MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Convoy operations supporting the current Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course were carried out by a greater number of units than ever before.
Marines from Combat Logistics Company 16, 7th Engineering Support Battalion and Combat Logistics Regiments 15 and 17 conducted the convoys every Monday and Thursday throughout the current 2010 WTI 11-1 course, practicing the type of operations they would perform while deployed.
The convoys, which resupply the many ground units here for WTI with food, water, fuel and personnel to maintain equipment at their training sites throughout the Barry M. Goldwater Range and the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, have been operating since the beginning of October and are slated to end in early November.
“It’s a great experience for the Marines who haven’t deployed yet,” said Staff Sgt. Jefferson Yazzie, CLR-15 motor transportation staff noncommissioned officer in charge based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. “It gets the Marines used to traveling in convoy formations and gets them used to always watching out for their fellow Marines who are traveling with them.”
These types of convoys are used every WTI for their vital role in resupply and training. The convoys also give the Marines the opportunity to work closely with other units, much like they would on the battlefield.
“The convoys really bring the Marines that are here for WTI together,” said 2nd Lt. Sarah Burke, CLR-15 officer in charge. “I have Marines from four different units and they are working as one to accomplish their mission of supporting the Marines here for training.”
Each of the units have different standard operating procedures, meaning that the Marines sometimes have to learn a completely different way of otherwise routine operations.
“It was tough at first,” said Lance Cpl. William Starr, CLR-17 motor transportation driver based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. “We really had to see what was similar before we could work out what was different. However, after we got it figured out, it has been running smoothly, even with all the different mindsets.”
After the convoys are over and the Marines return to their respective units, many believe the experience gained here will help them in the future.
“It was a great opportunity,” said Lance Cpl. Chris Monson, 7th Engineering Support Battalion motor transportation mechanic based in Camp Pendleton. “I think working with all the different Marines and ways of doing things is really going to help when I deploy. I’m going to be able to look at a problem and have more solutions for it.”