FALLUJAH, Iraq --
A transfer of authority ceremony took place here Wednesday as Combat Logistics Battalion 8 turned responsibilities over to CLB-1.
The service members of CLB-8 deployed to Iraq in August 2007, and saw significant changes in the stability of the region during their seven-month tour.
“Historians will remember 2007 as the year coalition forces ‘turned the corner’ in Al Anbar,” said Brig. Gen. Robert R. Ruark, commanding general, 1st Marine Logistics Group, the forward command element of both battalions. “The can-do attitude of CLB-8 was truly inspiring.”
The role of any CLB is to provide direct logistical support to Regimental Combat Teams, equipping coalition and Iraqi forces with what they need to continue counterinsurgency and humanitarian operations.
Combat Logistics Battalion 8 conducted more than 330 resupply missions to forward operating bases and combat outposts in Al Anbar, delivering nearly a million gallons of fuel and 500,000 gallons of water.
According to statistics tallied throughout the deployment, the unit also emplaced about 10 million tons of concrete barriers, helping keep their area safe.
But success is measured in more than gallons and tons. Ruark said the battalion’s intangible contributions are bringing real results to the region.
“The work of female medical providers had a far-reaching impact,” Ruark said, referring to the Cooperative Medical Engagement program which has brought medical care to Iraqi men, women and children.
He said the program has prompted female doctors to return to Iraq, especially beneficial to women who are discouraged by their culture from seeing male providers.
“We were able not only to get the mission accomplished, but we were able to do so without suffering any casualties or (major) injuries,” said Lt. Col. Vincent M. Hutcherson, commanding officer of CLB-8.
His battalion executed a “seamless” turnover with CLB-6 in 2007, allowing support operations to continue without interruption.
Lt. Col. David Nathanson, commanding officer of CLB-1, said their turnover went just as smoothly and commended the professionalism of the Marines going home.
“The Marines of CLB-1 would be proud to serve with you again in any battlefield,” Nathanson said.
He also had a message for his own Marines.
“You know who you are, you know where we came from, and you know what needs to get done … get ’er done!”
Combat Logistics Battalion 1 is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.