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Military

By USMC LCpl. Bruno J. Bego

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Mechanics: Unsung Heroes Keep Marines In The Fight
(June 8, 2011)

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CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (5/31/2011) – Numerous convoys over both the harsh Afghan terrain and the improvised explosive devices, commonly used by insurgents, can damage even the biggest and toughest vehicles in the Marine Corps.
Lance Cpl. Allen J. Landry (left), from Princeton, W. Va., Cpl. William A. Fourd (background), from Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D., and Cpl. Christopher W. Schell (right), from Port Saint Joe, Fla., motor transportation mechanics with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), place the differential of a logistical vehicle system replacement on a hydraulic jack prior to installing it in a truck May 31, 2011, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Since arriving in January, the Marines increased the unit’s operational readiness capability from 76 percent to 91 percent.
Lance Cpl. Allen J. Landry (left), from Princeton, W. Va., Cpl. William A. Fourd (background), from Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D., and Cpl. Christopher W. Schell (right), from Port Saint Joe, Fla., motor transportation mechanics with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), place the differential of a logistical vehicle system replacement on a hydraulic jack prior to installing it in a truck May 31, 2011, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Since arriving in January, the Marines increased the unit's operational readiness capability from 76 percent to 91 percent.
 Since their arrival in Afghanistan, the Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) conducted 426 missions covering countless miles, often through open desert. Despite the operational tempo, the battalion's mechanics increased the unit's operational capability from 76 percent to 91 percent in just a few short months.

“We specialize in combat damaged vehicles. In [Support] company we have ordnance, communications and heavy equipment maintenance platoons,” explained Staff Sgt. Amy J. Bory, from Calumet, Mich., the motor transportation maintenance chief with CLB-8, 2nd MLG (Fwd.). “We do everything. We assess the damages, disassemble the trucks, we order the pieces we need to replace, then we put it all back together and send them back to their units."

These dedicated mechanics, work day in
and day out so Marines receive vehicles they can rely on to conduct their missions.
“We have everything necessary to restore any piece of equipment out here from top to bottom,” Bory explained. “We are responsible for providing most infantry units at the different [forward operating bases and combat outpost] especially [Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division (Fwd.)] with maintenance support.”

Convoys are the most common and practical way to resupply smaller bases throughout the area of operation, but the trucks are relied on for more than just transporting supplies, they save lives.
“I think about the Marines operating the trucks every time I am at the shop,” said Cpl. Richard W. Walters, from Las Vegas, a motor transportation mechanic with CLB-8. “If they have to get outside their trucks to fix something, exposing themselves, I feel that I've failed them.

“Without us, the other units we support wouldn't be able to move,” Walters said. “Motor transportation can't move without maintenance, and you can't supply or protect anybody unless your trucks are running.”

A fully operational truck is priceless to the Marines conducting operations throughout Afghanistan in support of International Security Assistance Force operations. The mechanics from CLB-8 ensure the Marines and sailors can count on reliable vehicles when they need them.

Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Bruno J. Bego
2nd Marine Logistics Group
Copyright 2011

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