MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
For many who aren’t trained or familiar with the ways of combat, the words convoy and mechanized patrol could mean the same thing, but to the Marines of Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, convoy and mechanized patrol mean the difference between life and death.
Motor Transport Company was stood up June 15 to spread the load of the Marine Logistics Group capabilities throughout the MLG. Ready to test the company’s abilities, and see what they had to work with, the company headed to the field.
“When we activated the company, Capt. Sczewcyk (company commander, Motor Transport Company) and I immediately took the company to the field so we could see what we were up against,” said 1st Sgt. William W. Wiseman II, company first sergeant.
“So far the company has conducted one company field operation and two battalion field exercises,” he continued. “They have also conducted machine gun shots with the M240G (medium machine gun), .50 cal. (M2 .50-caliber machine gun), as well as the Mark 19 (MK19 40 mm machine gun). The company received classes on how to employ crew served weapons, first aid classes, communication classes, call for fire exercises and have also conducted a CMP shoot.”
The company is comprised of about 120 Marines who are receiving training in preparation of their deployment early next year.
Through the training, the Marines are taught how to conduct mechanized patrols and not convoys. If you ask any Marine of the company, they will tell you they are fully aware of the difference.
“A convoy is point A to point B,” said Sgt. Joshua Pettine, motor transport operator. “Picking up in one place and dropping off in another.”
The definition of a convoy is vague to many of the Marines, whereas the definition to mechanized patrol is very clear.
“During a mechanized patrol you conduct route sweeping and reconnaissance; checking everything out so that the patrol can operate safely,” said Cpl. Richard Weichman, utilities chief.
Lance Cpl. David Woomer, logistics vehicle system operator, agrees.
“During a mechanized patrol there is way more communication going on,” he said. “I don’t even call it a convoy anymore, I call it a mechanized patrol because we are taught that everything in between point A and point B can get you killed.”
As the company continues to train, the senior leadership continues to instill the seriousness of two simple words: convoy and mechanized patrol.
“Since words have meaning, I felt the need to change the language so the Marines of CLB-7, Motor Transport Company, will have a more intimate understanding of what they will be doing once they get to Iraq,” said Wiseman. “We know that a convoy is to pick up at point A and drop off at point B, but in Iraq everything in between can get you killed.”
“In an effort to combat this, I wanted the Marines in the mind set of being on a patrol,” he continued.
With a mission at hand, the company trains for the fight. Next month, the company, who is deploying separately from the battalion, will conduct Mojave Viper, the month-long pre-deployment training exercise.