MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Marines and civilian-Marines of Marine Corps Logistics Command waited anxiously in a large group outside Building 3500 for their chief of staff to return from a five-month deployment to Kuwait, Friday.
Col. Ben Braden returned to dozens of greeters after serving as the commanding officer of LOGCOM (Forward).
While deployed to Kuwait, Braden oversaw the ship out of equipment from Iraq, where it was inspected, repaired and then reset to Afghanistan or sent back stateside.
“We are always happy when we get one of our Marines home, whether it’s a uniformed Marine, or one of our civilian-Marines,” said Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general, LOGCOM. “Most importantly, I am extremely proud of the job that he, and those representing Marine Corps Logistics Command did, while deployed. It was incredibly hard work in very difficult conditions. What they have done over there is really unprecedented in Marine Corps history with the withdrawal.”
Kessler added that under Braden’s command, the Marines and civilian-Marines finished moving equipment out of Iraq about three weeks ahead of schedule.
Braden said that LOGCOM (FWD) personnel worked tirelessly to move the equipment out of Iraq and to the warfighter in Afghanistan.
“They worked all weekends, every day at all hours,” Braden said. “I hope Albany understands how proud they should be of our Marines and the work they are doing over there.”
With Braden’s return, Kessler added that this is the culmination of the first deployment ever for LOGCOM (FWD). The first phase of deployments to Kuwait began more than four years ago, and Braden is the last commanding officer of LOGCOM (FWD) to deploy in the first phase of deployments.
“This is somewhat of a unique deployment for us. This command has had a history of staying inside the wire, as they say,” Kessler said. “Starting a few years ago, the command decided that deployment of (LOGCOM (FWD)) overseas would take some of the logistics burden off of our warfighters, and let them focus on the enemy and for us to then fill the void with logistical support.”
In the end, Braden said the overall mission went very well.
“We had a big mission to do, and we were successful,” he said.