Island Marines get high desert training
By Cpl. Samuel Ranney
| Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow | June 11, 2014
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, California --
From May 22 to May 30, six Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 3, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3d Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, stationed in Hawaii, worked hands-on with mechanics from Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California.
The Marines, comprised of three light armored vehicle mechanics and three tank mechanics, were earning certifications for filling, discharging and testing automatic fire suppression systems. Mechanics with the hydraulics shop ensured they were getting the training they needed to successfully and safely take the newly acquired skills and knowledge back to Hawaii.
The AFSS senses fire in vehicles such as LAVs, then sends a signal and the AFSS goes off wherever the fire is located, taking the oxygen from the fire and putting it out, explained Arthur Gutierrez, hydraulics system mechanic here who helped instruct the Marines with Luke Wirick, heavy-mobile equipment mechanic. Vehicles often have multiple systems set up; whichever is closest to the fire will activate.
“We take a lot of pride in what we do,” Gutierrez added. “When Marines are out fighting for our freedom, and their vehicles catch fire -- lives depend on these systems to work properly.”
Staff Sgt. Kevin Jones, LAV mechanic, Cpls Samuel Harney, tank mechanic, Zach Carnegie, tank mechanic, Jonathan Mancini, LAV mechanic, and Lance Cpls. Michael Solis, LAV mechanic, and Chandler Bird, tank mechanic, are the first CLB-3 Marines to receive this type of certification, Jones said.
“Its great knowledge (to take in),” Jones said. “We have learned the proper PSI to fill the bottles, technical manuals, different regulations and most importantly safety precautions. We learned how to safely handle the bottles and how to set up the shop (in Hawaii) to ensure Marines are as safe as possible.
Filling fire tanks can be hazardous, added Gutierrez. They are mixed with a potentially dangerous chemical, such as halon and nitrogen under hundreds of pounds of pressure. It’s like a rocket if it discharges unsafely, he further explained.
“We want to start doing this on our own,” Jones said. “These guys (mechanics here) are setting the bedrock to bring something new to CLB-3, (the mechanics here) work with a variety of military equipment day-in-and-day-out, we have a lot of knowledge we can gain from them.”
The Marines all agreed the training was beneficial and explained why.
“The most important part was learning the proper safety precautions, there is a lot more to filling (fire tanks) then I previously thought,” Mancini said. “I’m much more confident in filling the bottles now and being able to complete our mission.”
Anthony Sanchez, hydraulics shop supervisor, explained this was the first time he and his mechanics have trained Marines and was happy about how much they learned.
“It’s extremely important for Marines who handle these systems to know the proper safety precautions,” Sanchez added. “Also, knowing how to discharge and fill the bottles themselves is important if they are ever unable to send it out.”
“It was a great experience,” Sanchez concluded. “I hope we get more Marines out here to train and take knowledge back (to their units).”