MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Not unlike sand in the desert, the names and acronyms of units in the Marine Corps shift and change over time. The Marine Amphibious Unit of yesteryear gave way to the Marine Expeditionary Units of today. Now with the change of seasons in the Lowcountry comes a change to the name of a Fightertown unit.
The Roughnecks of Combat Service Support Detachment 23 here, officially changed their name to Combat Logistics Company 23, April 21.
The Roughnecks are a detachment from 2nd Force Service Support Group headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., which recently changed its name to 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and was reorganized into Combat Logistics Regiments, battalions and companies. The Roughnecks’ change in name came as part of that reorganization.
The restructuring of FSSGs to MLGs will allow the Corps’ combat service support branch to more effectively reinforce Marines on the ground in support the Global War on Terrorism, according to Marine Administrative Message 335/05, the MarAdmin that directed the reorganization.
“This is part of an all-encompassing transformation to the FSSG to more effectively support current and future warfighting requirements,” reads the MarAdmin. “The FSSG will be renamed the Marine Logistics Group and will be structured to train, rapidly task organize, deploy, employ, fight and redeploy in peacetime as well as in wartime.”
The detachments’ job aboard the Air Station is to support the other units that call Fightertown home, according to 2nd Lt. Simba Chigwida, the Roughnecks’ executive officer.
“Our mission is to provide combat logistics support capability to (2nd Marine Aircraft Wing) units aboard MCAS Beaufort with a focus on third and fourth echelon maintenance,” Chigwida said. “Our Marines and sailors provide us with organic administrative, fiscal, supply, training, logistics, maintenance, welding and armory support.”
The Roughnecks started their time aboard Fightertown as Detachment ‘B,’ in November 1976. The detachment’s primary mission was maintenance support for tactical motor transport and engineer equipment. From the beginning, the Roughnecks have been vital to the mission of the units aboard the Air Station, according to Master Sgt. Richard Russell, the company’s staff-noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
“Our main mission is to provide third echelon maintenance for ground equipment that they can’t provide themselves,” Russell said.
The Marines who comprise CLC-23 now have a wider range of jobs, and perform them for not only the Roughnecks, but for other units aboard the Air Station as well.
“We have approximately 125 Marines and sailors, of which almost 60 are part of the Fleet Assistance Program and spread throughout the Air Station,” said Chigwida. “These FAP Marines provide support to MCAS operations such as military police, postal, administrators, exchange personnel, medical personnel and transportation management.”
The Roughnecks do not generally deploy as a unit. Instead, their Marines and sailors deploy as individual augments with other units, according to Chigwida.
“We most recently had 29 Marines deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Chigwida said. “And at any time we have at least 15 individual augments deployed.”
The Roughnecks believe that over the years they have worked well with the Air Station and the other tenant units.
“CLC-23 has an outstanding working relationship with units aboard the Air Station,” Chigwida said. “We work most closely with (Marine Wing Support Squadron 273) who are our largest customers, and are working with them in preparation for their upcoming deployment.”