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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

America's Vanguard Force

Camp Pendleton, CA
Combat Logistics Battalion 15 learns valuable lessons during Mountain Exercise 2014

By Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos | | September 19, 2014

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Combat Logistics Battalion 15 celebrated the end of Mountain Exercise 2014 on Sept. 13, 2014.

The training that took place here aboard Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center tested the unit’s ability to support the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in mountainous terrain.

Marines with CLB-15 will become the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s logistics combat element in October. Mountain Exercise 2014 developed critical skills the battalion will need during deployment.
Specifically, the training ensures the Marines are prepared to operate in mountainous terrain if the need arises while deployed with the 15th MEU next year.

“I couldn’t be prouder with how you Marines accomplished the mission,” said Lt. Col. Wilfred Rivera, commanding officer, CLB-15, as he addressed his Marines. “Over the past weeks I’ve witnessed us come together and grow so much.”

Working around the clock to support 3/1, CLB-15 provided the necessary logistical support for training including transportation, intelligence and hot food.

“We were able to focus on training because of their efforts,” said Master Sgt. Robert Bell, operations chief, 3/1. “They were there whenever we needed them, and I look forward to working with them once we deploy.”

Providing support in an unfamiliar environment, the Marines of CLB-15 relied on their training and previous experience to successfully complete their mission.

“This is new for a lot of the Marines here,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Homza, logistics officer, CLB-15. “But you wouldn’t know it by looking at what they just accomplished. We learned a lot, and it was a great opportunity for us to work alongside [3/1], and for them to see exactly what we bring to the fight.”

Strong noncommissioned officers were the foundation for CLB- 15’s success. 

“We have a lot of great NCOs that took control and made sure that they were providing the support needed,” Homza said. “We were able to be hands-off and let them run the show.”

Staff Sgt. Cassie Utsey, intelligence chief, CLB-15, headed up one of the most crucial elements of the training. Utsey, and her Marines, provided detailed information and analysis to 3/1 that allowed them to plan and execute their missions.

“My Marines did a phenomenal job, I couldn’t have asked more from them,” Utsey said. “They challenged themselves and exceeded their limits, and it showed. I think [3/1] noticed and are happy we’ll be there to help them accomplish any missions they may get.”

With many lessons learned throughout the training, CLB-15’s Marines walked away having gained a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of the importance of their role once deployed with the 15th MEU.

“Without us [3/1] won’t have the support they need to carry out the commander’s intent,” Homza said. “If [Marines] didn’t understand that before, they do now. [What 3/1] does revolves around us being able to our job in an expeditionary manner. We got a feel for that out here, we know what’s expected of us, and we know we can do it.”


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