AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq --
As Coalition forces continue to turn over more responsibility to Iraqi Security Forces, individual battalions are covering more ground in larger areas of operation.
The increased use of convoys and mobile units means more work for the Marines with Motor Transportation Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5.
“The role of Motor-T is to provide mobile patrol support via vehicle,” said Gunnery Sgt. Thomas S. Vines, the Motor-T chief, 3rd Bn., 7th Marines. “Basically, we provide the best equipment that we can to the end user.”
The Motor-T Marines can work on anything from High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) to trucks to the Marine Corps’ newest Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.
“We support the whole battalion,” said Lance Cpl. Dustin Davis, 23, the Motor-T floor chief. “Because everything is spread out so far, we run road missions for maintenance to support the whole battalion.”
Despite long hours and long waiting periods for some parts, the Marines make due with what they have to repair vehicles as fast as possible.
“It’s a lot of hard work and it’s a lot of hours; it gets pretty stressful sometimes,” said Davis, a reservist from Punxsutawney, Pa. “Most of the work is work that we like to do, but there is a lot of it.”
“They’re doing an outstanding job,” said Vines, 34, from Sulphur, Louisiana. “They actually do the undoable sometimes. They’re working 16 and 18-hour days and pushing through it.”
With the mobility of the entire battalion resting on their shoulders, mechanics and drivers take on many responsibilities when operating the vehicles.
“You have to have accountability of all trucks, know what trucks are down and what’s on the floor,” said Cpl. Taylor M.C. Marple, a 21-year-old Garfield, Wash. native and shop chief with 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment. “The Marines perform their job to the best of their ability; they are pretty good and they work hard. If it wasn’t for Motor-T, everyone would be walking.”