'First in - last out' celebrates one-year anniversary

23 Mar 2001 | Cpl. Valerie A. Martinez

Second Transportation Support Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group here will celebrate its one-year anniversary Friday.

The unit, created from the merger of 8th Motor Transportation Bn. and 2d Landing Support Bn., provides transportation capabilities to the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

"Every deployment of II MEF forces involves support provided by the Marines of 2d TSB. The battalion supports II MEF and its subordinate elements with individual expertise up to and including hundreds of Marines as members of task-organized Combat Service Support Elements," said Col. Russell A. Eve of Sacramento, Calif., battalion commander of 2d TSB.

The commanding generals of 2d LSB and 8th Motor Transport Bn. deactivated their battalions last year, casing their organizational colors and relinquishing command to Col. Eve.

According to Master Sgt. James E. Balowski, future operations chief for 2d TSB, the two battalions integrated to bring their transportation assets under a single headquarters and allow the FSSG commander to have a single source for all transportation needs.

Balowski of New Boston, Mich., added 2d TSB operates through seven unique platoons - Motor Transport, Materials Handling, Landing Support, Embarkation, Shipping and Receiving, Aerial Delivery and Port and Terminal Operations.

Each of the platoons have their own specific missions, he said.
Landing Support, the only platoon of its kind in II MEF, is responsible for beach, port and rail operations and external lifts of equipment via helicopter. Also providing one-of- a-kind capabilities to II MEF is Air Delivery. The platoon, one of only three in the Marine Corps, uses both fixed and rotary wing aircraft to resupply equipment and supplies to ground troops.

Shipping and Receiving is home to 2d FSSG's only transportation management specialists. They handle the movement of personnel and cargo in support of II MEF units deployed around the world.

TSB also has the second largest embarkation section in 2d FSSG, which is responsible for supplying the nucleus of all CSSE's.

Major James A. Stocks, training and operations officer, said 2d TSB has more motor transport and material handling assets than all other units within 2d FSSG combined.

"Second TSB is the largest battalion in 2d FSSG with its 1743 Marine officers and enlisted," said Stocks of Newport News, Va. "No other battalion in FSSG has the multi-functional capabilities that are resident within TSB."