SAHL SINJAR, Iraq --
Beans, bullets and bandages are all mission-essential to Marines operating in a forward area, and resupply is a more daunting task if units are spread across vast stretches of desert landscape and mountainous terrain.
The Motor Transportation section of 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8, has provided a resilient link between the Marines on the ground and their necessities for combat as they support Multi National Force – West operations in western Iraq.
“We provide that flexible support to the infantrymen out in the [Area of Operations],” said Gunnery Sgt. Wesley Hunt, operations chief for the Motor Transportation section. “We have covered more than 22,000 miles to make sure they have everything they need from food and water, to fuel and repair parts for their vehicles.”
The section has conducted more than 113 missions since arriving in Iraq last September, according to Hunt. When they first arrived to Iraq, they were based at Camp Korean Village more than 300 miles from their current base of operations.
“We packed up everything from the battalion onto a 50-vehile convoy and moved the entire battalion to Sinjar,” said Hunt.
After arriving in Sahl Sinjar, in Iraq’s Ninewa province, nothing was constructed, added Hunt. The Marines took to the challenging environment, constructing everything from tents to workspaces.
“It really was the combined effort of the platoon that prepared us to assist in the overall mission,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Krice, motor transportation operator, 1st LAR. “We work it out as a team.”
Shortly thereafter, the infantry platoons pushed out and began running screening and security missions in the new area of operations.
“We became the middleman for supplies between the base and the forward areas,” said Hunt. “If it wasn’t for us, the units would have to detach from mission to resupply. Instead, we go to them.”
So far, 130,000 gallons of fuel and more than 13,000 pounds of food and water have been pushed out to the forward units by the Motor Transportation Marines, said Hunt.
“Overall, our screening operations are working and enemy activity has decreased dramatically because those forward units don’t have to come back every three days,” he added.
Constant support of the mission at hand is a valued asset to any unit throughout the far reaches of the dusty, mountainous terrain of northern Iraq. The Motor Transportation section continues to travel the dusty trails toward mission completion by keeping their infantry counterparts well supplied.
For more information on the ongoing mission in Iraq’s Al Anbar and Ninewa provinces, visit www.iimefpublic.usmc.mil/iimeffwd.