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CLB-4 expands patrols to new supply route

US Marine Corps News

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

Afghanistan -- Marines with Company A, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, conducted a combat logistics patrol along Route Red-West for the first time recently.

CLB-4 is assigned to 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), and was providing tactical logistics support to Forward Operating Base Now Zad, Afghanistan, in addition to several other FOBs and combat outposts.

The patrol delivered 235 short tons of supplies and 5,000 gallons of fuel during the operation. In addition, it retrograded 155 short tons of supplies and equipment.

“Taking a new route during a (combat logistics patrol) is a challenge because we have to learn what the atmospherics are along with the route,” said 2nd Lt. Charlsie M. Brooks, a platoon commander with Co. A, CLB-4. “We don’t know what the terrain is like, what the enemy’s disposition in the area is, or how the locals are going to act when we go through the city (of Now Zad).”

Co. A worked with the battlespace owners, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, and the CLB-4 intelligence section to help prepare for the route and overcome the challenges, according to Staff Sgt. Luis R. MartinezBido, a platoon sergeant with Co. A, CLB-4.

“We talked to the units who had been there before us, who were familiar with the route, to learn what to expect,” said MartinezBido. “We also looked at any (significant acts) which took place along the route recently to see what was happening in the area.”

The CLB-4 patrol also continued to provide support to FOB Edinburgh and Combat Outposts Eredvi and Shirghazi during the operation, a mission the Co. A Marines have become proficient at, according to MartinezBido.

“The Marines have made very dramatic progress since (the first FOB Edinburgh combat logistics patrol),” said MartinezBido. “They know what is required of them, and they come out here and get it done.”

Vehicle maintenance is one of the key areas where the Marines improved, according to Brooks.

“This convoy had the least amount of maintenance issues; and part of that is because we had a maintenance stand-down where we halted missions for a week to thoroughly (inspect) the vehicles and fix any issues,” said Brooks.

Afghan National Police aided the combat logistics patrol by providing security at a series of checkpoints along the roadways, according to Brooks. They also patrolled the area near FOB Now Zad.

The maintenance stand-down, preparation for patrolling the new route, and security and counterinsurgency operations conducted by the ANP, all played into making the mission a success.

“We met the timeline for the mission, avoided any major maintenance issues and continued to support the battlespace owners,” said Brooks.

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