News: 9th Communication conducts company-level field exercise
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with Charlie Company, 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, participated in a company level communication exercise designed to ensure all equipment worked properly, Oct. 26.
The exercise provided junior Marines the opportunity to learn skills necessary to fix potential problems on deployment.
“We hope to run into every possible scenario,” said Cpl. Brian Critchfield, 25, from Baltimore, a ground mobile forces operator and maintainer with Charlie Company, 9th Comm. Bn. “If we experience it here, it won’t be a problem when we get in country, and we’ll be able to move past it and continue on with the mission,”
The exercise allowed Marines to build campsites, set up forward operating communication systems, and practice their jobs in a field environment. While providing Marines with training in their particular military occupational specialty, the exercise also allowed them to cross train in an effort to be proficient at multiple jobs.
“I myself am an engineer equipment operator so I’ve learned how to operate generators, cooling systems and how to support the power grid for this exercise,” said Pfc. Matthew R. Prior, 19, from Gig Harbor, Wash., an engineer equipment operator with Service Company, 9th Comm. Bn. “Any Marine that goes out and learns more outside of their job field is more valuable of an asset to the Marine Corps and can help it accomplish the mission.”
Critchfield also spoke of the importance of keeping Marines’ skill set up while also teaching the junior Marines new skills.
“When we leave the mission will continue,” Critchfield said. “ So we have to train the new Marines replacing us so they’ll be able to accomplish the mission.”
Charlie Company conducts these quarterly field exercises to ensure Marines are ready and the unit is able to complete the mission when called upon to deploy.