MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. – Marines with Combat Logistics Company 16, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, conducted a resupply exercise in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-14 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Sept. 8 – Oct. 27, 2013.
The service members assembled a supply depot at the Cannon Air Defense Complex near Yuma. There, they inspected, organized and ran resupply convoys to facilitate the entire WTI exercise.
The WTI course is a biannual, graduate-level Marine aviation instructor training course designed to provide pilots with experience and knowledge on aviation weapons systems and tactics as well as qualify them as WTIs. Once certified, the Marines pass on what they have learned to the pilots in their units.
“We’re in direct support of WTI,” said 1st Lt. Dain A. Rideau, logistics officer, 1st Maintenance Battalion, CLR-15. “Right now, the guys out there can’t train without food or fuel. My Marines provide them with what they need to conduct their operations.”
Convoys departed from the supply depot, transporting Class I supplies, primarily food and health products, Class III supplies, such as bulk fuel, and Class VII supplies, which are complete and standalone pieces of equipment such as machines and vehicles.
“All the Class I supplies for the 4,000 plus Marines who come out here for WTI come through [the supply depot] at [the CADC],” said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Taylor, operations chief, CLC-16. “We have Marines that track every piece of food that gets distributed to the different sites.”
The Marines also supported units by delivering jet fuel to units in need. CLC-16 is one of only two units that can draw bulk fuel in the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma area, making them essential for the pilots’ training.
“Every other day, we run bulk fuel 50 miles out to the headquarters of Marine Wing Support Squadron 373,” said Taylor, a native of Springfield, Mo. “We also push fuel out to the aviation combat element [and provide] fuel that we use for our own convoys.”
Daily convoys that departed out of the supply depot provided resources all across Arizona and traveled long distances for their resupply operations.
“Depending on the day, we transport either Class I, Class III or Class VII supplies,” said Sgt. Luis Manzo, platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, CLR-1, 1st MLG. “We push out as far as 348 miles when we transport them.”
The detachment of 91 Marines came together from subordinate units of 1st MLG, including CLR-17, CLR-1, 7th ESB, CLR-15 and 1st Maintenance Battalion.
“Being able to coordinate with that many different units can pose some challenges, but it’s nothing we haven’t been able to overcome at a rapid rate,” said Rideau, a native of Pasadena, Calif.
The scale of the exercise helped the Marines become familiar with each other’s roles and enhanced the interoperability of the units within 1st MLG.
“It showed [my Marines] every single aspect of the logistics side,” said Manzo, a native of Montebello, Calif. “From supply doing their part, to motor transport picking up [the cargo], to the bulk fuel specialists providing fuel and bringing it out to the Marines in the [field.]”