Civilian marines deploy to Middle East - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civilian marines deploy to Middle East

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's marine base continues to support lifesaving work in war zones. The American combat mission in Iraq is ending, but there's still a lot of equipment to repair.

In Afghanistan, fighting is intensifying as more U.S. troops are deployed there. More civilian marines left their friends and families to serve our country in the region.

Three are heading to Afghanistan. One is going to Kuwait. This is Chase Minett's second deployment to the Middle East. He says he'll miss his five-year old daughter and wife.

"It's rough when you're leaving for long periods of time. They miss you but communication is fairly okay," said Minett.

He'll keep in touch by e-mail and the occasional Skype call. As a former marine, Minett understands the troops need his craft.

As troops pull out of Iraq, more are deployed to Afghanistan. Maintenance Center Commander Col. Terry Reid says the Corps still needs civilian marines to break down and repair MRAP vehicles. MRAP stands for a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle.

"Once all those troops pull out, we still have all that gear to bring home and make sure it's in operational status," said Col. Reid.

Joea Bradwell is another civilian marine who will make sure the MRAPS are properly maintained. He'll be leaving behind five children and 11 grand kids.

As Bradwell and Minett begin a journey to the Middle East, their efforts to keep our troops safe will not go unnoticed.

Right now, the four civilian marines are expected to serve overseas for about a year. They'll get to come home at the half-way point.

Currently, more than 20 civilian marines from MCLB are overseas servicing equipment to keep American troops safe.

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