CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan --
The Marines and sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), officially assumed control of their southern-Afghanistan area of operations during a transfer of authority ceremony here, Oct. 18.
After conducting nearly three weeks of “relief in place” missions with their counterparts from CLB-5, personnel with CLB-3 are poised to conduct independent operations throughout Helmand province.
Following the successful completion of their 7-month deployment here in support of the International Security Assistance Force, CLB-5 personnel are transitioning back to their home station of Camp Pendleton, Calif. For the Marines and sailors of CLB-3, the transfer of authority ceremony marks the beginning of their journey.
During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, commanding general, 1st MLG (FWD), welcomed CLB-3 to their new, semi-permanent home while lauding CLB-5’s accomplishments in the area.
“Congratulations on a job well done,” said Hudson, while addressing CLB-5 personnel. “You can be justifiably proud of what you all have done to support [Regimental Combat Team 7], RCT-1, and the other organizations within 1st Marine Division (Forward). [For CLB-3] this is a ‘welcome back’ as it is the battalion’s second rotation to Afghanistan. After talking with [CLB-3’s Marines and sailors] I know they are well prepared, well trained and well led.”
Though CLB-5 has relinquished its authority and departed Afghanistan, their experiences and knowledge gained throughout their deployment formed an invaluable foundation for CLB-3’s Marines and sailors.
“There are a lot of lessons we can take from CLB-5’s time in Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. Henry W. Lutz III, commanding officer, CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). “This includes everything from conducting [combat logistics patrols], learning the routes and driving techniques to get from point A to point B and knowing the enemy threat. There are also management lessons that our [staff non-commissioned officers] and officers will take to understand the structure of operations as far as planning aspects and coordination required to support RCT-1 and the other elements within this area of operation.”
Aside from normal, day-to-day operations that CLB-3 personnel must conduct throughout the duration of their deployment, they must also prepare for a possible expansion of their area of operations. According to Lutz, CLB-3’s current area of operations in Helmand province could increase in order to provide for more security and to better control Taliban movements to reduce the trafficking of drugs and illegal weapons.
For now, however, CLB-3 is picking up where CLB-5 left off. They are focused on the task at hand, which is to provide combat logistical support to elements within RCT-1.
“CLB-3 is definitely ready,” Lutz said. “The training we’ve done at [Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii and Enhanced Mojave Viper], as well as the familiarization and coordination we’ve done during the ‘relief in place,’ have all set the conditions for the battalion to execute its mission.”