Twentynine Palms -- Motor Transport Marines with 1st Tank Battalion increased overall readiness by 20% in the past three weeks by working extended hours. The battalion’s thirteen mechanics prioritize the backlog maintenance to repair and maintain the total of 256 pieces of equipment.
The unit focuses on the basics of being a Marine, such as physical fitness and leadership capabilities, before they begin to repair vehicles. The leadership judges the weekly schedule and compensates for lost time by maximizing the day to assure the readiness is maintained.
“In my career I have learned that logistics wins wars,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Rodriguez, Motor Transport Maintenance Officer, 1st Tank Battalion. “We are a tank battalion and we need to keep resupplies going and keep our vehicles operating.” As a tank battalion operating out of Twentynine Palms, the opportunity to have hands on training with resupplies and working with Anti-tank Misslemen to enhance the overall mission.
Until the Korean War, the Motor Transport community only operated at large scale commands. It is now organized by ratios to support small unit infantry based training and cover larger areas.
“We provide logistical support to tank battalions to serve as a force multiplier for units to train here for combined armed exercises,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Hisle, Motor Vehicle Operator, 1st Tank Battalion. The Marines are broken into sections in order to support the tankers: maintenance, light, medium, and heavy. The sections are based off weight classes and the equipment needed to support the vehicles that comprise each section.
The constant change in tasks is desired by many of the maintenance Marines with 1st Tanks. According to Lance Cpl. Jorge Paniagua, Automotive Maintenance Technician, 1st Tank Battalion, what he enjoys most about his job is that it is never the same and helps them adapt and learn new things about themselves.
From working closely with one another, the Marines have built a cherished bond. A single Marine cannot complete the mission as individuals; it is a team effort.