Story by Sgt Ryan Young on 03/02/2017Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 22 trained with heavy equipment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 28, 2017.
The Marines operated various pieces of heavy equipment to create berms and ditches as well as a simulated forward operating base.
Typically, heavy equipment operators are in charge of tasks such as unloading or loading ships and assisting in the building of structures for forces deploying.
"When you go out there and there's not a base to operate from," said LCpl. Orlando Jimenez, a heavy equipment operator with CLB-22, "you can basically just take us and we'll build it from the ground up."
The Marines were conducting exercises to support this fiscal year's training and readiness standards. Every year, these Marines must remain trained and qualified to make sure they can still properly employ their equipment and heavy equipment skills.
"We can get a [forward operating base] up in an hour, an expedient FOB," said LCpl. Christian Bailey, a heavy equipment operator with the battalion. "We can do a more detailed FOB in 24 hours with full electric, water, everything you'll need anywhere to 48 months on anything you need for support."
For our deploying forces, having the ability to gain a solid foothold so quickly is incredibly important. Even under fire from weapons, a FOB can and will still be built, and the battalion can make a self-sustaining base with no support from outside entities, said Bailey.
Although not a prevalent field in the Marine Corps as opposed to the iconic infantrymen that the Marines are known for, heavy equipment operators play a major role in mission success. Thanks to the help and the skills of these operators, the United States' forces deploying overseas can always have a safe place to find shelter and bring the offense to the enemy.