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Lieutenant Col. Sidney R. Welch, commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, addresses guests during a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Jan. 26, 2014. The battalion replaced CLB-6 as the logistics combat element for Regional Command (Southwest) and will provide logistical support to units operating in Helmand province.

Photo by Cpl. Cody Haas

CLB-6 redeploys, CLB-7 last Marine logistical unit to deploy to Afghanistan

26 Jan 2014 | Sgt. Jessica Ostroska 1st Marine Logistics Group

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 6 handed over the responsibilities as the logistics combat element for Regional Command (Southwest) to Combat Logistics Battalion 7 during a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Jan. 26.

This was the third deployment to Afghanistan for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., unit, and the casing of CLB-6’s colors signifies their Operation Enduring Freedom mission is now complete. They close out another chapter in Marine Corps history as the last East Coast unit to serve as the LCE for RC(SW).

Combat Logistics Battalion 6’s deployment to Afghanistan began July 2013. During their time here, the unit completed more than 40 combat logistics patrols, 37 engineering missions, and assisted in teaching an explosive-handler’s course and an en-route medical care course to the Afghan National Army. The Marines and sailors of CLB-6 also supported numerous operations in support of RC(SW) to completely close more than eight bases in northern Helmand Province.

The unit conducted complex maintenance on equipment ranging from Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and engineering equipment to weapons systems and mine rollers, said Maj. Peter T. Borsay, operations officer, CLB-6. Their maintenance efforts helped maintain readiness for all elements of RC(SW) and kept coalition units in the fight, regardless of where they were located.

While fortunate enough to not have lost any lives during their missions, the unit suffered seven casualties from an improvised explosive device strike.

“To the Marines and sailors of CLB-6, I thank you for doing exactly what we asked of you each and every single time you stepped out, and that was to be focused on the mission,” said Lt. Col Brian W. Mullery, commanding officer, CLB-6, during the TOA ceremony. “You realized you had your life and the lives of many others in your hand, and you accomplished the mission each and every time without issue and with complete professionalism. You did the right thing on every occasion, and I attribute that to the seriousness with which you take your duty every day.”

The ceremony marks the start of CLB-7’s third deployment to Afghanistan. The unit, based out of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., is scheduled to be here for seven months. They will be the last unit to aid RC(SW) with tactical level logistical support.

Combat Logistics Battalion 7 has a unique role as the LCE for RC(SW), said Sgt. Maj. Michael N. Walton, sergeant major, CLB-7. They are set up to support all units with ground support, using line-haul transportation, landing support, organic maintenance and general engineering. They also support RC(SW) with explosive ordinance disposal, medical services, disbursing, exchange services, and intermediate supply and maintenance.

Combat Logistics Battalion 7 will also provide support to advisory teams charged with developing the Afghan National Security Forces, in order to enable, support and sustain peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan.

“We are manned, organized and equipped to accomplish this mission,” said Lt. Col. Sidney R. Welch, commanding officer, CLB-7. “It is no accident that the combat logistic battalions are numbered the way they are numbered. We are typically aligned with 7th Marines, and the 7th Marines have a motto, ‘prepare to march,’ and our motto is ‘enable to march.’ And that’s what we are going to do for the Marines and sailors and coalition for RC(SW), enable to march.”

1st Marine Logistics Group