Photo Information

Marines guide a TRAM 624KR Tractor, Rubber Tired, Articulated Steering, Multi-purpose vehicle through the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 compound during a rearrangement of the mobile facilities aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, May 17. Marines worked diligently over a three-day-span to make the move without disturbing airfield operations.

Photo by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

MALS-31 makes big move

30 May 2013 | Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 reorganized more than 150 mobile facilities aboard the MALS-31 compound, May 17-19.

The reorganization of the mobile facilities allowed for correct current draw to support the test equipment contained within the mobile facilities and the facilities themselves.

"The van pads were designed in the early 90s and built to sustain power at that point," said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Ward, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of work center 60C. "We were running off generators trying to support everything, the max draw [of electricity] was three times the [mobile facilities] max."

During the reorganization of the mobile facilities, 150 – 200 mobile facilities were reorganized to provide maximum efficiency for the work centers over a three-day period, starting on a Friday to avoid any break in operations.

According to Ward, results of the move were immediate. Marines that work inside the mobile facilities have said that everything, including the air conditioner is working better.

Moving that many mobile facilities was made possible through the introduction of the new Military Occupational Specialty, mobile facility technician, which was recognized on Oct. 1, 2012.

"Actually doing a big move over a weekend, like we did or loading them on a ship; not everybody gets that kind of training," said Staff Sgt. Dennis Heil, the assistant staff noncommissioned officer in charge of work center 60C. "You used to get [Marines] for six months to a year who, after training for months, would be proficient enough to go work on their own then go back to their work center."

"The quality of the product was what the work center was comprised of," said Ward, a native of North Apollo, Pa. "Now we’ve evolved into an MOS so that we can build the training and the quality of work much better than what it was in the past."

The work center previously designated as work center 990, is now designated as work center 60C. Prior to the development of the mobile facility technician MOS, the work center was comprised of Marines and sailors from the avionics and ground support equipment divisions of MALS-31 who would be in the work center through the fleet assistance program.

"They’re expecting more and more [mobile facility technicians] and you can’t just get Marines that are temporarily with the work center for six months to one year," said Ward.

"We now have a lot of formally trained Marines in the MOS that will stay in the MOS," said Heil, a native of Orrville, Ohio.

Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 provides aviation logistics support, guidance, planning and direction to Marine Aircraft Group 31 squadrons.