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CLB-4 conducts convoy

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud, Marine Corps Bases Japan

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- A Marine convoy delivered supplies to Forward Operating Bases Nolay and Whitehouse here during an operation Feb. 14-16.

The Marines, part of Combat Logistics Battalion 4, delivered supplies consisting of fuel, food and water to the Marines of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, at FOB Whitehouse and to 3rd Bn., 7th Marines, at FOB Nolay.

CLB-4, part of 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, while in garrison, but is currently assigned to 1st MLG (Forward) supporting combat operations. Both 1st Bn., 8th Marines, and 3rd Bn., 7th Marines, are part of II MEF (Fwd.).

The convoy was the first CLB-4 led during the battalion’s deployment and went smoothly, according to Sgt. John L. Cheek, motor transport operator, Company B, CLB-4.

The Marines of CLB-4 previously participated in convoy operations as part of a transition program with their predecessors, CLB-6.

CLB-4 assumed responsibility for the area of operations Feb. 11 during a transfer of authority ceremony.

“The (transition period) was very important,” said Cheek. “CLB-6 gave us a very good turnover … telling us about any hotspots on the routes and generally giving us very good information.”

Completing the first CLB-4-led convoy successfully helped the Marines start the deployment off on the right foot.

“It was important for us to start off operations well,” said Cheek. “It sets the tone for the rest of the deployment. We made very good time and had no major maintenance issues.”

Maintaining the vehicles in the harsh terrain and keeping convoy communications open were the main challenges the Marines faced, along with the threat of improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire along the routes, according to Cheek.

The convoy took advantage of the trip to return vehicles and equipment from the FOBs to Camp Leatherneck.

“The retrograde is coming, and we need to take advantage of every bit of empty bed-space that we can,” said 1st Lt. Ryan L. Cornwell, convoy commander, Co. B. “If we don’t haul it out now, we are going to be hauling it out later.”

The Marines of CLB-4 take pride in being able to support the counter-insurgency operations both by delivering supplies and retrograding equipment, according to Cornwell.

“It is a privilege to directly support the boots on the ground,” said Cornwell. “We take pride in making sure that the dismounts that are walking the streets of (Sangin, Afghanistan) everyday have everything they need to be successful.”

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