James Oman, a retired Army colonel and current director of Defense Acquisition University, Senior Service College Fellowship Program, along with eight program fellows, spent the day touring Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., Nov. 30.
“These tours are always interesting and help broaden the experiences for program fellows,” Oman said.
The group of eight program fellows and Oman were first greeted by Col. Sekou Karega, commanding officer for MCLB Barstow, at which time they also received an informational brief about the base from Karen Gray, base strategic planner.
“My major take-away from that (brief) was the strategic significance of Barstow's location -- Barstow is ideally situated in a hub of transport lines, covered by restricted air space, and blessed with a non-corrosive dry climate,” said Lisa Bell, Product Support manager, and Logistics Branch chief for Product Manager Warfighter Information Network, Tactical Increment. “All of these factors combine to make it a perfect junction for shipping and handling military equipment throughout the Southwest and onward to the Pacific coast and Ocean.”
At the base range, Maj. Christian Carlson, operations officer, and Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hensley, operations chief, offered insight into the full spectrum of range operations and training available on the base.
Fleet Support Division, Railway Operations and Production Plant Barstow took up a good chunk of the day with full tours of those facilities. Between the three areas of operation, the program fellows were able to gain a better understanding of the logistical work, maintenance and equipment storage done at MCLB Barstow for the entire Marine Corps.
"Understanding the operational importance and strategic concepts of MCLB Barstow was intriguing. From the rail lines that are ready to move assets across the coast to the depot level maintenance performed on various vehicles, MCLB Barstow is a critical asset to the overall mission of the Marine Corps," said Jack Wilson, a Marine Corps staff sergeant serving from 1999-2007 and a current GS-15 within the Army Acquisition Corps.
The day ended at the stables, where the group were introduced to Gunnery Sgt. Carlton Esswein, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps’ last remaining Mounted Color Guard.
“What a nice way to end the day,” said King. Many of the attendees were not aware that there was a Mounted Color Guard in the Marine Corps, and were pleasantly surprised that they not only got to meet them, but observe some of their training exercises.
Throughout the day, the guests were able to ask questions of subject matter experts and broaden their knowledge of base capabilities.
“I truly enjoyed the informative tour of MCLB Barstow,” said Betsy Kozak, senior member of the Enterprise Resources Division with the Army Contracting Command. “I was especially impressed by the rail operations and the innovative leadership displayed to accomplish this valued mission. Although I'm not a Marine, the team lived up to the saying - improvise, adapt, and overcome.”
“Thanks again for another great visit,” said Oman. We appreciated the hospitality and the opportunity to learn about the many components associated with the USMC Log Base Barstow.”