HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan --
Marines and sailors from 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), conducted a combat logistics patrol in order to resupply essential cargo to the Marines and sailors at Camp Hansen in northern Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 15.
The Marines delivered fuel, weapons, ammunition, food and mail to the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Forward). Perhaps most important was the holiday mail they delivered to the Marines on this remote forward operating base.
“It gives the Marines something to look forward to and get some nice things from their loved ones back home,” said Lance Cpl. Nick M. Venuto, a motor transport operator, Service Company, 8th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD). “I’m sure that we brought a lot of Christmas packages for 2/9.”
Marines with 2/9 are conducting counterinsurgency operations in Marjah, a former Taliban stronghold.
During the mission, the 8th ESB Marines estimated they delivered what would normally be about two months’ worth of mail, a result of the holiday mail surge.
“It was a lot of mail; we filled a few of our trucks with nothing but packages,” said Sgt. Christopher A. Archulleta, the assistant convoy commander, Bravo Company, 8th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD), 26, from Myrtle Creek, Ore.
The mission was conducted by two companies that played essential roles in ensuring the delivery of mail and other supplies – Bravo Company provided security and Marines with Service Company transported the cargo.
“This mission was unique because Support Company and Bravo Company combined (efforts) to make it happen,” said Venuto, 22, from Sudbury, Mass. “We have slightly different (standard operating procedures), so things were a little difficult, but it’s the beginning of our deployment, and it’s good to learn each other’s ways in case we ever have to work together again.”
Even though it was their first mission together, both companies were dedicated to supporting the Marines and sailors conducting combat operations.
As the Marines delivered the mail and supplies and began their journey back to Camp Leatherneck, they left with a sense of accomplishment, knowing they had brought a sense of home to their fellow Marines during the holidays.