Photo Information

A High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle sits in the Combat Logistics Company 11 maintenance bay before being repaired aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 13. The Humvee is just one piece of equipment this small company repairs on a regular basis.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

From wrench to forklift, then throttle: CLC-11 Marines seek licensing

16 Aug 2013 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

In Combat Logistics Company 11, 30 Marines handle repairs on vehicles, aircraft engines, communications equipment and much more on a daily basis. Less than a dozen of these Marines are licensed to drive High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and only one is licensed to operate the fork lifts they need to take heavy engines out of vehicles for repair.

If that one Marine with the operator’s license has other commitments, that could halt the process until he returns.

Sgt. Isidro Garcia, a distribution management specialist and a Chicago native, and Cpl. Dustin Bulac, an automotive maintenance technician and a Waipahu, Hawaii native, both with CLC-11 recently earned permits in order to expedite their repair processes.

These two Marines attended classes and workshops before earning their permits for their respective missions. Bulac received his Humvee permit, while Garcia received his fork lift operator and Humvee permit.

The unit has a need for fork lift drivers to take broken parts from vehicles and put them into trucks for transport, explained Garcia.

Having only one operator can put a major strain on his unit’s ability to meet and accomplish its missions.

The company also takes part in operations where Humvee drivers are necessary to accomplish the mission.
“The Humvee is a lot of fun to operate,” said Garcia. “You get to drive around in this large, powerful vehicle, which is an awesome feeling. For the missions we take part in for hikes and other training revolutions, we like to have as many of our Marines drive as possible so everyone gets that experience.”
Bulac took earning his Humvee driver’s permit as an opportunity to perform his duties on a higher level.
“I work on all sorts of tactical vehicles like Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement, Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles,” said Bulac. “I repair the engines and anything else that makes these vehicles move and if I, as a mechanic, having the ability to drive [what] I’m working on, I have the chance to know everything that is going on with that vehicle. If I know the vehicle should be operating a certain way, and if it isn’t, then I know I need to take a look under the hood.”
Now that these Marines have their permits, they can begin steps to earn their licenses.
The process behind acquiring a license to operate a forklift requires a few more classes, practice and testing by a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Association.
For both Garcia and Bulac to earn their Humvee driver’s licenses they must complete more than 200 hours driving, at least 10 of which must be in low-light conditions.
Though they have to complete all of these tasks while still performing their normal daily duties, Garcia and Bulac are more than happy to do it and their command will be more prepared for future missions because of it.