MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Training doesn't halt when Marines leave their military occupancy school; it continues throughout their military careers.
More than 60 Marines with Bulk Fuel Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, conducted a fuel pumping exercise here, March 1-5. The exercise provided new Marines to the unit an opportunity to receive hands-on training.
"Most of the Marines out here training just completed military occupation specialty school," said Gunnery Sgt. Travinsky K. Seay, 30, from Atlanta, company gunnery sergeant with Bulk Fuel Co., 7th ESB, 1st MLG. "Since they've been taught through a book, this is the first time the Marines received experience by hands-on training."
During the five-day training exercise, Marines used a beach offloading system, that pumps 600 gallons of fuel per minute from one point to another. For training purposes, 7th ESB Marines pumped water from a lake into storage bags, in lieu of fuel. They accomplished this by using extra pumps to transport the water more than one mile over steep terrain. The Marines had a simulated fueling point where they would pump fuel into military ground vehicles in a deployed environment.
"This training is very educational," said Pfc. Emily E. Savage, 18, from Walla Walla, Wash., bulk fuel specialist with Bulk Fuel Co. "Since [Marine Combat Training], this is the first time a lot of us have been to the field."
At the bulk fuel school, Marines learn the equipment they'll be using, but it's not set up full scale to give a proper demonstration to the new students. It's not until the Marines receive orders to the fleet and check into their unit where they canlearn more about their job on a broader scale. They're given indepth knowledge by the Marines who have experienced refueling missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The non-commissioned officers are passing knowledge on to us so we can be more proficient at our jobs," said Pfc. Pablo Rodriguez, 18, from Perryton, Texas, bulk fuel specialist with Bulk Fuel Co. "We're learning a lot of information about all aspects of our job."
To make the training more realistic, bulk fuel Marines conducted night operations and had their own security element. This gave junior Marines the knowledge and experience needed to properly conduct missions in a garrison or deployed environment.
"We train in garrison to make sure the Marines are getting the proper experience operating the equipment, so they're confident when they deploy," said Sgt. Patrick S. Davidson, 32, from Brooklyn N.Y., bulk fuel specialist with Bulk Fuel Co. "They'll also be able to pass on the knowledge to the Marines that'll replace them."
Bulk Fuel Co. conducts semiannual field training exercises at a variety of locations throughout the base to give Marines an array of terrains to become more proficient at their jobs. The training the Marines receive will better prepare them for upcoming missions.