Marines battle weather, terrain to keep vehicles moving

Base Info
Lance Cpl. Dennon L. Audette controls the towing winch of an MK36 wrecker 7-ton truck at the North Fuji Maneuver Area, Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, January 29 during Artillery Relocation Training Program 13-4. (Photo by Sgt. Brian A. Marion)
Lance Cpl. Dennon L. Audette controls the towing winch of an MK36 wrecker 7-ton truck at the North Fuji Maneuver Area, Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, January 29 during Artillery Relocation Training Program 13-4. (Photo by Sgt. Brian A. Marion)

Marines battle weather, terrain to keep vehicles moving

by: Sgt. Brian A. Marion, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | .
U.S. Marine Corps | .
published: April 05, 2014

COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER CAMP FUJI, SHIZUOKA, Japan -- For 12 days, Marines drove over frozen ground, fighting weather and terrain, trying to keep their vehicles running. When their efforts were not enough, they called for the unit’s vehicle maintainers.

Marines with the Motor Transport Maintenance Section of Headquarters Battery worked day and night to keep the battalion’s vehicles operational during Artillery Relocation Training Program 13-4 at the North Fuji Maneuver Area, Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji.

The battery is with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“We are responsible for keeping 101 vehicles operational,” said Chief Warrant Officer Anthony P. Brown, a motor transport maintenance officer with the battery. “We take great pride in getting them back up and running.”

The section mostly performs “contact runs,” which are requests for them to visit a site, inspect and repair damaged vehicles. The Marines bring the required tools to fix a downed along with the capability to transport the vehicle if unable to repair it on site.

“We bring the recovery vehicle just in case we can’t fix the broken down vehicle (at the site),” said Brown. “This way we have the option of towing it.”

Some of the common incidents resolved during the exercise included recovering stuck vehicles from difficult terrain and engine issues as a result of the harsh weather.

“During their time out here, the Motor T Section fixed over 30 of our vehicles,” said Lt. Col. Jason P. Brown, the commanding officer for 3rd Bn., 12th Marines. “Most of these fixes happened in the field, and it’s impressive at what they were able to accomplish. These Marines performed splendidly out here. The vehicles took a beating from the terrain and the weather, and they were able to keep them operational throughout our days in the field.”

No matter the time of day or night, each time a vehicle experienced a possible issue, the Marines with the section executed a recovery mission.

“Whenever we can go out and provide support to the Marines out in the field, we will,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brown. “We are here to keep them up and running.”

Once repairs were completed, the vehicle in question would be turned back over to the field units, so their fellow Marines could better complete their mission.

“Doing what we do is actually pretty amazing,” said Lance Cpl. Dennon L. Audette, a motor transportation wrecker operator with the battalion. “Our job is to keep