News: Communication Marines hone craft during exercise
Story by Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano
OKINAWA, Japan - Communications have always played a vital role on the battlefield and in noncombatant military missions. Marines with 3rd Marine Logistics Group overcame communication struggles to prepare for future mission success and keep the lines of communication open.
The Marines participated in a communication exercise that began July 8 and will end on Aug. 8 taking place at Camps Foster, Kinser and Hansen. The Marines are with Combat Logistics Regiments 3, 35, and 37, and 9th Engineer Support Battalion, which are all units assigned to 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Communication exercises benefit the Marines by preparing them to maintain and enhance their capabilities to support a military response to any contingencies that may occur in the Asia-Pacific region.
“For this specific exercise, we are working out all the problems in our procedures while we sharpen our craft for the 3rd MLG’s commitment to (the Asia-Pacific region),” said Staff Sgt. Brandon M. Sheffield, a radio chief with CLR-35, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
During the exercise, the Marines conducted a variety of communication capabilities exercises to include setting up a radio section, data section and establishing telephone services.
“It is exercises like these where Marines can see all the equipment employed at a regimental or group level, and understand how it all works together,” said Sgt. William J. Googe, a field radio operator with CLR-3. “In the beginning, we were not as fast as we are now in setting up communications with other units. By continuously training, our confidence has skyrocketed, and we can only get better from here.”
Training is the key factor of a unit’s readiness and enables inexperienced Marines to enhance the skills required to function in a field environment, and familiarize all Marines with communications that would normally go in a command post.
“Since we were in a field setting instead of a classroom, we had the opportunity to do hands-on training,” said Pfc. Susanna H. Bacci, a field radio operator with CLR-35.
Communication Marines have a big influence on the success of any operation or exercise because without them mission-critical information would not be relayed or disseminated. The exercise was great preparation for future missions, according to Bacci.
Whether on exercises or participating in real-world operations, Marines across the Pacific train rigorously on a daily basis to prepare themselves for any contingency that may occur.
“Due to the (shift of focus) to the Pacific, our priority is to be able to fight tonight, and these exercises (sharpen) our ability to respond rapidly and efficiently to any operation,” said Sheffield. “Providing good communication is not only important on the logistics side, but it is also vital to saving lives when the time is needed.”