Marines sharpen skills at Fort Pickett in advance of Afghanistan deployment

Marines from the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hone their marksmanship skills as part of the Enhanced Marksmanship Program at Fort Pickett, Va., March 21, 2013. The Marines are making use of the varied training sites located at Fort Pickett in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan, slated for later this year. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Marines from the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hone their marksmanship skills as part of the Enhanced Marksmanship Program at Fort Pickett, Va., March 21, 2013. The Marines are making use of the varied training sites located at Fort Pickett in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan, slated for later this year. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. – More than 630 Marines from the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based Combat Logistics Battalion 6, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group descended on Fort Pickett, March 15, 2013, for a 10-day exercise. The exercise aimed to test and strengthen both the warfighting and logistics skills of the Marines, who are slated to deploy later this year.

“Our purpose for being up here at Fort Pickett is particularly to test our logistics support capability,” explained Maj. Pete Borsay, operations officer for CLB-6. “As a logistics unit, primarily what we do is provide direct support logistics to a regiment and a couple of maneuver battalions.”

The Marines of CLB-6 picked Fort Pickett as their training destination primarily because of the availability of diverse training areas and facilities.

“The benefit of coming up here is, unlike down at Camp Lejeune, there are a lot less units that would interfere with the training. When we come to Fort Pickett we have the opportunity to use fairly wide open spaces and we don’t have to compete for training areas,” Borsay said. “There’s also state of the art equipment up here that we don’t necessarily have back at Camp Lejeune.”

While at Fort Pickett, the Marines made use of a variety of the live fire ranges found on the installation, allowing them to practice their marksmanship skills as part of the Enhanced Marksmanship Program, and test their improvised explosive device detection skills and convoy capabilities on the IED Defeat lane.

“EMP is more combat-oriented shooting,” explained Lance Cpl. Mitchell Beyer, a combat engineer with CLB-6, whose training at Fort Pickett also included live demolition training. “Most combat takes place within 40 yards, so this is all about moving toward and engaging the target.”

The Marines also tested their ability to generate potable water, their supply, communication and food service capabilities, as well as their medical support proficiency with their battalion aid station. Engineers with the unit gained valuable demolition experience and were able to make improvements at both the Blackstone Army Airfield and on a few of the tank trails located on Fort Pickett.

Lance Cpl. Kiley Galewski, a radio operator with CLB-6, said, “My favorite was the [Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer] because you don’t get to get flipped upside down in a Humvee every day.”

The Marines also tested their command and control capabilities through the set up and manning of a combat operations center, which Borsay called the “primary nerve center for the entire battalion.”

“There’s just a whole host of things that we’ve done up here,” Borsay said of the varied training the battalion conducted at Fort Pickett. “We’re really exercising the battalion to its full capability.”

Borsay credited much of the success of the exercise to the Marines who make up CLB-6.

“This has been an excellent training opportunity and the training has gone very, very well and a lot of that is due to the Marines who are up here conducting the training,” said Borsay. “Everyone in this unit plays a part in making us successful.”


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Photos: Marines sharpen skills at Fort Pickett in advance of Afghanistan deployment – March 21, 2013

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