached to Motor Transport Company B, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). “I don’t think they could have made it, but that’s what we’re here for.”

Multiple times during the operation, the heavy trailers loaded with fuel, forklifts and mine rollers got stuck in the “moondust” while working their way uphill. The wrecker crew arrived soon after a vehicle became immobilized, assessed the situation and had the vehicle pulled out of the sand within minutes, said Lance Cpl. Dade Huang, a motor transport operator attached to Motor Transport Company B, CLB- 3, 1st MLG (Forward).

“They’re really good at what they do; they’re quick and proficient,” said Huang.

“The knowledge and experience between the wrecker crew allowed for the vehicles to continue on with our convoy so we could accomplish the mission,” said Staff Sgt. John P. Bishop, assistant convoy commander and platoon sergeant, 1st Platoon, Motor Transport Company B, CLB-3, 1st MLG (Forward). “If it weren’t for them, the supplies would have never gotten to the area of operations or back.”

In total, the Marines distributed about eight pallets of food and water, 15,000 gallons of fuel, and the wrecker crew conducted 53 vehicle recoveries during the operation.


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