CORAL SEA, QLD, AUSTRALIA --
Combat Logistics Battalion 31 is the Logistics Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. CLB-31 provides all elements of the MEU with combat service support and is comprised of various sections, to include motor transportation, engineers, explosive ordnance, maintenance, supply, landing support, and communications and health service support. These different sections have capabilities that are vital in allowing the 31st MEU to conduct training exercises as well as real world missions, according to Cpl. Christian Gomez, a supply specialist
“CLB-31 supports the MEU with supplies and ammo to sustain the force,” said Gomez. “We go the distance to get the task at hand completed as soon as possible.”
While underway aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), the dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), CLB-31 not only provides the 31st MEU with ammunition, but they also supply other units with transportation, food and water while they participate in Talisman Sabre 2019, a biennial event for U.S. and Australian forces to improve their interoperability.
“We cross-train Marines in every aspect of combat logistics, preparing them for the field and for any situation because when you’re a Marine, you are able to adapt and overcome,” said Gomez.
CLB-31 also heavily supports the 31st MEU in the event of a natural disaster or other incidents. They assist with mass casualty evacuation, non-combatant evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. In the event of a city or country in the Indo-Pacific region being struck by a natural disaster, the 31st MEU is ready to respond due in no small part to CLB-31.
To facilitate the process of responding to a humanitarian crisis, CLB-31 sends in a Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team to assess the requirements in the wake of any natural disaster, whether it’s a food or water shortage or the need for medical assistance. This capability that CLB-31 gives the MEU has been crucial in the recent past, as CLB-31 demonstrated last year in Tinian, when their Marines worked 12 to 14 hours a day for 16 days in the sweltering heat in order to clear and move 160,000 cubic feet of debris into an efficient dump site they created. According to 1st Lt. Sean Gunn, assistant operations officer with CLB-31, in that short time they also managed to produce 26,000 gallons of potable water, and erect 91 tents for the local populace.
During Talisman Sabre 2019 specifically, CLB-31 is responsible for providing support for the Battalion Landing Team as well as the Aviation Combat Element throughout operations in Australia, distributing the necessary food, fuel, and supplies needed to make the operation a success. This support is crucial in every mission from airfield seizures to mechanized raids.
Clearly, whether it’s conducting critical combat service support functions, or providing aid to those devastated by natural disaster, CLB-31 finds a way to get the job done by the air, land and sea.