CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan --
Only a few days after accepting sole logistical responsibility in a large area of operations, and less than one month into their deployment in support of the International Security Assistance Force, the Marines and sailors of Hawaii-based Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) have already conducted several operations throughout Helmand province.
With such a large area to cover, and several units depending on them for support, the members of CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), draw upon their pre-deployment training and years of collective, logistics experience to get the job done. But even as a capable battalion, nearly 700 strong, CLB-3 still benefits from the experience and knowledge that comes with the assignment of additional personnel.
Since CLB-3’s arrival here in early October, approximately 50 Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st MLG (FWD), have augmented CLB-3 with maintenance support and assisted in vehicle-recovery missions. The CLR-15 (FWD) Marines also assisted CLB-5, the unit CLB-3 replaced, Oct. 18.
According to Gunnery Sgt. Frank Petrancosta, maintenance chief, Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD), the integration of CLR-15 (FWD) and CLB-3 personnel has been an extremely positive experience.
“[The integration] has been outstanding,” said the Temecula, Calif., native. “In a nutshell, we get the gear operational and send it back to the warfighter. We’re one, big, happy family here. There’s no separation of regiment and battalion. We’re one team, and mission accomplishment is our primary mission.”
Aside from assisting CLB-3 Marines with the maintenance workload, CLR-15 (FWD) Marines also bring a lot of deployment experience to their sections, said Lance Cpl. Alex Navarro, a metal worker with Support Co., CLB-3, 1st MLG (FWD). Navarro, a native of El Monte Calif., is benefitting greatly from CLR-15 (FWD)’s leadership because he is serving on his first combat deployment.
“I’ve learned a lot from [CLR-15 (FWD) personnel] so far,” the 23-year-old said. “I wasn’t used to working the long hours every day – seven days a week – but [the CLR-15 (FWD) Marines] have helped me greatly.”
The Marines and sailors of CLB-3, including those from CLR-15 (FWD), are scheduled to redeploy in the spring of 2011. Until then, their mission is to continue supporting various subordinate units within Regimental Combat Team 1 throughout southern Afghanistan.