BRIDGEPORT, Calif. --
Marines with Engineer Platoon, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted tree-felling operations during the Summer Mountain Exercise, Oct. 18, 2014.
Marines with Engineer Platoon, CLB-6, conducted the training as part of the final exercise in a month-long training event. The Marines are the first unit to train in tree-felling without going through the Combat Engineers course offered by the training center.
“The platoon commander, a previous student in my course, approached me and asked if I could train his unit in tree-felling techniques,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Buck, a mountain warfare instructor at MCMWTC.
The Marines are qualified in basic chainsaw techniques and have their chainsaw licenses. Being a part of the mountain warfare training gave the Marines a chance to use their qualifications.
“We were taught how to use a chainsaw in the schoolhouse, but I’ve never had the opportunity to actually fall trees,” said Lance Cpl. James Lindsay, a combat engineer with CLB-6.
The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection allowed the Marines to fall trees that have been killed by forest fires that occurred in the area.
“This is one of very few places in the Marine Corps that the Marines have the ability to fall trees,” said Buck, a Ludington, Mich. native. “The relationship that we have with the environmental department out here provides an amazing opportunity for Marines to come out and learn this sort of training.”
The skills that the Marines acquire in the course have many real-world applications.
“I’ve heard of many different humanitarian efforts that Marines respond to,” said Lindsay, a Cincinnati native. “Tree-felling can play a big part in the clean-up efforts of any sort of natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado or tsunami.”
Buck supervised the Marines as they conducted the training, but allowed the experienced engineers in CLB-6 to teach the others. This allowed the leaders to hone their teaching skills, along with their tree-felling skills.
“I let the ones who came though my course give the classroom instruction to the other Marines,” said Buck. ”I added in anything they may have missed and watched them for safety purposes, but I basically let them teach each other.”
CLB-6 paired with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, to complete the month-long training in mountain warfare and survival. The training package helps to ensure the readiness and relevance of 2nd MLG forces to be employed in support of combatant command requirements.
This is the fifth installment of a six-part series on the experiences of CLB-6 at the Mountain Warfare Training Center.