MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTRYNINE PALMS, Calif. –
Most Marines use the internet and radio frequencies for multiple
purposes each day. In combat situations, Marines use different types
of radios to call medical evacuations, logistical resupplies or just
get a simple radio check before stepping out on a patrol.
What is often over-looked, are the full capabilities of the radio
systems they carry and the Marines who ensure that day-to-day
communication is possible.
The Marines serving with the
Communication Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, brought a
new array of capabilities to the unit by using both the ANPRC-117G,
a wideband tactical radio and the Support Wide Area Network program.
The systems provide the unit with advanced forms of communication
while conducting an integrated training exercise here.
Corporal Steven Rice, data specialist,
Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine
Regiment, ensures that the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine
Regiment stay connected using a Support Wide Area Network (SWAN) to
gain communications for the battalion during an integrated training
exercise here, Aug. 13, 2013. Rice, 22, a native of Littleton,
Colo., is in charge with setting up, operating and maintaining the
SWAN to ensure the Marines in the battalion can communicate with one
another. The ITX is a month long training event the Marines go
through prior to deployment. (Courtesy Photo)
The ITX is a month long training event the Marines go
through prior to deployment, and the Marines of Comm. Plt.,
provided communication throughout the entire exercise.
Individually the AN/PRC-117G can attach to a laptop to
send data and pictures to one another, and it allows the
Marines to chat with one another, said Cpl. Grant Moulden, a field
radio operator serving with Headquarters and Service
Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
scout sniper is deployed and he comes across someone doing
something wrong like burying an improvised explosive device
he can connect this lightweight radio unit to a laptop and
send photos and data back to his command,” said Moulden, 22,
a native of Muscoutah, Kan. “Then the sniper can talk to his
command about how to deal with the hostile target.”
Also, something that most people do not know about the
AN/PRC-117G is that it has a second capability that uses the
Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform, commonly known as
ANW2, to supply the Marines with internet capabilities,
While the AN/PRC-117G is impressive,
the (SWAN) adds even more capabilities to the unit.
The (SWAN) is an integrated, IP-based communications system
that uses commercial satellite terminals, network baseband
equipment, wireless systems and various software to provide
deployed Marines with robust communications capabilities.
“Alone the (SWAN) pulls internet access from our
communications headquarters through specific pre-determined
satellites and into our computer,” said Cpl. Steven Rice, a
data network specialist, serving with the battalion. “Then
we add a switch that allows us to push the internet to our
other computers near us using CAT 5 cables (category 5
unshielded twisted pair cables).
When both these two
types of gear are working together it allows the Marines to
do even more.
When hooked to the (SWAN), this radio
pulls internet connection from the satellite through the
(SWAN) and into the AN/PRC-117G, Moulden said. Then it
distributes the non-classified internet protocol network
(NIPR) and secret classified internet protocol network
(SIPR) to neighboring computers in the network.
really is a fascinating piece of gear to work with because
you can be in the middle of no-where and pull internet in
places where you can't get phone service,” said Rice, 22,
from Littleton, Colo. “Overall it is an awesome piece of
gear to have especially when you bring the two together.”
By USMC Cpl. Corey Dabney
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