MHG Marines wire up in preparation for MEFEX 16

29 Sep 2015 | Pfc. Devan Gowans The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Headquarters Group, participated in a communications exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Sept. 22-27, 2015.

The operation served as sustainment and familiarization training for the Marines of 9th Comm Bn, and as preparation for Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise 2016, an annual Navy and Marine Corps combined forces evolution.

Marines with Company B and Service Company established a communication site on Gold Beach.

Company A simultaneously setup on Red Beach while Contingency Support Company setup on White Beach.

“The purpose of the operation is to establish and maintain communications with different 9th Communication Battalion companies along the Camp Pendleton shoreline,” said Staff Sgt. Tyrone Hearst, a radio repairman with Service Company, 9th Comm Bn.

Communication plays an important role in deployed environments because it allows Marines to make contact with battlefield support services, said Capt. John Henderson, commanding officer of Company B, 9th Comm Bn.

Henderson explained, “If you don’t have the ability to make an air request at a MEF level, then that air support service, such as medical evacuation or a fire misson, will not be going downrange to support the Marines who need it the most.”

The Marines spent the day constructed the site wearing personal protective equipment and carrying weapons. They also posted security and conducted patrols around the outskirts of the site to simulate a combat environment.

“Overall, I want the Marines to have a better understanding of how we’re supposed to go about doing missions tactically as communicators,” said Henderson. “Since we are primarily in peacetime, we want the Marines to learn how to establish a command operations center from scratch and not rely on structures that have already been established in deployed environments.”

During the COMMEX, the Marines received training in constructing a network operations center through hands-on application. The combined logistics efforts of the Marine of 9th Comm Bn play a crucial role in effective command and control of expeditionary forces in deployed environments.