Storage Marines: providing supplies to troops in Afghanistan
US Marine Corps News
2/14/2011 By Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik, 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Operating out of the largest storage lot in the Marine Corps, Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward)’s Supply Company have the enormous responsibility of supporting Marine units operating in Helmand and Nimruz provinces.
“We directly support all Marine Corps units within RC(SW)’s area of responsibilities,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason M. Pierce, officer in charge, Storage, Supply Co, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD). “We provide Marines in every unit with the necessary classes of gear so Marines can repair vehicles, build FOB's and support administrative functions.”
Although the storage lot is the largest in the Marine Corps, it is run by fewer than 90 Marines. In comparison, the lot on Camp Pendleton, Calif., has more than 250 Marines.
It is the responsibility of the Marines who work at the Camp Leatherneck storage lot to quickly fill orders so units on the front lines get what they need as quickly as possible.
“The faster we push out our gear, the faster it gets to the guys who need it, the faster they can complete their mission,” said Lance Cpl. Courtez L. Ross, warehouse clerk with Storage, Supply Company, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD). “It makes me feel good that we help save the lives of the people out there.”
The storage lot has more than 25,000 different items, all of which are received, inventoried, and shipped by hand. The Marines usually fill between 500-1,000 orders each day. They work 12-14 hours a day, but they do it so their fellow Marines have the supplies they need when they need them.
“We give the gear to the units as they need it,” said Ross, 21, from Texarkana, Texas.
The task of moving tons of personal gear and equipment daily is done mostly by hand. Requisitions may be small or large, a hand-carry item or something requiring a fork lift to move. The list of requirements could be short with a few light supplies, or it could be a long list of heavy parts necessary for repairing a Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle.
“Everything around here is pure manual labor,” said Pierce, 32, from Rochester, N.Y. “That’s what makes it difficult. There are over 900 containers on the lot, and all of them have to be filled manually. They have to be packed and inventoried every day, and that can make it a long day.”
It’s a lot of hard work, but the storage Marines enjoy knowing they are making a difference for service members deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“I love it,” said Pierce. “There’s probably not a more fulfilling job in the unit. I feel my Marines are making a large impact.”
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