FORWARD OPERATING BASE MARJAH, AFGHANISTAN
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MARJAH, Afghanistan – Upon arrival to Forward Operating Base Marjah, Marines from Communications Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, were introduced to a new piece of equipment, the AN/PRC-117G radio.
The radio, being far more advanced than its predecessors, has many different and new abilities that make it useful to Marines in the field.
“Marines can now do more data related things than they could before with the older radios,” said Sgt. James B. Miller, the radio supervisor for Communications Plt., 3/9, from Brisbane, Australia. “We used to have a lot of issues with power and weight on the older models, but that isn’t a problem anymore.”
The new radio has an efficiency rating of 85 percent compared to the older radio’s efficiency rating of 75 percent, according to Master Sgt. Jeffrey A. Carte, the communications chief for Communications Plt., 3/9.
“The new radio is much smaller and lighter,” said Carte, of Sophia W.Va. “It is a major benefit out here for Marines on foot patrol and for setting up communications in vehicles.”
One new advantage of the radio is it can be mounted directly to tactical vehicles to create mobile communications hubs.
“The vehicle mounted version of the radio allows us to push internet and phones to Marines,” Carte said.
When Marines take pictures and gather intelligence on patrols, they can report it to the command center using the internet connection provided by the radio, Carte explained.
The Marines received no formal training on the new radio. They learned to use it to the fullest of its capabilities through perseverance and a few lessons when they arrived in Afghanistan.
“The 117G radio was introduced to Marines in Afghanistan a few months before we arrived. So Marines from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, had it briefly,” Carte said. “Other than a little advice, and a few classes at Dwyer and a few of the smaller patrol bases.”
Now that the Marines have a good grasp of the new radio and how to use it, they intend to share the knowledge with incoming Marines who have yet to use the new technology. Eventually, the Marines hope to see the radio being used and taught routinely at training events and exercises across the Marine Corps.
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This work, New Radio Helps Marines Accomplish Mission, by Cpl Daniel Wulz, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.