MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT N.C. --
Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, known as the Workhorse of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, conducted three training exercises at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, Aug. 5-13.
“The ‘Workhorse’ Marines are showing their flexibility,” said Sgt. Maj. Brett C. Scheuer, the squadron sergeant major for MWSS-271. “We have Marines conducting training with the motorcycle club, field mess hall training and a matting laying project for several taxiways.”
The mess hall training was set up for II Marine Expeditionary Force’s field mess hall competition. MWSS-271 earned the right in a previous competition to represent 2nd MAW in the II MEF level contest. If MWSS-271 wins for II MEF they could possibly go up to represent Cherry Point in the Marine Corps-wide competition.
“The Marines and I really want to prove to our commanding officer that we are a force that can be packed up and moved in a couple of days, when needed” said Master Sgt. Reynaldo Miranda, the field mess chief with MWSS-271. “We usually do not construct a site this big during our normal training; however, for this competition we wanted to really show our stuff, and I feel we have done a great job.”
MWSS-271 Marines spent the first few days setting up showers, bathrooms, housing, a mobile field mess hall and a forward check point to protect the makeshift camp.
“Our Marines have done an amazing job,” said Lt. Col. Paul D. Baker, the commanding officer of MWSS-271. “They have been doing everything they could over this last week to make sure they are chosen to represent II MEF in the next level of competition.”
According to Miranda, the competition results will be announced later this month, and the Marines of MWSS-271 will continue to train to be a force in readiness. On the other side of the flight line Marines worked on another project.
“There is a group of more than 50 Marines that have been working for two days on pulling up and laying down new matting for the taxiways of the air field,” said Baker.
Matting is a nonslip surface used by the military for landing sites. Every year MWSS-271 conducts a field matting project on a portion of MCALF Bogue’s flight line or taxiways.
“A 12-foot-long piece of matting weighs about 140 pounds,” said Cpl. Robert St. Pierre, a runway crew leader with MWSS-271. “It takes a lot of practice to get the matting pieces put perfectly into place, and a job this big usually takes between 2-3 days.”
The squadron sergeant major joined his Marines on the taxiway and helped lay matting. Scheur then spoke to a small group of Marines about his early Marine Corps days as a private first class when his job was to lay field matting.
“The fact that our squadron sergeant major is out here breaking his back to help my crew and get this job done really is a reflection on our whole unit,” said St. Pierre. “It is Marines like Sergeant Major Scheuer that really push me to do my job to the best of my abilities.”
While the other projects were still in progress, MWSS-271 motorcycle club Marines met for a squadron ride Aug. 12.
“Today we took a ride that started at about 8 a.m. and ended around 4 p.m.,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Larry Earl, the motorcycle club president for MWSS-271. “It was a lot of fun and truly gave some of our Marines a new look on how to ride.”
According to Scheuer, all his Marines at MCALF Bogue have worked hard to better themselves and their squadron over the duration of the training.
“My Marines have shown great skill and tenacity to not let the heat or hard work defeat them,” said Baker. “I believe all the MWSS-271 Marines out here, even I, have learned something from this training, even from the fun motorcycle ride. Safety brings you one step closer to perfection.”