Face of Defense: Marines Supply Ammunition to Troops
By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Snodgrass
II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Oct. 31, 2011 A sophisticated supply system keeps ammunition readily available for troops posted in southwestern Afghanistan, according to a senior Marine Corps noncommissioned officer who’s involved in the effort.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Timothy Oehlert guides an ammunition-laden forklift at the supply point on Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, 2011. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Snodgrass
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“We supply all [Regional Command] Southwest coalition units with ammunition,” said Marine Corps Master Sgt. Adam Newsum, the ammunition supply point operations chief for 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) here.
Ammunition deliveries in Afghanistan are conducted by ground supply convoys or helicopter, said Newsum, a New York City native.
“We make sure the ammunition is properly stored, transported, handled and inventoried,” he said, “and then we get it to the warfighters so they can conduct their missions.”
Several units work together, Newsum said, to coordinate the movement of a vast amount of ammunition to ensure Marines and other troops in Afghanistan can accomplish their missions.
Ammunition supplies, he said, must be systematically requested, tallied, and transported with efficiency and accuracy. Every shipment, he added, must be accounted for down to the last round -- quite a chore considering the numbers.
“We supply anywhere between $7 and $12 million dollars of ammunition a month to all the coalition forces within Helmand province,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brian Taylor, who hails from Dayton, Ohio.
Currently, Taylor said, about $250 million of ammunition has been distributed to Regional Command Southwest units.
“We’ve moved almost $60 million worth of ammo over the past six months,” he added.
Ammunition deliveries to Afghanistan are airlifted from Kuwait to Camp Leatherneck, Taylor explained.
“Then we look at who in our inventory list needs ammunition,” he continued, “and decide what will be the most efficient way for it to get to their final locations.”
Ammunition is something most Marines take for granted “without realizing how much effort goes into ensuring they always have a constant supply,” Taylor said.
“The Marines I have out here get all the credit for getting the job done,” Newsum said. “They’re motivated, disciplined and want to be here. For many, this is their second tour of duty out here or Iraq. We’re all glad to be helping our guys get the missions done.”