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1st Marine Division


1st Marine Division

Camp Pendleton, CA
Supply gives Highlanders goods to keep tip of the spear sharp

By Cpl. Dean Davis | | October 12, 2008

It takes a lot of gear to run a battalion. Infantrymen need weapons and chow. Mechanics need parts and tools. Everyone needs something, and aside from haircuts, it all comes from one place: supply.

“If you want to put a dollar value on (gear) out here in Iraq, we’re responsible for roughly $5 million of inventory,” said Staff Sgt. Quincy Hughes, supply chief for 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5. “We also have to account for all the gear ready that was transferred from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion for our warfighters here.”

As 2nd LAR Bn. rolled out of Camp Korean Village over recent weeks, the 1st LAR Bn. Highlanders took over 2nd LAR Bn.’s battlespace and have settled into the operational tempo here.

“With that turnover, we took on some of their procedures for doing business, but started doing some new things to help enhance the supply process,” said Cpl. Oscar A. Serrano, warehouse chief for 1st LAR Bn.. “The first thing we had to do was organize the battalion’s gear and get accurate counts of all the inventory we have before the battalion pushes out into our operations area.”

Filling the demand for such a broad array of items can sometimes be a daunting task, especially with only a small section to maintain an entire battalion’s supply needs.

“We field gear for (many sections). Medical supplies, vehicle and weapons parts, pens and well- you name it; if the battalion needs it, we can get it,” said Serrano, 22, from Los Angeles. “We have more than 300 different sources for supplying the battalion. It might take some research, but that’s what we do.”

On top of a massive wish list, the supply shop still has a budget that they must manage.

“Our shop is the focal point for almost all of the battalion’s budget,” said Hughes, 32, from New Orleans. “We separate requests by needs and wants. Once we determine that there is a need for that gear, we get it out to the warfighter as quickly as possible to support their mission and keep them in the fight.”