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Lejeune Marines urged to not waste money on upcoming deployments

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200511815656
Story by Cpl. Adam C. Schnell

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2005) -- When Marines hear they will be deploying to Iraq, some begin preparing for their upcoming deployment, months in advance, by purchasing what they view as gear needed to effectively complete the mission.

Marines can spend hundreds of dollars buying equipment such as 3-point rifle slings, and ballistic goggles because it has not been issued to them yet.

Little do they know the money they spend on this gear is wasted.

“We just need to get the word out to the Marines to not go out and waste their money,” said Capt. Chris Rabassi, the supply officer for Headquarters Battalion, 2d Marine Division.

According to supply officials, all II Marine Expeditionary Force Marines deploying to Iraq in 2005 will receive from supply, the gear needed to accomplish the mission while supporting the Global War on Terrorism. This gear includes body armor with Small Arms Protection Inserts (SAPI) plates and a new individual first aid kit.

In addition to the this equipment, each Marine will receive two sets of desert-digital camouflage utilities, a “Boonie” cover and a set of boots from the Contingency Training Equipment Pool. This pool, known as CTEP, supplies gear issued to deploying Marines. The Marines must turn the gear in when they return.

“All units pretty much get the same stuff from CTEP,” said Gunnery Sgt. Donald Allegretto, the staff noncommissioned officer for CTEP. “It is just a units preference if they need different things like gloves or balaclavas.”

With so many units and so many different jobs within II MEF, some units will get more issue gear and others will get less. It is up to the command to decide what their Marines need to accomplish the mission.

This is not the first time Marines from II MEF have been equipped for combat. According to Rabassi, they supplied Marines previously deploying to Operation Iraqi Freedom and will be continuing their efforts for the upcoming deployments.

For Marines within the division, they will be receiving 3-point rifle slings (for M16s and M4s), ballistic goggles, ballistic sunglasses, rifle butt-stock magazine holders, Under Armour T-Shirts and Boxers, and elbow and kneepads.

On the other hand because of their mission while in Iraq, Marines with 2d Force Service Support Group will be receiving a Camel-Bak water hydration systems, names tapes for the CTEP utilities and ballistic goggles.

“The Marines just need to have faith in the system,” Rabassi said. “We’re working everyday to get them exactly what they need for mission accomplishment.”

Information about the specific equipment required and dates for gear issue will be passed to deploying Marines through their chain of command.

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