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Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Christopher Starnes transfers water from a tactical water purification system to a water container during a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) at Kin Blue Training Area, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 6, 2018. Marines with Bulk Fuel Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, deployed tactical water purification systems on the beach of Kin Blue Training Area as part of the MCCRE. The MCCRE is a battalion wide test to see how the units of 9th ESB perform in combat situations. The tactical water purification system can safely purify 1,200 gallons of salt water from the ocean into simulated fuel in an hour. Starnes, a water purification specialist with Bulk Fuel Co., 9th ESB, 3rd MLG, is a native of Bonham, Texas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Fike)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Fike

Ready for the test

9 Nov 2018 | Lance Cpl. Mark Fike 10th Marine Regiment

In the early morning hours before the sun rose over Okinawa, Japan, Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, began their mission set up counter-mobility obstacles and to deploy tactical water purification systems as part of the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation Nov. 6, 2018.

This MCCRE was a battalion-wide evaluation of multiple aspects of 9th ESB's unit combat readiness, which spanned Nov. 1-9.

Before the evaluations started, 9th ESB’s senior leaders provided the units with scenarios and tasks ranging from indirect enemy fire to setting up counter-mobility obstacles and defensive positions, among others.

“The battalion as a whole prepares the general scheme of maneuvers for the individual companies and tasks them out with certain missions and essential tasks they need to complete,” said 2nd Lt. Anthony Burns, the officer in charge of 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 9th ESB.

The Marines with 2nd Plt. began their mission during the night and worked throughout the morning to set up their defensive positions, after which they continued patrolling the area.

“When we got here we were expected to take all night setting up the razor wire and defensive positions,” said Lance Cpl. Shakeel Bovell, a combat engineer with 2nd Plt., Bravo Co. “We worked hard and were able to complete the mission in approximately 6 hours, which put us ahead of schedule.”

“The Marines have performed exceptionally well," said Burns, a native of Akron, Ohio. "Led by their [noncommissioned officers] and team leaders, Bravo Company has exceeded their timelines, built everything to standard and are just doing a great job overall.”

Additionally, Marines with Bulk Fuel Co., 9th ESB, demonstrated their ability to safely and quickly deploy tactical water purification systems, as well as set up fuel sites using salt water from the ocean along the beach of Kin Blue Training Area.

Staff Sgt. Bradley Hoffman, the platoon sergeant of 2nd Plt., Bulk Fuel Co. said they used the ocean water as simulated fuel to reduce the potential hazardous effects fuel could have on the environment.

The Marines moved the simulated fuel from one site to another using hose reels along different operational sites on the beach. They regularly patrolled the lines to ensure there were no deficiencies or signs of tampering with the hoses or equipment.

“This [evaluation] allows the Marines to learn accountability with the simulated products,” Hoffman said. “The Marines have done really well out here, the morale has really been up. They’ve done a really great job, they are pushing each other and the NCO’s are perfecting their skills with small unit leadership.”

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