CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina -- Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, performed port and beach operations simultaneously in support of the deployment of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Dec. 11-16.
The entire loading operation was assigned by 2nd MLG to the regiment. The regiment then split operations between Combat Logistics Battalion 2, leading the port operations group at the Morehead City Port and Radio Island, and Combat Logistics Battalion 6, who took charge of the beach operations group at Onslow Beach.
“For the beach and port operations groups, their whole job is to facilitate the gear,” said 1st Lt. Jonathan Pica, executive office for Transportation Support Company with CLB-2. “They receive the gear when it reaches their position, gain accountability for gear, personnel, cargo, vehicles and any equipment that shows up. From here, they organize it, and then the supporting unit’s embarkation section will facilitate the loading and accountability for it when the ship arrives."
Marines began port operations by staging vehicles and organizing equipment before the ship arrived at Morehead City port. From here, embarkation specialists would check their rosters and verify their numbers matched the ones attached to the equipment.
“We set the vehicles up into sticks, that way they can roll on smoothly and we can get the ships out as soon as possible,” said Cpl. Alexander Jones, a landing support specialist with CLB-2.
It’s important for them to stage everything before the ship’s arrival as it makes the loading process go by faster and allowing Marines with the 24th MEU to focus on their mission, said Jones.
Not too far from the port, CLB-2 provided the same capabilities at Radio Island. There, the Navy landing craft utilities loaded the equipment and brought it out toward the USS Iwo Jima since the ship was too large to dock at the port, said 1st Lt. Jordan Leonard, the landing support platoon commander with CLB-2 and officer in charge of the port operations group.
The beach operations, led by CLB-6, mimicked that of the port operations group where they staged equipment and gained accountability. When the time came to load, heavy equipment operators loaded the gear aboard Navy landing craft air cushions to bring to the USS Fort McHenry.
Aside from beach and port operations, CLR-2 also has the capability to conduct helicopter support teams, where Marines attach cargo to helicopters for transportation. They performed this during the operation to transfer ammunition from Onslow Beach to the USS Iwo Jima.
“What our whole function as a logistics unit enables us to do is to allow the infantry unit to continually push further and further inland without having to worry about the logistical support,” said Pica. “We try to anticipate their needs before they know what they need so when they do run out of ammunition, chow or water, it’s on the next truck that’s scheduled to arrive there. It’s going to allow those warfighters to continue to pursue the enemy through close fire and maneuver.”
With the 24th MEU fully loaded and out to sea, the Marines from CLR-2 returned to their respective areas to prepare for the next training evolution, whether it’s port operations, beach operations or helicopter support teams.