2d MLG HomeHiddenNews
2nd Marine Logistics Group News Search
2nd Marine Logistics Group News
Photo Information

A combat engineer with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest) braces against a flurry of sand while filling HESCO containers at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, Aug. 12, 2013. A platoon of combat engineers and heavy equipment operators worked through the night and endured the constant sting of blowing sand to erect a new guard tower at the base.

Photo by Cpl. Paul Peterson

HESCO Master: Combat engineer revels in grind

1 Sep 2013 | Cpl. Paul Peterson

It’s a day-by-day brawl over mounds of sand, steel mesh, and heavy equipment, but he loves it.

Sgt. Adam Rehder, a Windyville, Mo., native and combat engineer with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), just walked off a 12-hour shift working on the perimeter at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, when he confessed he’d rather have a shower than eat food.

“I like to be clean,” laughed Rehder. “It’s a muddy mess.”

He’s spent nearly an entire month tackling infrastructure improvement projects at the base. His extensive work with HESCO barriers, wire-mesh containers reinforced with heavy-duty fabric, earned him the endearing title “HESCO Master” among his Marines.

“I’ve actually grown to like it quite a bit,” said Rehder, who supervises the installation and layout of the large, dirt-filled barriers. “It’s windy out here most of the time. You sweat, and you have that [heavy equipment] dumping that load, and its blowing right in your face … There isn’t anything you can do about it. It’s motivating, definitely.”

Rehder and his Marines stand on top of the HESCO barriers as earthmoving equipment fills the containers with load after load of gravel and powder-fine sand. By the end of their working period, the Marines are completely covered in said.

“They look like sugar cookies,” joked one observer.

The statement was accurate but deceiving. The sand works its way into the Marines’ uniforms and clings to the sweat on their skin. By the time they finish showering, a pool of orange mud clogs the drain. Sometimes they don’t even bother undressing before entering the shower.

“[It] takes a toll on your body,” confessed Rehder
The Marines alternate positions during the harshest parts of the construction labor and work at night whenever possible.

“It’s safer, to be honest,” said Rehder. “It’s easier on the Marines and not as hot out … I think we’re more proficient at night. During the day, [the heat] is going to draw that energy out of you.”

The August weather in Afghanistan is often hot even at night. It’s not uncommon for sand storms to spring up and engulf the Marines as they work. Somehow, they not only endure the harsh conditions but have enough energy to sing comical songs about their predicament as they trudge up and down sand berms or coil old concertina wire.

“It’s amazing, it really is,” said Rehder. “I’ve been a lot of places, and I just feel like right here is where I’m supposed to be. The motivation level is high, the experience level is high, and it’s just awesome … As far as where it comes from, I think it’s just knowing our job so well.”

For Rehder, part of the enjoyment is putting his crew’s extensive training to practical use. After more than a month of honing their teamwork in Twentynine Palms, California, the rhythm and communication within the unit began to solidify. It continued to grow from constant application in Afghanistan.

“We practice our [military specialty] quite a bit, which is awesome because I like [it],” said Rehder. “We’re pretty good at what we do.”

The improvements at Camp Dwyer are just the beginning for Rehder and his team. They will likely complete construction projects at numerous other bases throughout Helmand province over the next several months.
Comments

Welcome to the 2d MLG's Official Page. We strive to provide our audience with perspective on unit and Marine Corps news and information while maintaining an issue driven, principle based and audience focused conversation online.

While this is an open forum, it's also a family friendly one, so please keep that in mind when posting comments. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines listed below. Comments and posts that do not follow these guidelines will be removed:

-We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization.

-We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Similarly, we do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency.

-We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity.

-Apparent spam will be removed and may cause the author(s) to be blocked from the page without notice.

-You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided.

- For Official Use Only (FOUO), classified, pre-decisional, proprietary or business-sensitive information should never be discussed here. Don't post personnel lists, rosters, organization charts or directories. This is a violation of privacy.

The appearance of external links on this site does not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps or Department of Defense.

You are encouraged to quote, republish or share any content on this site on your own blog, Web site or other communication/publication. If you do so, please credit the command or the person who authored the content as a courtesy.

Semper Fidelis.

Resources

Click for COVID-19 InformationReport Suspicious ActivityDStress Hotline