HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan --
Alpha Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), completed their largest combat logistics patrol to date in Helmand province, March 11–14.
Even with more tactical vehicles and more supplies than any of their previous patrols, CLB-4 completed their mission ahead of schedule.
“The Marines are getting the hang of operations out here and are becoming [more proficient],” said Staff Sgt. Luis Martinezbido, platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, Alpha Co., CLB-4. “We set ourselves a goal to complete the convoy ahead of schedule and the Marines worked together and went the extra mile to get that done.”
The convoy delivered supplies to forward operating bases and combat outposts manned by Regimental Combat Team 6 in support of counter-insurgency operations. After completing the delivery, the Marines backhauled surplus equipment for repair and retrograde, said 2nd Lt. Charlsie Brooks, platoon commander, 2nd Plt., Alpha Co., CLB-4.
The number of moving parts in the convoy increased the chances of something going wrong and created new challenges for the Marines.
“This mission was the largest that [CLB-4] has done so far … so that alone was a challenge,” said Brooks. “The patrol required a lot of detailed planning from [non-commissioned officers] on up to establish a good security posture and deliver supplies needed to support RCT-6 safely and successfully.”
Once they had arrived at a delivery site, the Marines rose to the increased logistical challenge of unloading a large quantity of supplies.
“We are becoming more efficient with the actions on objective,” said Brooks. “We [offloaded and on-loaded supplies] in less time than any previous convoy despite having more vehicles.”
Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st MLG (Fwd) and Army soldiers with 96th Transportation Company, 375th Combat Service Support Battalion, Task Force Resolute also joined the convoy.
“The Army and [9th ESB] embedded trucks in our convoy to complete their own mission,” said Martinezbido. “We basically provided them with [extra firepower] and security along the route.”
According to Martinezbido, the arrangement turned out to be mutually beneficial when the Army soldiers assisted in the recovery of a pair of broken M870A2 semi-trailers [870s] stacked on top of each other.
“Working [with the Army] helped us because we were able to take advantage of their [trailers] for a vehicle recovery operation,” added Martinezbido. “You do not often recover an 870 on top of an 870 … and their [trailers] were better suited for the job than our own.”
The success of the operation reflected the hard work and mission-readiness of those involved said the platoon leader.
“[The convoy] proved that we are fully capable of being flexible and adapting on the move,” said Brooks. “The Marines are accomplishing the mission and are ready to move on to bigger challenges down the road.”