AR-RAMADI, Iraq --
Marines with Combat Logistics Company 51, Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group, hit the ground running upon coming to Camp Ramadi.
“When we arrived here, the Marines that we’re replacing showed us what’s going on and what to expect out here,” said Lance Cpl. Zach L. Wellborn, a welder with CLC-51. “After they briefed us, we took the reins from there.”
The logistics platoon will be replacing CLC-111, CLB-1, 1st MLG, after a brief turnover. “We had a smooth transition with our counterpart CLC-111,” said Staff Sgt. Robert J. Marquardt, 30, from Winter Park, Fla., the maintenance chief for CLC-51. Marquardt and his Marines will be in charge of the area for the next seven months.
Four mechanics with CLC-51 were welcomed to Ramadi with 30 vehicles waiting to be fixed. They eagerly went to work.
“I enjoy fixing military vehicles because it’s a challenge and the work I do is always different,” said Lance Cpl. Bryan T. Seabrook, 20, from Methuen, Mass., a mechanic with CLC-51. “It feels great to do my part by performing vehicle maintenance to keep them up and running.”
The welders have also been busy constructing 20 hinged gates that connect to T-walls. The “King Kong” gates will be used at entry points throughout the base and the Ramadi Government Center.
In addition to building gates, CLC-51 welders are required to properly dispose of all unserviceable weapon parts.
“I destroy all broken weapons so that they don’t get into the wrong hands and be used against us,” said Wellborn, 22, from Berrien Springs, Mich. The welders also work on heavy equipment brought into the shop.
When vehicles can’t be delivered to the mechanics and welders, CLC-51 sends an M88-A2 recovery vehicle to bring the equipment back. Also known as “Hercules” for obvious reasons, the M88-A2 is a 72-ton tracked vehicle that is capable of recovering any military vehicle, including aircraft.
“I greatly enjoy operating the M88-A2 because it’s the biggest vehicle in the Marine Corps,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew L. Willis, a tank recovery vehicle commander with CLC-51. “I feel completely confident with the vehicle and my driver to go outside the wire to recover a vehicle,” said Willis, 23, from Northwood, Iowa.
Marines with CLC-51 work together to accomplish any mission they’re tasked with. “Our company has a lot more camaraderie because we’re with a smaller detachment,” said Seabrook.