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Sand Sharks Bring Comforts of Home to Camp Barber

US Marine Corps News

9/18/2009 By Staff Sgt. Roman Yurek & Sgt. Earl Katigbak, Marine Aircraft Group 40

The Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, Marine Aircraft Group 40, made up some of the first troops to arrive here and begin construction at Camps Leatherneck and Barber in preparation for the arrival of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan.

As crews from the squadron set about building runways and establishing refueling points, the camp commandant section focused their efforts on the construction of various camp facilities, among them, morale boosting facilities for their fellow "Sand Sharks", the squadron's nickname.

Upon their arrival here in March 2009, the four-Marine section took responsibility for establishing safe, hygienic facilities to include living quarters, restrooms, showers, and laundries, explained Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Lockhart, the assistant camp commandant for the Sand Sharks.

The section also took on the challenges of incorporating recreational facilities and equipment into the construction projects. As a result, the Marines established the Camp Barber gym; the TV room, known as the Shark Tank; and a game room. The camp commandant Marines kept the morale and welfare of their fellow Marine in mind as they developed the recreational facilities.

"Considering where we're at...these tents are above par," said Cpl. Christopher Harding, the facilities and maintenance non-commissioned officer for the section.

Harding spends much of his day inspecting these facilities and conducting maintenance on the equipment within the tents.

Camp Barber residents take full advantage of the recreation facilities with the gym's state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines in use day and night and the Shark Tank benches continually occupied.

The Shark Tank offers Marines a 42-inch flat-screen television with a satellite connection for the Armed Forces Network, along with a foosball table and bleacher-style seating manufactured by the MWSS-371 combat engineers.

The Marines with Utilities Company worked quickly to address the demand for electricity to power the recreation facilities by installing generators. Camp commandant Marines then took on the added responsibility of troubleshooting the electrical systems and power sources for the recreation facilities.

As the Sand Sharks prepare to turnover all responsibilities to MWSS-372, they've left their mark with these morale-boosting facilities.

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