Marines Pass on Skills at Javelin Thrust

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.  --Radio operators with 9th Communication Battalion took the opportunity to train their junior Marines during Large Scale Exercise-1, Javelin Thrust 2012, July 10.

The operators conducted retransmission training during the exercise aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Javelin Thrust is a large-scale exercise involving 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and reserve Marines and sailors from 38 states.

This training is very important,” said Pfc. Kenneth Gonzales, a radio operator with 9th Comm. Bn. “It’s just an exercise. It shows us we can accomplish the mission when we’re given a task, regardless of our faults or whatever we have to overcome.”

The application of the retransmission antenna in a combat environment can bridge communication gaps. Communication is an essential tool Marines use for calling in support, medical evacuations or receiving information on a potential threat.  The antenna acts as a midway point to pick up a transmission and send it to another location to overcome great distances, obstructions or difficult terrain.

The retransmission station is comprised of large antennas, which are set up by a team of three to five Marines. The Marines with 9th Comm. Bn., tested the radio operator’s abilities to set up and test the antenna in a timely and proficient manner.

“We’ve had a lot of junior Marines come in lately,” said Cpl. James Morrow, a radio operator with 9th Comm. Bn. “We just want them to get a chance to learn something new.”

Marines are given less than three hours to construct the station. An experienced and skilled team of Marines can build the station in less than one hour.

When deployed to a mountainous or heavily structured area, having a retransmission station is important to link Marines on the ground to their commands, explained Sgt. Patricia L. Reynolds, a radio operator with 9th Comm. Bn.

The Marines of 9th Comm. Bn., arrived at the Combat Center mid-June and immediately built the communication network for the exercise.

If 1st MEB were called upon for an operation, 9th Comm. Bn., will be the first on-site unit to establish communications and ensure mission accomplishment, Reynolds explained.

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