CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, were presented the National Defense Transportation Association Unit of the Year award by Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 9, 2013. The battalion was awarded for providing exceptional logistics and transportation support in Afghanistan from Oct. 2011 to Dec. 2012.
Every year the NDTA recognizes a military unit that accomplishes outstanding service in the field of transportation and logistics during operations. CLB-1 exceeded all expectations of the units they supported, earning this award in a competition against logistics units throughout all branches of the military. “We’re being recognized for the work CLB-1 has put in during the last deployment and during training we have supported since,” said 1st Lt. Stephen C. Thomas, logistics officer, CLB-1, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “We supported operations by providing fuel, ammunition, water, chow and equipment for the 1st Marine Division,” added the Leavenworth, Kan., native.
During their deployment to the Southern Helmand province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, CLB-1 coordinated and supervised all transportation and distribution support to Regimental Combat Team 5’s four infantry battalions. CLB-1 processed more than 2,200 support requests received from RCT-5 and other coalition forces. They also executed more than 300 combat logistics patrols, delivering 3,400 loads of supplies, and transported more than 1,250 personnel.
“This award provides closure to the timeless work our Marines performed over the deployment, and it lets them know their work did not go unnoticed,” said Gunnery Sgt. Charlie W. Collins, operations chief, CLB-1, CLR-1, 1st MLG, and native of Houston. “They did their jobs well and deserve this award.”
The battalion also supported six major engineering projects by distributing more than 234,000 gallons of fuel and 350,000 gallons of water to international units in its area of operation. These accomplishments are merely part of the positive impact and success of this unit in the span of 14 months.
“CLB-1 lived up to and exceeded every expectation I had,” said First Sgt. Lance M. Oufnac, first sergeant, Motor Transportation Company, CLB-1, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “This unit is completely professional with hard work ethic and sound values. Their level of maturity is far greater than any unit I’ve been a part of,” added the Baton Rouge, La., native.
Brigadier Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commanding general, 1st MLG, praised the Marines for their achievement after presenting the award during Exercise Steel Knight 2014. “CLB-1’s award is well deserved and indicative of so many other Marines and organizations within the MLG,” said Coglianese. “I’m proud of the organization, and I’m proud of the Marines and all they’ve done over the past several years.”
The battalion is equally proud of their organization. They truly understand the sacrifices they made and are gratified to be recognized for their accomplishments.
“It was no surprise to me when I found out the battalion was selected for the award,” said Maj. Gary D. Thompson, operations officer, CLB-1. “They worked hard to get here. I am just humbled to be a part of the organization.”
When the battalion returned from their deployment, they did not take a break from their duties; they quickly assumed the responsibility of supporting the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and continued to train and prepare for any contingencies the future might hold, including a slated deployment to Afghanistan next year.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but we have another task ahead of us,” said Thompson, a native of Jourdanton, Texas. “We will continue to train as we prepare for another historic moment: what could be the last push in Afghanistan.”