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Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Harrell (left), a satellite communications operator-maintainer, and Sgt. Christopher M. Davis, a satellite chief both with Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, set up a Support Wide Area Network System during a training exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 29, 2012. During the exercise the participating Marines tested their capabilities in a simulated field environment in accordance with their training and readiness standards.

Photo by Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

Budget restraints do not restrain communications Marines

29 Feb 2012 | Cpl. Bruno J. Bego

As the Marine Corps’ budget continues to shrink, more and more units will feel the pressure of conducting training with a limited amount of funds. 

The effects were apparent for service members with Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participating in a training exercise from Feb. 29 through March 8 aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

 “The [2nd MLG] got less money this year for the budget,” explained 1st Lt. Brian L. Burger, the operations officer for Communications Co.  “We had to find ways to accomplish the training while remaining within our budget constraints.” 

The company scheduled the exercise to test their capabilities and readiness in a field environment, but the necessary funds to fuel the generators were not available.

“It costs about $14,000 to fuel our generators for a week-long operation,” Burger added.  “We had to figure out a way to still accomplish the training without using generators.”

Burger and his Marines determined a location aboard Camp Lejeune, which fulfilled the site requirements for the exercise.

“Here we can run our equipment using power from the base,” Burger explained.  

The Marines were also able to assemble their tents, antennas and transmitters in front of the company building to use as a secondary location to achieve their training goals.

“Although we are not in the field, this is what I call a real world experience,” explained Sgt. Christopher T. Wehunt, the transmission site chief with the company.  “All the Marines in the shop come out here and do their job.  Here is where we get to see how proficient our shop is.

“This particular site might not be what we asked for, but it’s better than nothing,” Wehunt added.  “Some of the new Marines in the shop have very limited experience and this is their opportunity to come out and train.”

Cpl. Jonathan W. Barton, a digital multi-channel wideband transmission equipment operator with the company, expressed how important it is to go out to the field.

“I think in the field is where we really get to test our skills,” Barton said.  “I think it’s better when we get to work as if we were in a deployed environment.

“Regardless of the circumstances, we are Marines and we adapt to the situation,” Barton added.  “I’m glad that at least we still managed to come out and train.”

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