Marines hone skills, strengthen cohesion
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Among a dizzying array of antennas, radio chatter could be heard as Marines with Company A, 7th Communication Battalion, strengthened their knowledge of satellite and radio communications.
The battalion's communicators, assigned to III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, took part in a company-level communication exercise at Camp Hansen Oct. 10-11.
The two-day exercise provided the Marines time to build unit cohesion while strengthening their high-frequency networks and radio communication fundamentals, according to Staff Sgt. George J. Harrell, a radio chief with the company.
"We focused on building camaraderie with the Marines and enhancing their military occupational specialty," said Harrell. "By training, we are also enhancing our ability to sustain communication between the commander and his troops."
The more time Marines spend together – in or out of the field – the closer the bond between them becomes, according to Pfc. Jordan R. Brock, a field radio operator with the company. Whether it is a deployment, training exercise, boot camp or just everyday tasks, Marines constantly build unit cohesion.
"With morale high, the Marines were able to work together smoothly," said Brock. "This helped us zero-in on tightening our skills."
During the training, Marines learned new skills while sharpening old ones.
"We focused on a lost art in the communication field, which is building expedient antennas," said Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Skinner, a field radio operator with the company. "Field expedient antennas are utilized when long-range communications are needed."
Whether talking around the world or passing word from one fighting hole to the next, communication is critical when Marines are waiting for orders. Expedient antennas allow for constant communication between the commander and his troops regardless of the distance between them, according to Skinner.
Throughout the training exercise, the Marines executed their tasks well, showing maturity and proficiency, according to Harrell.
"The Marines are very knowledgeable for the small amount of time they have been in the Marine Corps," said Harrell. "I have been impressed (with) my first time in the field with these junior Marines."
The success of the training illustrates the importance of unit cohesion while enhancing MOS knowledge, according to Harrell.