NEAR KARMAH, Iraq --
In a willing gesture of humanity, Marines from Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment’s “Brahma Motors” section topped off the bulk water canisters of two local families Aug. 24 in Al Anbar Province.
Brahma Motors is a combination of motor transportation and logistics elements organic to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.
The project was an unplanned opportunity while the section conducted a routine combat logistics convoy in BLT 3/1’s area of operations.
While resupplying a Lima Company patrol base, a BLT 3/1 platoon commander asked 1st Lt. Aaron Littles, Brahma Motors section commander, if, after the resupply, any extra water could be distributed to the local populace. Due to road blocks and travel restrictions, fresh water was temporarily not available in the area.
“Basically, the local people had been pointing out insurgents and (improvised explosive devices) to the platoons, and we wanted to pay them back,” said Littles.
After quickly assessing the fresh water needs of the platoon, including personnel from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, Littles determined an excess of 500 gallons from the bulk water tanks could be given to the locals.
The convoy first filled tanks at a local farmer’s home, then moved onto a family residence. The reaction, said Littles, was moving.
“They were very appreciative, and they even made tea for us. It felt really rewarding,” he said.
For the Marines of Brahma Motors, said Littles, the mission was a worthy endeavor to break up the monotony and stress of daily logistical runs.
“You could see it in the Marines’ faces, they all felt good that we were helping somebody who has helped us,” he said.
The hasty planning and coordination of the operation, Littles said, was far from unusual. The limited number of available Battalion Marines and equipment for the unit makes Brahma Motors a small, elite operation with only one active crew.
“We’re a small crew, and a battalion asset, so we have to be ready for anything,” Littles said. “In fact, after the run, we came back to (Combat Outpost) Golden and had to go right back out to recover a flipped humvee.”
Unplanned and unnamed, the operation was a complete success. By giving back to the community that has supported Marines throughout counterinsurgency efforts here, Brahma Motors has chalked up one more small victory.
For more information about Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, and the warriors of the Fighting 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit the unit’s Web site athttp://www.usmc.mil/13thmeu.