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Logistics rise above the rest

7 Mar 2012 | Lance Cpl. Lauren A. Kurkimilis

Combat Center units raised the bar again and set the standard during the Marine Corps Awards for Logistics Excellence.

The Marines of Combat Logistics Battalion 7 earned the Logistics Unit of the Year award; with  John Montoya, the transportation officer, Distribution Management Office, was recognized as the Civilian Marine Logistician of the year. 

“The unit’s success can be attributed to three things,” said Capt. Joshua Wells, operations officer, CLB-7.  “The zeal and passion of our junior Marines, the cohesion of the troops on the platoon and section level and galvanized aggressive training.”

 The unit attended the Counterinsurgency Academy that set an intellectual foundation for deployment and shortly after provided support during Steel Knight, a combined arms exercise held here.

CLB-7 engaged in multiple training exercises that prepared them for deployment. They were the first combat logistics battalion to participate in two pre-deployment Enhanced Mojave Vipers, during one of which they received an overall assessment of 99 percent for service support functions.

“After going though both EMVs, I was really glad that we did it,” said Cpl. Shawn Asencio, CLB-7. “We knew we were prepared for anything when we deployed.”

CLB-7 volunteered to be augmented as the logistics combat element for 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion when they deployed.  CLB-7 also opted to combine efforts with Company D, utilizing them as a second motor transportation company. This created two tactical logistics maneuver elements capable of independent operations.

“The battalion also developed a prototype exercise to be conducted at the Infantry Immersion Training Center at Camp Pendleton,” according to the CLB-7 official description of accomplishments.

CLB-7 was selected to evaluate the Joint Recovery and Distribution System and the Gunslinger Package for Advanced Convoy Systems at the Combat Center.  The battalion incorporated the two systems into their combat logistic patrols.  After evaluation at EMV, CLB-7 became the first Marine Corps Units to use JRADS and GunPACS operationally.

“Ours Marines pull together and make things happen,” said Gunnery Sgt. Steven Trier, Operations Chief, CLB-7. “They’re the reason we’ve been recognized.”

Montoya also credited the Marines he works with for his own nomination and selection for the Civilian Marine Logistician of the Year Award.

The DMO is incredibly busy, Montoya said.

“We move tens of thousands of Marines and millions of tons of freight every year,” he added.

According to Marine Corps Order 1650.45B, which outlines the criteria for the awards, the awarded must contribute to the logistics field by “developing or advancing concepts, doctrine, technology or procedures that contribute towards the logistics transformation required for the 21st Century.”

Montoya believes this was achieved with all sections of DMO being almost completely automated, thus improving the unit’s overall productivity.   

Montoya served 28 years in the Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4. He spent 13 years in aviation maintenance and the remaining 15 years of service working for DMO He has since been working for DMO as a civilian for nearly 14 years.

“Mr. Montoya's command of his profession has made him an indispensable asset to the success of MAGTFTC mission,” said Maj. Jessica Acosta, Deputy, Center Logistics Division. “It is a wonderful re-affirmation that when considered against the rest of the Marine Corps civilian logisticians, he is on top of the pack.  We see his selfless sacrifice, dedication and positive attitude on a daily basis and are ecstatic to see him recognized with such a high honor.”

For the complete board results for the 2012 Marine Corps awards for ground logistics excellence refer to MARADMIN 106-12.

Even in the winner’s circle, CLB-7 and DMO won’t take the time to sit back and savor their victories. Both units are already gearing up to claim next year’s titles.

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