03.15.2015 -- MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa, Japan – Marines crowd around a Humvee to witness, what some consider, a phenomenon.
“We call it a unicorn, because you may hear about it, but you’ll almost never see it,” said Chief Warrant Officer Sean C. Flores.
Marine Air Control Squadron 4 reached 100% equipment readiness when the last bolt was put in a Humvee March 13 on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
“Marine Corps wide no one else is at 100% readiness, except us,” said Cpl. Connor G. Reap.
Reaching 100% equipment readiness is a very daunting task, according to Flores, a motor transport officer with MACS-4, Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“It’s almost impossible to do this, especially for III MEF because of our operational tempo,” said Flores, from West Palm Beach, Florida. “Everything is back-to-back, and we’re constantly moving and grinding.”
All of the Marines worked extremely hard to reach this goal, according to Flores.
“The Marines are relentless, they worked through chow and their weekends nonstop until they achieved their goal,” said Flores.
“It was hard, sometimes we came in to work by 5 in the morning and then we’d stay late,” said Reap, the quality control non-commissioned officer for MACS-4.
The Marines at MACS-4 have over 140 pieces of equipment they need to keep in almost perfect condition to reach 100% readiness, according to Reap, from Wanaque, New Jersey.
“I think the main reason we reached 100% is because of our attention to detail,” said Reap. “We do an in-depth quality control check before trucks go out, so we can see what needs to be watched. We can fix the problem faster if we catch it early or before it happens.”
According to Reap, some of the junior Marines didn’t think it was a great accomplishment.
“When some of the younger Marines saw how many people came to watch, what they thought of as someone just putting on another bolt, they realized how much of a big deal this is,” said Reap. “There are some Marines who came to watch and they’ve been in for 20 plus years, and they couldn’t believe it.
Marines from all over Okinawa came to watch just one bolt be put on a Humvee, according to Flores.
“It’s great to see these Marines get recognized for all of their hard work,” said Flores. “No words can express how proud I am.”