AL ASAD, Iraq -- Marines with the Individual Material Readiness List section ensure nearly a dozen Marine helicopter and fixed wing squadrons have the gear they need in Iraq when they need it.
The IMRL section is part of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
"As part of MALS-16, we support all the flying squadrons within by conducting inventory control on more than 3,000 items that are located at Forward Operating Bases throughout Iraq," said Gunnery Sgt. Donald J. Monahan, IMRL chief. "We don't fix or maintain the equipment, but act as a liaison between the squadrons and the maintainers or suppliers of equipment."
Keeping track of the thousands of pieces of equipment in a combat zone, many of which are aircraft specific and cost millions of dollars, is difficult, but a decision made prior to 3rd MAW's relief of the 2nd MAW was key to their success, according to Monahan.
"We brought together Marines from MAGs throughout the United States to come here and conduct a complete inventory of all the equipment in Iraq, from early January to February," said Monahan, a Great Falls, Mont., native. "It was an advantage having experienced people come here for the inventory transition, because there are so many types, models and series of aircraft out here. I am familiar with rotary wing aircraft equipment, but not fixed wing aircraft equipment, so I was able to draw on the knowledge of Marines who do."
The team of Marines arrived in Iraq motivated and hit the ground running. They worked long, hard hours to get the constant inventory of equipment done, according to Staff Sgt. Leticia Vega, IMRL chief and San Joaquin, Calif., native.
Having set up their shop and finishing the complete inventory of their assets, the IMRL Marines' primary focus is keeping the squadrons' allowance of equipment fully stocked.
"You need to have patience and attention to detail to do this job," said Lance Cpl. Jordan R. Thomas, an IMRL manager and Rapid City, S.D., native. "There are certain pieces of gear that always have problems, so you have to keep aware of the situation, be proactive and ready to take care of it, because the supply chain can take a while."
Along with managing their inventory of gear within the Marine Corps, the IMRL Marines are responsible for the movement of items from Iraq to the United States and vice versa.
"If the gear can't be fixed here, then it's sent back home," said Sgt. Tyrell I. Coel, IMRL manager and New York City native. "We're acting as a kind of watchdog for all the gear as it moves from the United States to the FOBs."
Until their relief arrives as part of future rotations of personnel to Al Asad, the Marines with IMRL will continue to keep a sharp eye on the movement of aviation support equipment across the globe as it moves from every clime and place.