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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Al Qaim detachment plays role in Iraq transition

May 24, 2007
By Cpl. Andrew Kalwitz
2nd Marine Logistics Group

AL QAIM, Iraq - The Marines of Detachment 2, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), are working to provide for the stabilization of an increasingly self-sufficient Iraq.

The Marines of Detachment 2 supply 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment with the essential tools needed to accomplish this mission.

"We provide logistics to 1/4 and support the rest of our (area of operations)," said 2nd Lt. Aaron L. Serrano, the officer-in-charge of Detachment 2.

The detachment provides this region with transportation and heavy equipment support, postal services, fuel and water. They are also in charge of maintaining medical, exchange, and disbursing services here.

“We all pull our part around here,” said Cpl. Brandon J. Bergeron, an electrical equipment repair specialist with the detachment. “There is a need for every one of us.”

Bergeron, a Williamsburg, Va., native, was deployed here and to Al Asad in 2005 for a seven-month deployment and said their work seems to be paying off.

“There is a major difference,” he said. “We’re making tons of progress. It went from where it was a stronghold for terrorists to everyone being back to daily life and we barely get hit by (improvised explosive devices). It’s a lot calmer than last year.”

A watch clerk with the detachment, who is on his first deployment, said things have been easier than he expected. He said the methodic schedule of the Marines around him is one reason for this.

“I expected things to be a lot more hectic,” said Lance Cpl. Rafael Rivera, an Ocala, Fla., native. “The way they do things makes everything go so much smoother.”

Rivera said he wants to see his daughter in the states more than anything. But he, as well as many others with the detachment, extended his deployment time from seven months to a full year because of what he feels is the importance of their mission.

“I am out here doing this for her. So she has less to worry about,” he said. “So everyone in the states has less to worry about.”

Gerry P. Graham, works on hinges for a door his detachment will install in their building. The detachment is here for a seven-month deployment and is responsible for providing logistics support to 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. Graham is a motor transportation mechanic here. Photo by: Cpl. Andrew Kalwitz.

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