CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines gathered to reactivate a historic battalion Oct. 1 at the parade field on Camp Foster.
The 9th Motor Transportation Battalion has been re-designated as 3rd Transportation Support Battalion. The battalion is comprised of headquarters, motor transport, landing, and support companies.
Consolidating the four companies will improve the support available to III Marine Expeditionary Force, according to Col. Edward Bligh, the commanding officer of Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF.
The battalion was originally established in Camp Pendleton, California, June 25, 1953, by Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd. It was relocated to Okinawa in Nov. 1958 until its deactivation in 1993.
When the battalion was deactivated it was under the 3rd Force Service Support Group, which was redesignated as 3rd Marine Logistics Group in Oct. 2005, according to 1st Lt. Kristina Warren from Duluth, Minnesota, an S-4 officer with 3rd TSB, CLR-3.
The organization of the companies, before the change, caused confusion, according to Bligh.
“Before, the capabilities were spread out, so it was hard to have one focus,” said Bligh, from Athens, Pennsylvania. “Now this new battalion will maximize efficiency allowing them to train as a battalion and be able to deploy platoons in support of other units.”
The battalion’s mission is to provide transportation and thorough support for the MEF to facilitate the distribution of personnel, equipment and supplies by air, ground and sea.
The battalion gives more capabilities to the MEF providing transportation and support for all training that takes place on and off the island, according to Lt. Col. Maria McMillen, from Craig, Colorado, the commanding officer of 3rd TSB.
The redesignated is part of a larger MLG restructure. It will allow operational capabilities to be managed at the battalion level, freeing the regiment to focus on coordinating planning and resource tasking for the battalions.
“We are excited to have this one-stop shop in Okinawa and for the transportation support that it will provide for the MEF,” said Bligh.