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Marine Reserve unit partners with Forest Service in Bend


A new program is shaping up to be a win-win for all involved. From July 13-25, the Deschutes National Forest is hosting the Oregon Marines at their headquarters in Bend.

The Oregon Marines are a reserve unit in charge of engineering support. They’re required to have a two-week training period every year, and this year they’re knocking out their training by helping the U.S. Forest Service.

“We are excited to have them here, because they are doing a little bit of work for us and getting their annual training in,” Kassidy Kern, Forest Service public affairs specialist, said Wednesday.

The group is working on a series of projects.

“This unit is specifically an engineering unit, and so they are able to bring in some expertise that we really need, and we didn’t have the opportunity to bring in volunteers to do this work because it’s a little more technical,” Kern said.

Both parties said it’s mutually beneficial.

“The Marines benefit from the training that is required of us every year, and they also benefit from giving back to the community which they live in, and the community itself and the Forest Service benefit from the cost savings and the use of the facilities that we’re repairing and fixing up,” said Jamieson Reed.

The projects involve building and general engineering, similar to real-life practices.

“This stuff that we’re doing, these missions that we’re performing, are the exact same things we would do in country if we were mobilized,” said Justin Di Rico.

“We’re responsible for roads, keeping them open, replacing culverts. We’re responsible for building structures, and in some cases removing structures. So the exact same things we’re doing for the Forest Service are the things we would do in country if we were mobilized.”

Other unit members are working at various locations in the state, and both parties said they would like this to be the start of a long-standing partnership.

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