OKINAWA, Japan --
The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Maintenance Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group were officially welcomed back from their eight month deployment to Darwin, Australia, April 29, 2022.
The detachment of roughly 130 Marines and Sailors was part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Ground Equipment Staging Program, and had been deployed since August 2021. The mission of the GESP is to account for, maintain, support, and sustain the thousands of pieces of equipment that are used for future Marine Rotational Force Darwin exercise rotations.
“We have a lot of gear in Australia, and it’s crucial for us to maintain it during the wet season, not just physically but also administratively,” explained Lance Cpl. Robert Banks, a supply administration clerk attached to 3rd Maintenance Battalion.
“My favorite thing was interacting with the Australian military. It was great getting to learn the different way they do things, and just being in a foreign country doing our jobs.” Cpl. Tavaughn Whyte, a 3rd Maintenance Battalion motor vehicle operator
In addition to their critical role in maintaining the MRF-D equipment sets, the deployment provided an opportunity for the Marines and Sailors to interact with their Australian Defence Force counterparts, according to Cpl. Tavaughn Whyte, a motor vehicle operator currently attached to 3rd Maintenance Battalion.
“My favorite thing was interacting with the Australian military. It was great getting to learn the different way they do things, and just being in a foreign country doing our jobs,” said Whyte.
Overall, the GESP rotation created an over 47 percent increase in motor transportation readiness, the disposition of nearly 600 outdated assets, and the advancement of several supply and maintenance-related initiatives to further increase interoperability between the Marine Corps and Australian Defence Force.
“It’s your work, it’s your passion, and your sweat that you put into the mission. I’m proud of you, and I appreciate all your time and efforts,” said Lt. Col. Brogan Issitt, commanding officer of 3rd Maintenance Battalion.
3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward-deployed combat unit that serves as III MEF's comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.