HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — “Communication is everything for what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Morgan, personal security detachment chief, Personal Security Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). “If you can’t communicate you don’t know what is happening, you can’t coordinate with other elements and you can’t reinforce yourself; your command and signal is gone.”
The task of maintaining the CLB-4 PSD’s communications and ensuring that their command and signal capability is not interrupted falls to the radio operator, Cpl. Alfredo Salcido, a 30-year-old native of El Paso, Texas.
Communications are especially important for the PSD, which is responsible for providing security for the CLB-4 Commanding Officer as he travels throughout the battlespace.
“My mission is to provide the lieutenant colonel uninterrupted communication and so far I have accomplished my mission,” said Salcido.
“We transport the battalion [commanding officer] and he wants to know everything that is going on in the [convoy], along with everything that is happening in the rear,” said Morgan. “It is especially important in a logistics battalion since we are operating in other unit’s battlespaces, we need to coordinate with the [battlespace owners]."
Salcido’s outstanding work ethic and technical proficiency helps him to execute his mission at a very high level.
“He is here preparing for missions well before the rest of us get here and is usually still here after we leave,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Page, S-3, CLB-4. “Once the [convoy] starts, he is fixing stuff on the fly and always moving around taking care of problems. It is very impressive.”
According to Morgan, Salcido’s work ethic extends outside the realm of communications to all aspects of the PSD mission.
“Salcido doesn’t just take care of the radio, he will step up and get accountability of the Marines during [convoys] or do whatever else is required of him,” said Morgan. “Back in the rear, he jumps on all of our training ranges. He knows as much about shooting as anyone on the PSD, and is always going to classes or lessons on the trucks to expand his knowledge.”
Familiarity with all of the different facets of the PSD’s mission is important for all of the detachment’s Marines and sailors, said Salcido.