USS MAKIN ISLAND, At Sea --
Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducted the first event of a long-term squad competition aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Dec. 5.
While the squad competition serves multiple purposes, the priority is to maintain combat readiness throughout the deployment.
As required, CLB-11 provides support for any element of the MEU when called upon. To maintain that versatile effectiveness, CLB-11 routinely conducts basic sustainment training.
“CLB is everywhere in the MEU,” said Lance Cpl. Marybelo Ganal, an administrative specialist with CLB-11, 11th MEU. “You look around, you see us being used by everyone in some kind of way, so we got to stay prepared for anything really, because we, as a unit, have to cover so many bases.”
The squad competition is split up into multiple events, with each event taking place on a separate week. Every event covers a basic Marine Corps skill. The first event was a battle zero live-fire exercise. Each section picked their representatives and shot to see which Marines had the best groupings.
“This competition is a good way for us to see what our capabilities are individually,” said Ganal. “Even from the first event you could see us being competitive.”
Other events will cover Marine Corps knowledge, physical fitness, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and other basic Marine Corps skills.
“As a sergeant of Marines, one thing I don’t want of the Marines under my charge is for them to lack some of the basic skills taught through basic training and combat training,” said Sgt. Danyel Tactay, a radio repairman with CLB-11, 11th MEU and Temecula, California, native. “I like to always teach to my junior Marines [that] before you can strive to do great things you must have brilliance in the basics. I think this competition kind of helps in that regard.”
Even among the competitiveness, Marines with CLB-11 still kept the bigger picture in mind.
“One of the things we have to keep on a high level is our unit cohesion,” said Cpl. Mohammed Yakubu, a warehouseman with CLB-11, 11th MEU, and Nigeria native. “Within the competitiveness and fun, we can’t forget we are a team and, through this, we must help each other get better if people need improvement in certain areas. One team, one fight.”
All elements of the 11th MEU, including CLB-11, and the Makin Island amphibious ready group (ARG) are part of a sea-based, quick reaction force conducting sustainment training and supporting a wide scale of operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.