CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Heavy equipment operators with Combat Logistics Battalion 6 demonstrated their ability to shape the battlespace in support of global crises and contingency operational requirements during a recent exercise at Camp Lejeune, Dec. 8.
The Marines built a Forward Operating Base to simulate a deployed environment and hone techniques they would use in support of combat operations.
“This is a good learning experience for our battalion,” said Lance Cpl. Taylor Woolman, an operator with CLB-6. “We do not always have the opportunity to use this heavy equipment, especially while the unit is in garrison.”
The exercise enabled operators to gain experience with a multitude of vehicle such as the Medium Crawler Tractor, 420E IT Backhoe, tractor rubber-tired articulated steering multi-purpose and the 120M Motor Graders. They use these vehicles to construct the base from the ground up.
“You can have two Marines digging a two-man fighting hole with their shovels for hours, or you can grab a backhoe and dig the same fighting hole in five minutes,” said Cpl. Oscar Garcia, an operator for CLB 6.
Operators built trenches, fighting holes and berms to build base defenses before they smoothed the ground for a Command Operations Center and other supporting structures.
Garcia said the equipment they use enhances the expeditionary capabilities of the Marine Air Ground Task Force by providing the capability to rapidly establish a base of operations.
Once a FOB is established, the heavy equipment can also assist different logistics operations by providing heavy lift and loading capabilities, which supports and makes more efficient the other functions of logistics.
“The Marine Corps does not move without motor transport, but motor transport does not move without heavy equipment operators,” Garcia said.