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News | Dec. 21, 2010

Marine engineers improve security for coalition forces in Sangin

By Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik , 1st Marine Logistics Group


Lance Cpl. Christopher Piotter, an engineer with Charlie Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) sets up concertina wire at Forward Operating Base Robinson in Sangin, Afghanistan, Nov. 19.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ROBINSON, Afghanistan (Dec. 21, 2010) — Marines From Charlie Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), enhanced security for coalition forces here in Helmand province.

Located in the Sangin District where Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment are currently going toe-to toe with the enemy, the FOB was in need of additional protection, and the CLB-2 engineers were up for the task.

“We are perfecting the FOB because they have weak spots in their defense, so we are giving them a safer place to sleep,” said Lance Cpl. Eric Martinez, a bulk fuel specialist with Charlie Co., CLB-2,1st MLG (FWD).

The engineers worked both day and night so they could bring the security of additional Hesco barriers and concertina wire to the inhabitants of the FOB.

The dangers of Sangin were clear to the engineers the entire time they were constructing the defenses. They had first-hand experience with the Taliban the day they arrived.

“I was checking on a helicopter’s [estimated time of arrival] with two other Marines when we heard gunshots” said Lance Cpl. John A. Ferrara, an engineer with 1st Platoon, Charlie Co., CLB-2, 1st MLG (FWD). “I ran for cover, and after I jumped in a piece of micro-terrain I looked back and saw Lance Cpl. [Jacob] Crane, and he shouted ‘I can’t feel my arm.’”

Crane had been shot in the neck by an enemy sniper.

“I saw blood on his shirt, so I ran back to grab Crane to get him to cover,” said Ferrara, 22, from Tallahassee, Fla. “We immediately got him to the trucks where doc took care of him. The sniper missed all his vital organs, and he is lucky to be fine now.”

The Charlie Company Marines immediately put up Hesco barriers near the area where one of their own was wounded in the effort to prevent surprise enemy engagement in the future.

The Marines who live and work on FOB Robinson are grateful the engineer platoon is there to help make their lives safer.

“The guys on the FOB are happy to have us here,” said Sgt. Eloy C. Soto, an engineer with 1st Platoon, Charlie Co., CLB-2, 1st MLG (FWD). “They said we were doing good work.”