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thedrifter
08-04-03, 10:39 AM
Motor T essential to daily operations at Parris Island
Submitted by: MCRD Parris Island
Story Identification Number: 200381142222
Story by Cpl. Alisha R. Fitzgerald



MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C.(Aug. 1, 2003) -- From transporting recruits to pulling vehicles out of ditches, Depot Motor Transport plays a vital role in depot operations.

Motor T provides all the logistical support for the Depot by maintaining, managing and tracking more than 400 vehicles, including vans, buses, cars, tractor-trailers and even golf carts.

Each day, requests for vehicles pour into the Motor T shop. Though every unit aboard the Depot requires the use of vehicles to perform everyday operations, the majority of the requests come from the Recruit Training Regiment.

Recruit training would practically cease to function if it weren't for the efforts of Motor T, according to Staff Sgt. Robert Page, Motor T operations chief. The drill instructors rely on them for a number of different things, such as transporting recruits to various destinations aboard the Depot throughout the course of training. Some of these destinations include the rifle range, The Crucible, rappel tower, gas chamber and almost everywhere during "lightning within five," when no training is allowed to take place outdoors.
When recruits are away from their respective battalions, Motor T is responsible for delivering their afternoon chow to them, as well as transporting their gear with tractor-trailers. Tractor-trailers are also used to haul recruits' laundry to Depot Laundry every week.

The recruits are transported in buses driven by civilian operators, who are a part of Motor T personnel.

Civilian workers are a key element in Motor T's operation, and they outnumber the Marines, 23 to eight. There are 19 in operations, consisting of operators, dispatchers and a work leader.

In maintenance, there are two mechanics, a supply clerk and a work leader.
Four of the eight Marines work in maintenance with the civilians, performing necessary repairs to vehicles when required. With more than 400 vehicles to service, the maintenance crew is fundamental to keeping Motor T operations running.

"For the maintenance work leader, Ken Fama, and me, the best thing about our jobs is the satisfaction of emptying the shop of deadlined vehicles and knowing the units are receiving quality maintenance," said Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Alexander, Motor Transport Chief and staff NCO in charge.

Besides servicing vehicles and transporting recruits, Motor T's workload encompasses some other lesser-known responsibilities. It supports numerous recruiting station workshops and various command visits. It's also relied upon for some emergency assistance aboard the Depot.

"We provide 24-hour, on-call wrecker support," said Alexander. "We have a vast network of suppliers and service vendors from Savannah, Ga., to Charleston, S.C. We commute daily to these locations to drop off vehicles, pick up vehicles and parts, and otherwise control the flow of maintenance management functions."
Alexander also said that Motor T is certified to perform annual safety inspections, perform load tests of material handling equipment and telecommunications vehicles. In the event of a hurricane, Motor T is also responsible for the evacuation of all Depot personnel and their families.

On one occasion, Motor T even acted as a pet taxi.

"The strangest request I think we ever had was when we were called upon to go pick up a dog in Texas," said Page. "That dog's name was Mac and he was to become the new Depot mascot."

No matter what unit or function Motor T is supporting, all vehicles must constantly be tracked while dispatched. This is done by using a computer system called Fleet Management, which enables Motor T personnel to know each vehicle's location at all times. Once vehicles are returned to the unit, users are responsible for ensuring they are in the state in which they received them by washing the exterior, vacuuming the interior and filling them up with gas.

At the end of the day when the last vehicle has been returned and the last request has been taken, Motor T personnel can take satisfaction in knowing they have contributed to keeping Parris Island functioning like a well-oiled machine.

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/200381142850/$file/MotorT(P-lowres).jpg

Corporal Derrick Beeler, Depot Motor Transport mechanic, works on a truck in the Motor Transport Repair Shop Tuesday. The eight Marines that work at Motor T are responsible for maintaining and tracking more than 400 vehicles.

The Drifter
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