AL TAQADDUM, Iraq -- For combat operations, there are some items you can’t do without: Boots for the infantryman patrolling a street in Ar Ramadi, fire-resistant flight suits to help ward of the risk of severe burns, even the ink cartridge used to print out the warning order for a raid.
In a small corner of the base here, nine Marines work tirelessly to organize and distribute these sometimes lifesaving pieces of gear. They are the members of the Class II Section, Supply Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward).
The Class II Section handles all the general need and nice to have items for the Multi-National Forces – West area of operations. These can range from large tools to small thumbtacks.
These Marines receive and handle nearly 400 requests on a daily basis, according to Sgt. Jorge Montes, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge for the section.
“We have everything anyone should need and more,” said the Miami native. “Pretty much anything to keep these Marines equipped.”
The daily schedule of these Marines can be grueling due to the constant demand for material, supplies and items in their possession, said Lance Cpl. Juan M. Deluna, a warehouse clerk with the section.
Deluna and his fellow Marines begin each morning filing through equipment requests received the previous day. The Houston native grabs the items, boxes them and sends them to the shipping section, which in turn sends them to Marines in the field. When he gets a chance, he grabs something to eat, then begins restocking.
“We sometimes work 15-hour days, if we are lucky we only work 12,” said Deluna.
The gear they process supports each servicemember in the province.
“When it gets to shipping it goes to units all over; Fallujah, Habbiniyah, Ramadi and Al Asad. Just about anywhere,” said Lance Cpl. Jeffery Bazan, a Benaviges, Texas, native. “I am like the hardware store of the Marine Corps.”
Another of these nine Marines, Lance Cpl. Steven J. Falcon, a warehouse clerk, said he gets personal satisfaction in his job and loves the company of his fellow warriors.
“I like the experience here in Iraq,” the Houston native explained. “I love working with my fellow warehouse clerks, and enjoy the camaraderie.”
Their NCOIC understands the big picture of the logistics combat element and realizes the immense role his Marines play in the overall success of coalition efforts.
“I get satisfaction in that units outside the wire are getting the gear they request,” Montes said. “That is what we are here for.”
The staff NCOIC of the Class II Section, Staff Sgt. Blake A. Hasty, could not say enough about the Marines in his charge.
The Marines working at Class II are responsible for a little over $27.5 million worth of material, said the Los Angeles native.
“We have seven Marines and two NCOs responsible for all of this and it is nothing less than spectacular what they do. They display a special characteristic that is only found in Marines.”