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Lance Cpl. Jordan M. Marvel, from Taunton, Mass., a field radio operator with the communications section, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), passes an AN/PRC-117G type-1 wideband tactical radio to a soldier during the practical application phase of training April 18, 2011, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. The Marines trained soldiers with 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade on the different functions of the radio for future missions in support of International Security Assistance Force operations. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

Comm. Marines keep soldiers in the loop

19 Apr 2011 | Lance Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

Communications play a critical role during combat operations, keeping service members conducting missions throughout Helmand Province, Afghanistan, connected.

That’s why Marines with the communications section, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) held a class to teach soldiers with 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade about the new Harris AN/PRC-117G type-1 wideband tactical radio April 18, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. 

“This is a new radio, much lighter and smaller than the old version, the [AN/PRC117F],” explained Lance Cpl. Jordan M. Marvel, from Taunton, Mass., a field radio operator with 2nd MLG (Fwd.).  “It’s very important that they at least have a general idea of how to properly operate it, and understand its different functions and accessories.”

The AN/PRC-117G is significantly lighter and consumes less power than previous generations of manpack radios, and it’s intended to improve situational awareness on the battlefield, which will benefit troops supporting International Security Assistance Force operations.

“This is a new generation of radios, and it is pretty much what all the units in the armed forces are starting to use,” said Lance Cpl. Raul J. Asmal, from Queens, N.Y., a multi-channel radio operator with 2nd MLG (Fwd.).  “These radios are great and with proper training I think it is a tool that can help us win wars.”

Already in use by some commands in the different branches of the Department of Defense, the upgradable software of the AN/PRC-117G deliver secure real-time information and communication at all levels necessary.

“We are the resident experts, and we are the only ones who have a pre-established period of instruction about the new radios,” Marvel said.  “These soldiers already have one of them and soon it’s the only radio they will be using so it’s important they know how to operate it.”

Armed with new knowledge, the soldiers now have the responsibility to pass on the knowledge to the troops back in their commands.

“I think it is really good to know how to operate these new radios,” said Spc. Lauren R. Aldrich, from Groveton, Texas, a signal support specialist. “Now it is up to us to pass this knowledge to our fellow soldiers back in our units to make sure they understand how operate them when we need to.”


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