CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Although amphibious in nature, even Marines need to recharge while deployed out in the ocean.
In February 2013, a detachment of four Marines from 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, embarked aboard the USNS Robert E. Peary to restock supplies for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “We replenished three to four ships to include a carrier,” said Gunnery Sgt. Roy Hamilton, the detachment chief. “We are talking about 300 pallets worth of gear.” The detachment also used the Navy’s Command and Control and Transactional Routing Systems, which saves the Marine Corps time and money by minimizing copious tours. “We wanted to see if we could use [the Navy’s] same model and logistics information systems to receive and fulfill demands registered by an embarked Marine force,” said Maj. Daniel Bartos, officer in charge of the detachment. The deployment served as not only a restocking service, but a learning tool for seeking more responsive ways to ensure MEU readiness. “This was our first time implementing this system,” said Hamilton, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, “so I think it was pretty successful.” The process itself seems elaborate, but to the four Marines sent onboard the Peary, the realistic training simplified the complicated procedure of conducting an underway replenishment. First, the Marines awaited a request via computer, retrieved the requested item within the supply storage, and then packaged it on pallets for ship-to-ship transportation. “That’s the MEU saying, ‘I need a box of paper’ and we get the requisition,” said Hamilton. “We process it, make sure the funding is there and then send out a 1348 [form], which is basically the who, what, when, where, why piece of that requisition.” These Marines dispersed each item to where it was needed while ensuring 100 percent accountability, but they didn’t do it alone. The team was able to carry larger loads in less time with the help of naval aircrafts. By utilizing a color-code system, the helicopters transported more supplies to the correct naval vessels with ease. “The ships never stop moving and they are underway the whole time,” said Hamilton. “It was a test bed so we did what we had to do in that time frame.” By the end of the week, the 26th MEU was resupplied and the USNS Peary was empty and en route back to shore.