News: 9th Comm. Bn. conducts validation exercise
Story by Cpl. Joshua Young
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with Charlie Company, 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted a communication readiness exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 14.
The exercise is designed to validate the capabilities of Charlie Company to support 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade contingencies.
The 1st MEB is a force that can deploy as a Marine Air-Ground Task Force in the event of a crisis contingency to conduct combat operations and humanitarian disaster assistance relief missions.
The communication exercise is one part of a series of exercises, which will be conducted by Charlie Company to ensure readiness to establish communication within a short timeframe.
“I gave the Marines concepts and ideas and they’re really taking those ideas and establishing their capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Ahmed Williamson, the commanding officer of 9th Comm. Bn. “They’re a little closer to being fully capable to do whatever is needed.”
If 1st MEB calls on 9th Comm. Bn., to support a contingency, Charlie Company’s main priority will be to establish
communication. The company is fully capable of establishing base communication from the ground up in a matter of days once on the ground.
“From the time we left the battalion to get out to the field it took about 50 hours to get completely set up,” said Maj. Scott Wert, the Charlie Company commander, 9th Comm. Bn. “We want to make sure we have all the links established and everything is going smoothly. It’s a validation in every sense of the word.”
Williamson, 40, from Upper Marlborough, Md., visited with the Charlie Company Marines on one of his visits to the exercise. He asked questions about their jobs and if they felt they would be ready to establish communication at a moments notice.
“What if a contingency goes down tonight,” Williamson asked. “If we need to be somewhere within 48-96 hours, we need to be able to send out a rapidly mobile communication package, so we made this training as flexible and scalable as possible.”