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A Marine color guard presents the colors during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 4, 2011, in which the Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) transferred authority to the North Carolina-based 2nd MLG (FWD), who assumed responsibilities as the combat logistics element for Regional Command Southwest in support of International Security Assistance Force.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik

Logistical reigns change hands in Southern Afghanistan

4 Mar 2011 | 2nd Lt. Joshua Smith

Brig. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, commanding general of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), transferred authority to Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, commanding general of 2nd MLG (FWD), during a ceremony here, March 4.

Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commanding general of Regional Command Southwest, spoke as the guest of honor during the ceremony.

“There’s a saying in the Marine Corps that amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics,” he said. “Often logistics are taken for granted, but when you come to the real world, to the real fight, to Afghanistan, to tough mountains, no roads, bad weather, and a completely challenging environment … you will not get over the line of departure if the logistics aren’t right.”

“When you take a look at what 1st MLG has done over the past year, you can’t help but be awed,” Mills continued. “Everything from the convoys over thousands of miles, through fierce enemy contact, over IED laden terrain, and roads that didn’t exist to deliver supplies, we put out the requirements, and [1st MLG (FWD)] made it happen. With the engineer requirements, the 27 [forward operating bases] that needed to be constructed, the bridges that needed to be built, we gave you a hard deadline, and you got it done.”

Hudson, a native of Zirconia, N.C., oversaw logistical operations in southern Afghanistan in support of RC Southwest since March 17, 2010. The arrival of 1st MLG (FWD) last year marked the first time it deployed with such robust logistical capability since operations in Afghanistan kicked off.

“We came here with the mindset, the focus of effort, and the guiding principle that whatever we did on a day-to-day basis would be to support those [privates first class] and lance corporals from 1st Marine Division (Forward) as they were walking point across the battle space. Across the board, I trust we’ve been able to do just that over the past 360 odd days,” Hudson said. “I haven’t slept well for the past year because we have Marines outside the wire every day.”

As Dana takes control, the event marks the first time 2nd MLG (FWD) operates at the Group level in Afghanistan. 2nd MLG (FWD) assumes all logistics combat element responsibilities held by its predecessor, and Dana plans to capitalize on 1st MLG

(FWD)’s progress and hard-won success made in the past year. Dana personally thanked Hudson and the Marines and sailors of 1st MLG (FWD) in his remarks.

“To the Marines and sailors of 1st Marine Logistics Group, you’ve done an absolutely phenomenal job over the past year. You all are pros. For the Marines out here, we’re going to keep up the pace. We’re going to keep charging for the next year, and it’s an absolute honor to be with you,” said Dana.

Mills concluded, “[Brigadier] General Dana and his crew bring with them a tremendous reputation. They are fully prepared, ready to get started, and have the skill, the motivation, and they certainly have the leadership they need to accomplish the mission.”

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