Keeping Fightertown moving: Walking a mile with the Roughnecks

24 Aug 2007 | Pfc. Elyssa Quesada

Whether you see one of Fightertown’s humvees being loaded for deployment, a Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (seven-ton truck) hauling ammunition, or a P-19 aircraft recovery vehicle responding to a call, you can guarantee that the Marines of Combat Logistics Company 23 have been under the hood making sure that vehicle is ready for action.

From repairing a hydraulic pump to inspecting the motor itself, the Marines check each working part of all ground tactical vehicles aboard the Air Station.

Combat Logistics Company 23, known as the Roughnecks, is a detachment of Combat Logistics Regiment 2 based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Here, the Marines of CLC-23 are composed of three different sections: utilities, motor transportation and heavy equipment.

“We have everything from water specialists and welders, to heavy equipment operators and mechanics,” said Sgt. Rufus McCarley, the motor transport and hazardous material noncommissioned officer-in-charge with CLC-23.

The Roughnecks also inspect humvees, clean the inside of water bowls and replace water tanks. Not only do these Marines focus on their individual specialties, but they are capable of performing the tasks of the Marines to their left and right as well.

“At school, we work with the seven-tons and humvees,” said Lance Cpl. Elliot Reynolds, a motor transportation mechanic. “Here, I’ve learned to work on different vehicles from the P-19 to the Logistics Vehicle System.”

If the P-19 has a leaking pump, it is not guaranteed that the hose would work as efficiently when the time comes. The job of a CLC-23 Marine is to ensure that the problem is fixed and that the lives on those working on the flightline remain safe.

For the past year, the detachment worked out of portable trailers and a K-span, a facility designed to cover tactical vehicles during times of inclement weather. In July, CLC-23 came out of the shed and now has a new and improved facility to perform their job more effectively.

“The newly remodeled facility is a lot better to work in, the bay is easier to (perform repairs) in, rather than the hot sun,” McCarley said.

Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 is the main support for CLC-23 here and provides them and the rest of Fightertown with all third echelon jobs they need fixing, McCarley said.

There are five echelons within the work force. First echelon is known as operator, second is called organized preventative maintenance, and the third and fourth are the intermediate maintenance. The fifth covers the depot.

The Roughnecks perform third echelon maintenance and some elements of fourth echelon. They replace or repair parts on any mechanical equipment and tactical vehicles, McCarley said.

“The Marines of CLC-23 have been the intermediate maintenance for Fightertown for more than 10 years,” said Sgt. Johnathon Richardson, the platoon sergeant for CLC-23.

The Marines of CLC-23 deploy where the Marine Corps needs them. They have deployed in areas such as, Al Asad Air Base and Fallujah, according to McCarley.

Although the Roughnecks do not deploy as an entire unit, the Marines do deploy as individual augments with other units, according to McCarley.

“Even though half our Marines are deployed and our parent command is in Camp Lejeune, we still operate self-sufficiently using the personnel and materials we have here,” McCarley said.