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Marines, Sailors offload field hospital from USNS Dahl in Guam

20 April 2020

From 1st Lt. Tori Sharpe, 3rd Marine Logistics Group

Once constructed, the expeditionary medical facility will provide expanded medical capabilities in support of DoD's COVID-19 response.

NAVAL BASE GUAM - Approximately 120 Marines and Sailors assigned to 3rd Transportation Support Battalion (TSB), Combat Logistics Regiment (CLR) 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) offloaded and staged an Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) 150 in support of the Commander, Task Force 75, from the vehicle cargo ship USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312), April 11-17.

Less than 72 hours after receiving the request for support, the Marines and Sailors with 3rd TSB deployed from Okinawa, Japan, to execute the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) offload in Guam.

“Maritime prepositioning operations play a critical part in the Navy and Marine Corps’ ability to rapidly deploy and bring capabilities to bear on emerging problems,” explained U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jarrad Caola, commanding officer of 3rd TSB. “Within a few hours of notification, the Marines and Sailors assigned to 3rd TSB were ready to deploy.”

MPFs are used by the Department of Defense to preposition gear and equipment in strategic locations around the world in order to supply units with necessary assets at a moment’s notice.

“Tasked with a short notice deployment in support of a real world operations, the team came together and performed magnificently,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Travis Gaines, commanding officer of CLR-3. “We train extensively throughout the Indo-Pacific to ensure we are always ready. When the time came, the 3rd MLG team was prepared to answer the call.”

The 3rd MLG Marines and Sailors had practiced offloading equipment from the Dahl in the same port less than a month and a half earlier during an MPF offload exercise from Feb. 24-29, 2020. The exercise prepared the Marines to quickly and efficiently mobilize the EMF, alongside CTF-75 Sailors, to support the overall COVID-19 response in Guam.

“Once on the ground, the Navy and Marine Corps team assessed and planned what needed to get done and the team from the MLG has exceeded expectations,” said Caola. “They know why they are here, understand the risk and have been moving with a purpose. It’s been impressive and humbling to watch.”

Over the seven-day period, the 3rd TSB Marines and Sailors offloaded and staged 152 EMF-150 containers.

Once constructed, the EMF-150 will provide expanded medical capabilities in support of the DoD’s COVID-19 response and will enable forces to be postured to support Guam and the region if a Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission is requested.

The 3rd TSB, which is based at Naval Base Guam, will comply with all quarantine requirements set forth by Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and will only be travelling to conduct critical official business on military installations.

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