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    Communication is key

    Communication is key

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Mackenzie Binion | U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Bryce Johnson, a radio operator with Special Purpose...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Mackenzie Binion 

    15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

    A radio operator is an important asset to a unit – from calling in additional combat support to around-the-clock network connectivity. The mission of the unit would be difficult to carry out without the eyes and the ears of the communications Marines.
    Lance Cpl. Bryce Johnson, a radio operator assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command 19.1, always wanted to be in the thick of things.
    Johnson, a native of Port Angeles, Washington has been a hard-charger all his life. Involved in wrestling and football throughout high school, and working as a part time food packager in Port Angeles, Johnson still wanted more.
    Before looking at the Marine Corps, Johnson checked out all the other military branches in search of a job where he could be all he could be. After sitting down and talking with a Marine Corps recruiter, he found the career path he wanted.
    On January 15, 2017, Recruit Johnson started his career at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. He was originally contracted to be a motor transport Marine, but due to availability, Johnson was reclassified as a communications Marine.
    The methods of communication are always changing along with the technological advancements driven toward contacting others around the world. At any given moment, a communications Marine may need to be in contact with patrols involved in a firefight, or an artillery unit for support, or even Marines providing aid to those in need.
    “I’ve always wanted to be out and physically doing work,” Johnson said. “I can’t just sit behind a desk and fill out papers; that just isn’t me.”
    In hostile environments, radio operators are tasked with keeping in constant contact with the commander, battle staff and supporting agencies; the longevity of the Marines when away from the command post is held in the hands of the radio operator.
    Conducting a command post exercise provides each section of the SPMAGTF-CR-CC 19.1 an opportunity to test and evaluate how the unit will react to different situations. The CPX was used to test the logistical capabilities and teamwork of the unit. New equipment was used during the exercise allowing the Marines an opportunity to become familiar. The job of the SMAGTF-CR-CC 19.1 is to be a quick reaction force equipped to provide combat and logistical support to any unit operating in the Central Command area of operation.
    “Exercises like the CPX are really good for practice with our gear,” Johnson said. “We really get a chance to go out and do our jobs – not be stuck behind a desk.”
    The CPX was conducted at the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity facility on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The MCTSSA team’s primary objective is to ¬assist the SPMAGTF-CR-CC-19.1 in integrating tactical command, control, communications, and computer systems into the austere environment.
    Communications Marines, like Johnson, are tasked with multiple jobs including setting up radio antennas and connecting to satellites to relay messages or information. Without the right equipment or facilities, Johnson would not be able to provide adequate communication for the troops assigned to SPMAGTF-CR-CC-19.1.
    Johnson and his fellow Marines set up at the MCTSSA facility and worked non-stop from beginning to the end of the exercise. Operating long hours and keeping the equipment in good order is hard work, and the unit’s staff, from the most senior leaders down to the most junior, would not be able to operate without dedicated communications Marines.
    “Communications is important in the field because you rely on communications in order to call in support,” Johnson said. “If there isn’t a communications Marine on patrol, when things go down and your radio is broken – you’ll need to know what to do.”



    Date Taken: 09.13.2018
    Date Posted: 09.14.2018 16:07
    Story ID: 292728
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US 

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