AL ASAD, Iraq -- As Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 continues flight operations throughout the Al Anbar province, a group of five Marines in the supply and logistics shop are working long hours to make sure the squadron is fully equipped to accomplish the mission.
The Bengals’ logistics shop is comprised of an armorer, a supply Marine and three embarkation Marines that pull together for any task the section is given. The shop began the Bengals’ deployment demonstrating how important their role is to the unit before they even departed Beaufort.
“We moved more than 250 Marines and Sailors along with 200,000 pounds of gear here from their home base at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. Within 48 hours of landing aboard Al Asad we were completing our first flight operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said Cpl. Ryan Walters, the squadron’s embark noncommissioned officer and Parkersburg, W.Va., native.
Walters, along with the help of other logistics shop Marines prepared the headquarters building and four hangars for the Bengals to use while in Al Asad.
“I arrived here with the advanced party and began preparing the work sections with the wiring and office spaces they needed to accomplish the mission. When we arrived on the base we were placed in a location that had never been used before,” Walters said. “We had nothing in any of our buildings. Any wall, door or office space that has a new addition was made, built or brought in by us.”
Since arriving the Bengals’ logistics shop has worked non-stop to ensure the comfort, safety and combat effectiveness of their fellow Bengals.
“It is more than just water and laundry,” said Capt. Robert B. Dyer, embarkation officer for the Bengals. “These Marines see their job as one that is key to the morale of the squadron. They are willing to work 24-hours to ensure any problem that may arise is taken care of promptly.”
Along with needs of their unit, the Bengal’s have contributed to the quality of life of the other two units that share that side of the flightline.
“We not only work for our squadron, but we try to help out the others if we can,” said Lance Cpl. Timothy Brake, embark clerk and St. Louis City, Mo., native. “The gym project was our idea and we organized working parties from our three squadrons to get the gym finished as soon as possible; the result was a great gym that Marines can use without having to catch a ride to the main side of the base. In addition to the gym we have also helped establish a medical aid station in our area.”
These Marines may serve a support role with the Bengals but without them none of the Bengals mechanics would be able to prepare the jets for missions and pilots would be unable to complete their mission.
“Our unit has done a great job providing air support to the ground units,” said Cpl. Thomas Tupps, the Bengals supply chief and Conyers, Ga., native. “We have a great mission and are executing flawlessly. Just knowing we are a part of that is worth the hours we put in to make our fellow Marines’ quality of life better.”
These Marines make it possible for the Bengals to live as comfortable as possible while serving in a combat zone. When Marines workout in the gym or work comfortably in their office space or on the flightline, they stay focused on the mission as the point of returning home gets closer.
*For more information about this story please contact Cpl. Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org*