CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq --
As the last rays of sunlight duck behind the security barriers aboard Camp Baharia, Iraq, a chorus can be heard. It is not the crickets emerging to greet the night —it’s the Marines of Security Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), gearing up to provide security for a convoy.
The sounds of idling engines, radio chatter, and weapon function checks mix with the stale evening air as the 38-vehicle convoy, consisting of tactical vehicles, tractor trailers and four Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, prepare to exit the confines of Camp Baharia.
In a field environment, convoy security is typically handled by military police. However, the Marines with Security Co. are far from typical. While they have their fair share of military police within the company, the majority of the unit is comprised of Marines from several different military occupational specialties such as heavy equipment operation, motor transport, disbursing, supply and communications. While operating outside of one’s MOS can be a daunting task, one Marine in particular has learned to put his skill set to use while conducting security operations.
Cpl. Joseph Muise, a motor transport mechanic, traded in his tool box for a Tactical Operations Center Intercommunications System headset to take on the critical position as a vehicle commander.
“My job has completely changed from a mechanic in a shop to a vehicle commander and armory custodian involved in [convoy] operations,” Muise said. “I believe my knowledge of mechanics is very much an asset. Knowing how to quickly troubleshoot a vehicle could make the difference between life or death for my Marines after leaving friendly lines.”
Outside of running the platoon’s armory and maintaining accountability of all of the platoon’s weapon systems, Muise also ensures that weekly and monthly preventative maintenance checks and services are performed on the platoon’s vehicles and mine-rollers.
“It’s tough, but staying busy makes the time fly by,” he said.
The company is responsible for conducting personnel security, explosive ordnance disposal, recovery and combat logistics patrol escorts throughout eastern Al Anbar province.
The security teams also have their fair share of sailors. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Boudreau, a corpsman with the company, volunteered to leave 3rd Dental Battalion in order to join Security Company.
“I would say that being a corpsman for Security Co. is one of the more demanding positions for Navy personnel that I could be filing in Iraq,” he explained. “I’m proud to serve with these gentlemen because we all work as a team, regardless of what MOS or branch of service we’re in. I know that if anything goes down, inside or outside the wire that I can depend on them and they can depend on me to have each other’s back.”
The security team was sent to Camp Baharia to reinforce the Motor Transport Company and are considered CLB-4’s 'force-in-readiness'. They are prepared to carry out any mission within 15 minutes of receiving an order and have conducted 110 missions during March and April 2009.