FORWARD OPERATING BASE NOLAY, Afghanistan --
The Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, welcomed a resupply element from Alpha Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) to their hilltop compound here July 13.
The combat logistics patrol numbering more than three dozen vehicles arrived with fuel and communications and computer equipment after nearly two days of crawling through improvised explosive device-laden desert.
In preparation for the approaching withdrawal of British units from the area which includes Helmand’s volatile Sangin district, the electronics gear will enable American forces to establish their own combat operations center at the growing base.
To assist with the expansion and further enhance livability, building materials were also delivered much to the delight of the CLB-6 Engineers based here.
“From bunkers, first aid stations, to the general expansion of different areas and route improvements, we’ve done it all since we’ve been out here,” said Sgt. Brian Francis, a combat engineer with Engineer Co., CLB-6, 1st MLG (FWD), as he and a small team of engineers finish work on a series of bunkers outlining the perimeter of Nolay.
“These materials will go to good use,” he explained. “We are all about making anywhere we step foot as safe a place for Marines to operate as possible. The guys that stay here are going to depend on the work we’ve done.”
They’ve put thousands of miles beneath the treads of their truck tires reaching out to their fellow troops, and according to platoon commander 1st Lt. Julie Aho, the Marines of Alpha Co. have really came into their own.
“This convoy travelled through one of the most hostile areas in our area of operation, and it was also one of the longest, but we arrived in great shape,” said Aho, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich. “I can really tell they are getting into the scheme of operations by the feedback I receive from them and the way they handle themselves out here.”
“I wouldn’t mind if we continued operations right up until the day we left,” said Aho. “The Marines are focused and know exactly what needs to be done. They are right where they need to be right now.”
Lance Cpl. David Lutz, a motor transportation operator with Alpha Co., CLB-6, 1st MLG (FWD), enjoys every opportunity which allows him to get behind the wheel of any one of the many tactical vehicles he is licensed to operate.
“I just like being out here on the road,’ said Lutz, a native of Petoskey, Mich. “It’s what we trained for and we’ve learned a lot over these last few months.”
With mere weeks remaining in their deployment, the Marines of CLB-6 will continue supporting coalition forces until CLB-2 takes the reins in late July.