News: 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade communicates during Talisman Sabre 2011
By Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr.
USS BLUE RIDGE, Australia – Communication is essential for completing any mission. During Talisman Sabre 2011, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade's communication section is providing that vital communication.
Command and control cannot exist without communications, said Maj. Mark E. Halverson, the G-6 communications officer for 3rd MEB, which is part of III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan.
“It is absolutely critical,” agreed Lt. Col. Stephen P. Armes, operations officer for 3rd MEB.
Communications plays a vital role; there is no command and control of forces without good communications, Armes added.
The 3rd MEB is currently deployed to Australia in support of TS11 as the Marine forces command.
Communications plays an integral role in the MEB's ability to complete this mission.
The communications section is able to provide many different types of communication, said Halverson, a communications officer since 1996.
"If one [method] doesn’t work, you can always pick up another,” explained Halverson.
This maintains communications flexibility and allows for more options to allow command and control to occur, he said.
This flexibility to ensure continued communication is important due to the geographic diversity of this exercise, with elements of the MEB in Virginia, Australia, Japan and at sea, said Armes.
Without the capability of phones and video teleconference, it would be difficult to bring forces to bear like the Marine forces has done, explained communications personnel.
To date, the communications effort provided for the Marine forces has been up to standards and allowed TS11 to run smoothly, which could be attributed to preparation, Halverson said.
“We learn and enhance capabilities before [the exercise],” said Halverson.
“We exercise communications like we would in the real world. During the exercise is the execution phase. We never simulate communications,” he said.