LOS takes to N.C. swamps

21 Jul 2005 | Sgt. Tracee L. Jackson

Students of the Logistics Officers School, based out of Camp Johnson, paid a visit here July 21 to get the sloppy scoop on vehicle recovery.

Thirty-one students of the course were tasked to recover a hummer stuck in mud and buried in approximately three feet of water.

“The mission is to teach the Logistics Officers Course to know how to do a recovery,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey B. Cook, instructor at the course. “What makes it unique is that the Marines are going to get into the water and mud to deal with cables, wrenches, and blocks, so it can be dangerous at times.”

This mission is one of the last for the class on the road to becoming full-fledged logistics officers, said Cook.

2nd Lt. Amy L. Bernard, a student of the course, noted this was the first practical application in this kind of scenario for the class.

“We’ve taken classes on it before, and this is the first time we’ve done anything like this,” she said, “We have to bring out the seven ton (truck) and pull it out.”

Before whipping out the cables and liberating the vehicle, the students were required to calculate the problem to ensure they had the correct strength of cable and enough leverage to make their plan work. The students utilized a nearby tree to dislodge the hummer from its waterlogged resting place.

Gunnery Sgt. Robert L. Dennis, an instructor of the course, said the math is one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery mission.

“They have to calculate which wrench they’ll need and how much cable, and there are always errors in the math, so you have to triple and quadruple check it to make sure it’s good,” he said.

1st Lt. Russell W. Wilson of Tampa, Fla., helped his fellow students with the math portion.

“It was a team effort to determine the calculations required to pull the vehicle out,” he noted.

“From an instructor perspective, it went really well,” said Dennis, “We came out here with certain learning objectives, and went step-by-step to make sure each student learned the learning objectives.”

“They worked together as a team, and I think everyone got really good training out of it,” said Dennis.

In addition to the academic assets of the period of instruction, the students also had to overcome the environmental elements surrounding the stranded vehicle.

“The water has a vaguely red tinge to it, so you wonder where it came from. It looks kind of rusty. It could have had stuff growing in it for the last two months,” said 2nd Lt. Gabriel Ledeen of Washington, D.C. , who noticed his training is geared to prepare him for all circumstances.

“There are beetles in there the size of your fist,” he said, “but it’s motivating more than anything else.”