STANDISH, Maine --
Marines with 6th Engineer support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, were recognized for their contributions to the newly dedicated John H. Rich Jr. and Doris Lee Rich Memorial Beach and Ice Fishing Access Facility in Standish, Maine on August 12, 2016. The Marines made the beach more accessible to the community while they participated in their annual Innovative Readiness Training exercise.
During the training the Marines completed several projects including a horizontal construction piece including a road leading up to a parking lot able to hold 100 cars. They also completed a vertical construction piece consisting of four vertical structures and a 170 foot bridge walkway that allows access to the beach. The project provided benefits to both the Marines and community, allowing them to obtain training in their military occupational specialties and help the community complete a project that they have not been able to kick off for many years.
“I think being a community with somewhat limited resources being able to draw from their crew (the Marines) and for them to come and help is probably one of the only ways we would be able to do a project like this,” said Jennifer DeRice, Standish Parks and Recreation director. “This has been about 15 years in the making to gain access to the lake, public access to the residence, because a lot of it is owned by the water district and the water district were willing to partner with us and give us access, and then the Marine Corps coming in, it couldn’t have happened without the cooperation and everyone’s help.”
According to Capt. Brandon Bolhous, officer in charge of 6th ESB, the Marines worked closely with Roger Mosley, director of the Standish Public Works Department, forming a relationship over the last three months not only with the public works team, but with the Navy and local community.
“We all just really love being a part of the community and being in the Marine Corps, being able to interact with the community and show a different side provides a different lens for those who get to interact with us on the civilian side,” said Bolhous. “Particularly with our service they see Marines not only just a Marine, but he is also a college guy or he works full time and has a family. They get to know us on a more personable level, making a better firmer relationship and support system for the United Sates Marine Corps.”
The Marines were not only able to build a better support system for both their selves and the local Standish community, but were also able to take advantage of the essential training an IRT can provide.
“The IRT program is such a benefit to the engineering community, whether it be from the Marine Corps side or our other sister services, it adds so much more depth to our capability to support the MLG and to support our mission set,” added Bolhous. “Out here we have Marines operating in their MOS on day to day basis for eight to 10 hours a day and they really get to dive deep and take advantage of the community members out here that are subject matter experts, giving them a level of training we can’t necessarily tap into on a typical drill weekend, so an IRT is a great force multiplier for our Marines.”
The Marines not only received essential training and were recognized for their hard work, they were simply happy to be providing something the community has needed and can take full advantage of.
“Most of the time when we build things we leave and go to another place and build something else, but here we are able to see what we built being in use,” said Cpl. Alexander Colvin, assistant squad leader with 6th ESB. “On top of that it is always good to get an “Atta Boy”, but the thing that hit me was how grateful they were, that is probably the best part about this, giving them an opportunity to have a beach because as a kid that is something you want.”