By Sgt. Cameron Storm, Defense Media Activity
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif -- Marines from 1st Supply Battalion and 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, came together to form the Intermediate Supply and Maintenance Battalion in support of Steel Knight at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.
The battalion provided maintenance and supply support to multiple units participating in the exercise, which enabled the maneuver elements to continue with their mission
“Our Marines have performed phenomenally,” said Capt. Ross Hrynewych, commanding officer of the ISMB. “We have met every one of our Mission Essential Task List goals and provided support to several commands around Twentynine Palms that wouldn’t normally receive the level of maintenance we can provide.”
While the ISMB repaired more than 40 vehicles belonging to several different units, they also used their capabilities to fix weapons, such as sniper rifles and .50 caliber machine guns.
While the maintenance side of the battalion provided support all over Twentynine Palms, the supply side was just as busy providing more than 2,000 Marines with food and a myriad of logistics life-support items. This demonstrated the necessity of a logistics life-line in the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to stay on the move.
“In most exercises, we are in a warehouse on base and the units pick up their supplies and take them to the field themselves,” said Gunnery Sgt. Estil Martecollado, supply chief for the ISMB. “Steel Knight is different because we come out here and bring all the supplies ourselves so the units can come to us without having to go to a warehouse on base.”
Being Marines first and foremost, the ISMB also trained their Marines in more than just supply and maintenance and used the unique field environment to get their Marines more tactically proficient.
“I learned how to properly provide security during a mass casualty situation,” said Lance Cpl. Logan Salazar. “We had to learn Combat Life Saving techniques, too, and demonstrate what we learned during a simulated tire blowout that caused some injuries to Marines.”
The Marines of the 1st MLG had to work in a challenging environment but also were eager to meet the challenge.
“We did a lot out here,” said Hrynewych. “All the things we learned here we can take back to the higher echelon commands and tell them what we need in a situation like this in order to better support our troops around the battlefield.”
If the Marines of the 1st Marine Division serve as the “tip of the spear” the Marines from 1st MLG represent the rest of the spear, fortifying the combat power of the ground combat element.