ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6), Pacific Ocean --
Marines answer calls and type on keyboards in a dimly lit room aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). The smell of freshly brewed coffee fills the air while eyes skim computer screens.
Wires connect from the ceiling to computers lining the walls of a cramped office space. Maps and charts from Amphibious Integration Training and Certification Exercise lay neatly piled in the corner of the room.
Staff Sgt. Jorge Estrada quickly thumbs through a pile of papers. He finds a roster and asks the watch clerks, “Can you validate this flight manifest?”
Estrada’s main role as a warehouse chief with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Tactical Logistics Group is to track movements of all land, air and amphibious vehicles. According to Estrada, the TACLOG processes all requests to move Marines and supplies needed in field environments to sustain all elements of the 31st MEU during training and operations.
“All logistics coordination goes through us,” said Estrada. “TACLOG acts as a middleman so information isn’t missed during rapid and complex operations.”
The 31st MEU is made up of three components, the Ground Combat Element currently Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, the Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 31 and the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced) and Marine Attack Squadron 311. The elements work together to form a force capable of responding to multiple crisis scenarios within six hours of notice.
“We always have to be ready,” said Estrada. “There can be a call within an hour of a helicopter leaving and we have to get Marines approved on the flight manifest. It’s our duty to double and triple check supplies.”
During Certification Exercise, Amphibious Integration Training and a variety of missions supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the TACLOG is responsible for approving and validating vital supply movements in order to sustain Marines in the field.
Once Estrada and his team document requests and determine feasibility, transportation and supply requests go to Chief Warrant Officer Rosell Hudson, the 31st MEU’s mobility officer. As officer-in-charge of the TACLOG, Hudson reviews every supply request and ensures logistical and supply movements from ship to shore happen as efficiently as possible.
“The TACLOG’s responsibility is ensuring Marines have peace of mind when they head out,” said Hudson. “It’s our job to make sure all gear is in the right place at the right time, every time.”
The 31st MEU channels mission essential equipment through TACLOG Marines as the final step in the planning process, according to Hudson.
“TACLOG gives the final approval during the 31st MEU’s planning process,” said Hudson. ”The supplies we manage and deliver are vital when it comes to Marines’ mission success.”