Ammunition supply: techs enable warfighters

30 Apr 2013 | Cpl. Michael S. Lockett 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

There’s a lot of different jobs in the Marine Corps.

There’s infantry, tanks, artillery, amphibious assault vehicle crewmen. The wing has pilots, crew chiefs and mechanics. There’s communications, motor transportation, and a universe of other occupations to keep the machine that is the Marine Corps running.

But there’s a lot of jobs that, for whatever reason, stay out of the spotlight, and yet, are just as essential to keeping the wheels turning, firing on all cylinders. Ammunition technician is one of them: getting Marines the rounds they need to train and to fight and win.

“You just can’t fight a war without ammunition,” said Sgt. Daniel Geraghty, from Hanover, N.H., and ammunition chief for the field ammo supply point. Geraghty, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, runs the FASP near the Marines’ training area.

The ammunition techs see to the smooth, efficient, and accurate delivery of ammunition to units for training or operational purposes. Charged with maintaining serviceability and complete, utter, and total accountability of all the rounds in their possession, totaling several hundred thousand rounds for this exercise, the task of the ammunition techs is not a small one. Rounds in their possession range from 9mm pistol ammunition, 5.56mm rounds fired by M16 and M4 service rifles, and 7.62mm and .50 caliber ammo for machine guns, to rockets, grenades, and tank rounds.

“I like working with other ammo techs. Everyone gets each other,” said Lance Cpl. Kenny Cilloniz, ammo tech from Queens, N.Y. “I make sure we do our job so they can do theirs,” said Cilloniz. Together, these Marines, along with assistance from other CLB-26 Marines, are responsible for keeping rounds in the magazine for every Marine during their exercise.

“Logistics Marines are the ones providing communications, chow, ammo, and maintenance. Logistics is what keeps the machine running,” said Geraghty. The Marine Corps, and perhaps the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit most of all, stake their name on their reputation of speed, flexibility, and self-contained strength; their ability to utilize sea-basing to project force anywhere in the world that it’s needed.

A strong internal logistics apparatus is what makes this possible. All the infantry and air power in the world can’t win a war if they run out of ammunition, and the ammo techs keep the bullets coming. “Logistics Marines are the ones working behind closed doors, getting none of the glory, making sure the infantry can do what they do,” said Geraghty.

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26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)