GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan --
Preparing and planning are key procedures for the Marines in Bridge Platoon, Company A, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), which is why they conducted an engineer reconnaissance mission in the Garmsir District, central Helmand province, Afghanistan, Oct. 29.
During the mission, the Marines collected measurements of the width and depth of the canal and water levels, and took photos of the landscape and terrain features surrounding a possible bridge site.
The purpose of a recon mission is to go out and gather information on the layout of the terrain, discover any problems that may come up and plan accordingly for future actions, said 1st Lt. Cameron Wolf, mission commander with Bridge Platoon, Company A, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“The main reason they gather the information is so they can have something to plan with,” said Wolf, Florence, Ore. “We take all the measurements and all of the information we gather on the recons and we use it to formulate a strategy or plan.”
Gathering the information gives the platoon the advantage of knowing what they need and how many personnel are required for a bridge build mission.
The information provided during the recon gives us the chance to decide what size bridge needs to be placed, how many vehicles and people need to go, said Sgt. Trace M. McConnell, squad leader with Bridge Platoon, Company A, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“If you take too much or bring too many people it can hinder the overall mission,” said McConnell.
Once the area was surveyed and the Marines collected all of the necessary information, the Marines went back and briefed their comrades about the possible bridge site.
“The Marines on the recon mission conducted themselves very well,” said Sgt. Richard Williamson, right side crew commander with Bridge Platoon, Company A, 9th ESB, 1st MLG (FWD).
“The mission [was] very successful and [the Marines] collected a lot of information,” added Wolf. “There is a clear understanding of the future missions coming up.”