CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT --
CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT - While Marines deployed to operational areas have a tough mission, there is a small group of very dedicated civilians doing their best to take some of the burden from the warfighter and make a difference as much as they can.
A group of civilian-Marines, deployed as contractors to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, have taken on the task of repairing and refitting equipment in forward locations so that the Marines might have the best possible equipment when they face danger.
David Kirby, a Honeywell contract engineer equipment mechanic from Blount Island Command, works on the Marine Expeditionary Unit Augmentation Program. The MAP provides equipment to the MEU if and when they need it on short notice.
“It gives me a lot of pride to do work for the Marines,” said Kirby. “I pull the equipment in, work on it, take care of any discrepancies, fix it, make sure it tests ok, and get it out to the warfighter as quick as I can so they can get back to the fight.”
The Forward-in-Stores program provides gear to units who may have their equipment damaged someway while in theater, and is operated by civilian-Marines under contract from Albany, Ga.
Sean Jennings, motor transport mechanic, a Honeywell contractor from Albany, Ga. under the FIS program, was a Marine shortly before coming to work for LOGCOM as a deployed civilian.
“Sometimes we do preventative maintenance, sometimes we do technical inspections,” Jennings said. “If we find any discrepancies, we order the parts and do corrective maintenance. We also exercise all the equipment to ensure that when the gear gets to the warfighter, it hasn’t been dormant too long. I do this so that the deployed Marines get their gear a little bit faster because I know from previous experience that having new, serviceable gear helps them out a lot.”
The contractors work hard to ensure that Marines who get the gear have the best possible equipment.
“If they need a guy to make a piece of equipment ready, I’m the guy for the job,” said Aaron Capecchi, a Honeywell contracted engineer mechanic with the MAP. “On a daily basis, we turn wrenches on trucks, work on engineer equipment, do inspections. It is all about getting stuff ready to shoot, move, or communicate for the warfighter.”