News: II MHG enabler battalions’ capabilities put on display
Story by Pfc. Ryan Young
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group set up and participated in an exposition to showcase the capabilities of the II MHG enabler battalions to visiting commanders, January 15 - 16.
The II MHG Capabilities Expo gave ground commanders, within II Marine Expeditionary Force, a first-hand look at the variety of ways each of the battalions provides unique capabilities to the force. The enabler units included 8th Communications Battalion, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, 2nd Radio Battalion, 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company and 2nd Intelligence Battalion.
Enabler battalions provide direct support to ground forces that don’t have an organic capability. For example, 2nd ANGLICO can provide a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) to an infantry unit to provide close air support for that unit.
II MEF commanders, along with Marines from other units, walked around to each display and were greeted by knowledgeable Marines from each unit. The expo focused on educating colonels and lieutenant colonels in command billets about the capabilities of battalions under II MEF.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher J. Ransom, the 8th Communications Bn. future operations chief, set up various pieces of equipment with his Marines on hand to explain the way their communications equipment functions.
In one of many displays, his Marines set up a very small aperture terminal (VSAT-L), a mobile satellite station, which has the capabilities to pull outside communications into a deployed environment and send communications to other units.
“We have the capabilities to support the MEF, the Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and all three Marine Expeditionary Units at the same time, while providing a contingency response team and a Joint Task Force Enabler,” said Ransom. “So, we have a huge capability that most Marines and probably some commanders are not aware of.”
Captain Roy V. Fish was the officer in charge for the expo. The commanders can better plan operations when they understand the capabilities of the enabler battalions, said Fish. This can increase demand of the battalions and help produce a better product.
“We actually got a couple people who were surprised at the capabilities we had,” said Fish. “They didn’t realize we could do the things we can do onsite, on the battle field and those capabilities will definitely be in the planning process for commanders in the future.”
Overall, the expo was a success, with more than 80 Marines and civilians coming to view the displays, said Fish.
“This is something we hope is going to be a continual thing in the future, and it’s only going to get better,” said Fish. “We’re going to understand more of what the commanders, and their planning staffs, need so we can present (our capabilities) in a way they may better understand it.”