Marines from Combat Logistics Company 16 led a convoy to set up and retrieve a Russian satellite for a training operation, April 26-27.
The seven Marines and one corpsman, traveling by four seven-tons, out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, worked in conjunction with civilian assets to deliver the satellite in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructorsâ€™ course aerial operations.
The journey lasted five hours over rugged, off-road terrain, ending on the far side of the Chocolate Mountains from MCAS Yuma.
â€œThe entire time (the Marines of CLC-16) have been out here, theyâ€™ve been dealing with a lot of basic trucks,â€ said Staff Sgt. Kurt A. Diaz, the CLC-16 motor-transportation operations chief, truck master and an Oceanside, Calif. native. â€œThe Russian satellite, due to the size and weight of it, provided good training as far as something out of the ordinary.â€
In addition to the transportation and operation of the equipment for the exercise, the party had to adapt to the mechanical failure of one of the trailers, causing an unintended addition to the training the Marines received.
â€œNothing could have been better,â€ added Diaz about the operation. â€œThey got the experience of hauling something that heavy out there. They had to use all the means available to get it out there, as well as to recover the trailer. The convoy commander had to think outside the box, and back on station we had to work hard to coordinate everything the operation needed. They used everything they had in their toolbox.â€
This exercise involving the satellite is a mainstay of every WTI course, and is slated to continue as long as the course does.
In addition to the transportation and set up of heavy equipment, CLC-16 can be tasked with providing a continuing supply of water, food, ammunition, fuel and transportation of personnel and gear for deployed units or units involved with exercises.