HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan --
Machine guns were mounted, the supplies were loaded and the Marines of Alpha Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion were ready. On Nov. 22, necessary supplies were convoyed to Forward Operating Bases Geronimo and Delhi, but work did not stop there.
Across southern Afghanistan, supply requests are made for fuel, construction materials and generators. Alpha Company answers those needs.
“Besides personnel, I think supplies are one of those key elements. Without supplies you’re kind of up that creek,” said Cpl. Alton S. Floyd, a wrecker operator for the company. “It makes you feel good that you have such an important job. Lots of Marines are depending on us. We have to perform to the best of our abilities.”
This is done by making sure vehicles are road worthy and their Marines know their roles before the mission, Floyd explained.
In addition, the Marines are aware their convoy carries an additional purpose.
“I think this is very important to make the lives of the Marines a little bit easier, because their lives are not that easy,” said Cpl. Khristopher T. Mckenzie, a radio operator for Alpha Co., 2nd CEB. “The Marines on the combat outposts and forward operational bases have harder living conditions. It’s harder for them to get stuff because of their locations.
They’re living it rough. When we bring generators and mail, it’s a little push that helps morale.”
Generators provide heat, power and air conditioning. With winter coming soon, these generators will surely be put to use.
“It’s getting cold out here. This is going to improve the morale of the Marines, said Sgt. Jonathan Sanabria, a truck master for the company. “This supply chain is also helping the war on terrorism. I mean look at what we’re bringing. They need these supplies so that the command can make more missions.”
After supplies were unloaded, Alpha Company used their portable welding shop to increase entry and exit gate fortification at FOB Delhi.
“The reason why we are so good at what we do is because we have pride in our jobs and in our support of the war,” said Cpl. James A. Pabey, a logistics vehicle system operator for the Alpha Co., 2nd CEB.
As the Marines finished their work and prepared to head home through hazardous desert, neither fear nor jitters was present, only confidence in fellow Marines.
“The Marines next to you become your brothers in a deployment,” said Juan A. Blanco, a motor transport operator. “There are two types of friends, regular friends and Marine friends. A regular friend is proud of you. But a Marine friend will take a bullet for you, and when you’re in that hole, he’s there with you."