As the loud hiss of the air brakes cry out, a Marine parks the M970 semitrailer refueler truck after moving a trailer containing much needed fuel to the Forward Operating Base. Supplying the FOB with fuel allows them to continue conducting missions in the area crucial to the unit’s success. Prior to completing the mission, the driver of the truck gained the needed skills while attending a Semitrailer Refueler Operator Course.
A mobile training team educated Marines on the basics of operating a semitrailer refueler truck during a month-long SROC May 1-24, 2017. The course was filled with a combination of Marines assigned to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marines assigned to various units throughout II Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We like to break [the course] down into two portions,” said Staff Sgt. Cory Wilbur, a SROC instructor assigned to the Marine Corps Detachment Training Command. “First, a driving portion and the second half covered the different types of refueling procedures the Marines might encounter in the fleet.”
The instructors, who are based out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., travel to various Marine Corps installations to give SROC classes upon the approved request of a command.
“A lot of the Marines we get for the refueler school are already advanced fleet Marines,” said Wilbur. “We just try to fine-tune and hone their skills.”
Marines are evaluated upon completing four tests; three written and one road test.
“I love it,” said Cpl. Lane Brown, a SROC student and motor transport operator assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2nd MAW. “I don’t feel too nervous or stressed; probably because I’ve been doing it for a [long] time now.”
The course was comprised of motor transport Marines with varying levels of experience from multiple Marine Corps installations along the east coast. These installations were MCAS Cherry Point, MCAS New River, MCAS Beaufort, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Brown said working with Marines from different places has given a little culture to the class.
“My favorite part has been the road time,” said Brown. “I like getting out there and hauling the truck and trailer combination — that’s what I’m here for.”
Upon completion of the course, the Marines will gain the secondary Military Occupational Specialty of semitrailer refueler operator.
“That secondary MOS is on the 3534 [motor transport operator] roadmap and it’s going to make the Marines more successful in the future for promotions and in future duty stations,” said Wilbur.