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Lt. Col. Sekou S. Karega, the commanding officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 7, and 1st Sgt. Victor P. Singleton, the battalion sergeant major, case the CLB-7 colors during a transfer of authority ceremony, Sept. 7, 2009, aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. During the ceremony, CLB-7 transferred authority of logistics operations in Iraq’s Combined Area of Operations West to CLB-46. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Cpl. M. M. Bravo)

Photo by Cpl. M. M. Bravo

End grows near for Marine logistics battalions serving in Iraq

9 Sep 2009 | Cpl. M. M. Bravo

Lt. Col. Sekou S. Karega, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 7, transferred authority of logistical operations in Iraq’s Combined Area of Operations West, to Lt. Col. Eric Davis, the commanding officer of CLB-46, during a ceremony aboard Al Asad Air Base, Sept. 7.

The transfer of authority was the last of its kind, as CLB-46 will be the last Marine logistics battalion conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The battalion took over after a successful deployment by CLB-7, during which the Marines and sailorsof the battalion provided logistics support to Regimental Combat Team 8 and all requesting units in the area.

“Throughout your day-to-day operations, your dedication and professionalism has exemplified the logistician’s motto of ’Warriors sustaining warriors with excellence, innovation and quality,’” said Col. Vincent A. Coglianese, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 27 (Forward), to the Marines and sailors of CLB-7.

 “The success we see today in Al Anbar could not have been done without the fuel, supplies, maintenance, services and recovery assets your battalion, and Marine logistics units that have served before you, have helped to provide day in and day out for the six years of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” he continued.

Today’s Iraqi Security Forces have continued to sustain the success that has been achieved by U.S. service members who have served throughout the country since 2003.

According to Coglianese, the partnerships between Coalition forces and their ISF counterparts have contributed a great deal to the improvements that can now be seen in the ISF’s competent abilities in securing their nation.

 “CLB-7, you have understood the importance of those partnerships. You initiated and sustained great relationships with members of the 7th Iraqi Army Division,” Coglianese said.

The Marines partnered with Iraqi soldiers of the 7th IA Division aboard Camp Mejid and conducted vehicle maintenance training that included inventory control and documentation practices.  In a short amount of time, the Marines helped their Iraqi counterparts make vast improvements in their logistical practices. 

 Among other accomplishments, the sailors of the Battalion Aid Station also provided invaluable medical training to the IA soldiers at Camp Mejid.

“The training went above and beyond the typical combat lifesaver courses by providing instruction on topics ranging anywhere from sports medicine and shock trauma to guiding them on conducting mass casualty drills,” Coglianese said.

As true warriors sustaining warriors, the CLB-7 support detachments in Combat Outpost Gannon II, Ubaydi, Sahl Sinjar, Camp Korean Village and Rawah, kept the service members hydrated and their vehicles properly fueled by distributing hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and water. Additionally, the Field Mess Marines worked long shifts to ensure that all service members traveling through these remote areas could enjoy a hot meal.

As their deployment came to a close, CLB-7 worked tirelessly on their support missions but also pushed forward into drawdown operations by retrograding containers and equipment no longer needed to accomplish the mission.

“Your attention to detail in this process has assisted the [Marine Logistics Group] in responsibly reducing its overall footprint in Al Anbar,” Coglianese said.  “It was the individual effort made by each and every one of you that collectively achieved success for your battalion. Rest assured that your dedication to the mission has helped the Marine Corps come one step closer to their departure from Iraq.” 

With CLB-46 scheduled to be the last Marine combat logistics battalion to travel the roads of Al Anbar Province, Davis closed out the ceremony with enthusiasm by saying, "CLB-46 is excited to be here and have the opportunity to write the final chapter in Marine Corps logistical operations in Iraq."


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