WHINSEC students tour Marine Corps logistics facility in Florida
By Maj. Charon Camarasa, Student, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation /
BLOUNT ISLAND, Fla. – Sixty-six Soldier-students, currently enrolled in the Army Command General Staff College course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation on Fort Benning, recently toured the Marine Corps Logistics Command and support facility near Jacksonville, Fla.
CGSC WHINSEC affords international officers from Latin America, handpicked by their respective countries, to attend the integrated year-long resident course.
The course facilitates training alongside U.S. counterparts on military doctrine, history, human rights, and senior officer leadership development.
Christopher McCarthy, a 23-year veteran, gave WHINSEC students an overview about the Marine Corps facility. The MCSF is the hub of the Marine Corps’ prepositioning programs.
As part of the overview, McCarthy explained how the maintenance cycle for the logistics command works and the different types of ships managed by the facility.
Specifically , McCarthy spoke about the Bobo Class Vessel, named after a fallen wartime veteran. He discussed the vessel’s roll-on/roll-off cargo capabilities and its repairing process in support of contingency operations.
Following the overview, students toured the grounds bringing to life what was previously learned about Theater Sustainment Operations earlier in the course at the WHINSEC facility located in Fort Benning, Ga. McCarthy capitalized on the opportunity to acquaint the students with some of the prepositioned equipment and material.
During the tour, students were able watch cargo being loaded inside the Bobo Class Vessel. Many Soldiers were impressed seeing the cargo transferred onto the ship and commented about how the tour helped them visualize what they had learned in the classroom at WHINSEC.
“I am confident that the class and the orientation about the facility will prove very beneficial, allowing one to visually and contextualize what was learned by seeing it put to practice in a real-world construct,” said Army Captain Ninotcha Rosas. “Prior to the course, I had never witnessed prepositioned cargo being loaded onto a vessel,” she added.
Rosas is a logistic officer attending CGSC and was selected to become an instructor at the next CGSC course starting in June 2017. She is a devoted officer who is also concurrently attending the Master of Military Arts and Science (MMAS) Program taught at WHINSEC.
Army Captain Eduardo Rivera, another logistics officer attending CGSC, further explained how McCarthy’s overview related to what was being taught by the WHINSEC instructors on Theater Sustainment Operations and provided positive feedback.
“The visit to Blount Mountain will benefit all of us, as it is important to understand how the military responds to contingency operations using sea-based logistics,” said Rivera who has been working in the logistics field for over 14 years.
At the end of McCarthy’s brief to the students, Marine Corps Maj. Manny Zepeda, another student attending the CGSC course, presented McCarthy with a certificate of appreciation for volunteering his time to explain the operations of the Marine Corps facility and to honor his longstanding relationship with the WHINSEC.