CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Officials with the Office of the Secretary of Defense toured areas of Camp Leatherneck as part of an informational visit, Jan. 7.
Among them was Frank Kendall, the (acting) under secretary of defense, Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics.
According to Navy Capt. Ted Lucas, the deputy director of the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, and fellow OSD member, the purpose of the group’s tour was to “see what the warfighter is doing and what the warfighter needs.”
Other visitors included Sharon Burke, the assistant secretary of defense, Operational Energy, Plans and Programs; Gary Motsek, the deputy assistant secretary of defense, Program Support; and Richard Ginman, the director, Defense, Procurement and Acquisition Policy.
The visitors spent the first part of the afternoon with 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) junior Marines, beginning with a lunch, during which the Marines had the opportunity to speak with the high-ranking government officials. The talks at the table centered around family and similar military experiences.
With 2nd MLG (FWD)’s deployment drawing to a close, many of the officials were curious to know what the young Marines would be doing with their first few days home. There was also talk of the upcoming Super Bowl. Rival fans made good-natured jabs at each other throughout the meal.
Following the lunch, the group parted ways with the junior Marines and began the business aspect of their visit. They toured the sort, supply and the Intermediate Maintenance Activity lots.
The logistical aspect of the OSD group directly correlated with the mission of the MLG, and Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, commanding general of 2nd MLG (FWD), was quick to point out the progress his Marines have made on each of the lots. As Operation Clean Sweep is conducted aboard the base, acres of materials have been organized, sorted and inventoried. This large-scale operation is in response to the commandant’s vision of Marine Corps combat troop withdrawal.
Regional Command Southwest directed that all elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force account for all of the gear and equipment that has been used by the Marine Corps over the last 10 years. The progress thus far within the MLG had the visitors admittedly impressed.
“It’s great to see first-hand how the troops are doing over here and how logistics are truly serving the mission,” said Army Col. Mark Malatesta, the senior military assistant for Kendall.
Burke’s military assistant, Army Col. Daniel Georgi, agreed that the first-hand observation of the progress made in Operation Clean Sweep, including the implementation of retrograde and organization of logistics, was impressive.
“[We] are impressed with the morale and the capabilities of troops here,” Georgi concluded. “We are impressed with the dedication to the mission and how well it’s completed.”