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    Support team makes Marine unit self-sufficient at Northern Edge 11

    Support team makes Marine unit self-sufficient at Northern Edge 11

    Photo By Sgt. Marionne Mangrum | Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony Ward, a heavy equipment mechanic assigned to Marine Air...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Alaskan NORAD Region/Alaskan Command/11th Air Force

    KODIAK, Alaska – Support at all levels of operations are present during the Pacific Command joint exercise Northern Edge 11 -- including service members who construct, maintain and tear-down operating locations used during training.

    Those who make this happen at a communications site here are the motor transportation and utilities Marines and the single Navy Corpsman of Marine Air Control Squadron One, from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

    “[Our support] enhances the Marines adaptability to employ and deploy in a new area,” said Warrant Officer Daniel Fuller, the officer-in-charge of MACS-1 Tactical Data System detachment and a native of Gig Harbor, Wash.

    MACS-1’s satellite and communications gear is designed to be rapidly transported by truck, helicopter or C-130 cargo plane. Everything from the tactical and radar equipment to the tents and generators were inspected and loaded into containers at home station by the Marines.

    For this exercise, more than 43,000 lbs. of gear was loaded and shipped from San Diego to Kodiak, said Cpl. Damian Cantu, an equipment operator and native of Houston.

    General purpose generators, similar to ones used to power office buildings during ‘black-outs’ are used to give the Tactical Air Operation Center and the Tactical Air Operation Modules constant electricity. Even in the temperate climate of the rainy Alaskan weather, nine air conditioning units are used to keep sensitive computers cool and dry while space heaters help the dessert-acclimated Marines and the Air Force weapons controllers from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., comfortable.

    In addition, it takes two high-power generators working together to provide the necessary power for the three-dimensional air defense radar.

    The power is needed to project a signal 300 miles into space and back, according to Cpl. Ryan Landis, a generator mechanic and native of Killeen, Texas.

    While the Marines are keeping the tactical air ops going, the Navy corpsman is there to keep the Marines going.

    The job of maintaining the M149 water trailer, or “water bull,” falls to Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Larry Sifuentes. On a daily basis, he checks and purifies the water to make it potable and is on hand if any medical issues arise.

    As the participants of NE 11 have the opportunity to employ some of the latest high-tech tracking radar systems to train and become proficient with, it wouldn’t be possible without the support of these men, said Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett, the senior enlisted advisor.

    “This is what these guys do every day,” said Arnett, originally from Panama City, Fla. “They are the unsung heroes of MACS.”



    Date Taken: 06.22.2011
    Date Posted: 06.22.2011 14:58
    Story ID: 72552
    Location: KODIAK, AK, US 

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