Commandant of Marine Corps Awards Afghanistan Unit

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Marines and sailors with Redeployment and Retrograde in support of Reset and Reconstitution Operations Group received an award for Logistics Excellence at a ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 18, during which Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, and Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, personally presented the award to the command.

The R4OG was created during April 2012 to save money and dutifully handle resource management, while facilitating the responsible retrograde of materials from Afghanistan. The R4OG is a logistical unit currently comprised of Marines and sailors coming from 95 parent commands and all three of the Marine Expeditionary Forces as well as the Marine Corps Forces Reserve. 

Their mission is to receive, sort, identify, account for, clean, prepare for redeployment and ship equipment and supplies from within Regional Command (Southwest) back to global destinations that are determined by U.S. Marine Forces Central Command. 

“The R4OG is the embodiment of improvise, adapt and overcome,” said Maj. George D. Camia, R4OG executive officer. “This unique and extremely diverse organization is comprised of over 60 military occupational specialties. Most R4OG Marines and sailors converge upon Camp Leatherneck not knowing each other nor their billets prior to arrival due to the nature of sourcing and with no unit-level training.

Eighty-three percent of the R4OG consists of the noncommissioned officers and below. The blue collar labor we perform has an immediate impact on the tri-MEF readiness by sending materiel excess to the MEFs and postures our institution for resetting its equipment so that the Marine Corps can reconstitute the operating forces for follow-on global missions.” 

The R4OG provides retrograde services and support to units within the Ground, Logistics and Aviation Combat Elements within RC(SW), such as general support motor transportation, preservation, packaging and packing, ammunitions, airfield matting recovery, container repair, wash rack support, demilitarization, data storage device destruction services and resourceful replenishment. 

Since Oct. 1, 2012, R4OG has accomplished many tasks with the support, hard work and dedication from the Marines and sailors serving with the unit. Together they have worked more than 1.1 million man-hours with zero vehicle injuries, fatalities and operational mishaps, which can be attributed in part to the 15 hours of safety training the unit underwent throughout the year to ensure the Marines and sailors had the proper safety knowledge and tools for accomplishing the mission at hand. 

Maj. Terence Moroney, company commander of Retrograde Operations Company with R4OG, said he was proud of the Marines for the amount of material they were able to move in such a short time with a minimal number of personnel. He also said they have processed approximately one billion dollars of Marine Corps assets, and that the unit receiving this award was a “pat on the back to the Marines” for a successful mission. 

“This unit is very unique,” said Maj. Clarance H. Baines, R4OG operations officer. “We receive a lot of equipment from the (Marine Air-Ground Task Force), we are customer friendly, and we make it easy for the MAGTF to bring their equipment to us so we can get it processed and back to the rear. We have a wide array of Marines from various MOSs coming from different sections and doing jobs from embark, mobility, supply and transportation. We are very proud of our customer service and being the first face the Marine Corps sees when returning the equipment back home. It’s amazing how the Marines adapt and overcome and learn their job quickly. It’s very humbling to see these Marines working so hard and getting all this equipment moved, and how they have orchestrated it to flow together so well.”  

“Congrats to this great effort,” said Gen. Amos as he presented the award to the Lt. Col. John P. Flynn, R4OG commanding officer. “This is the second year in a row the R4OG has won the Logistics Unit of the Year award. What you do allows us to do what we need to do as the Marine Corps to get set and to get reset.”

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