NORTHERN TERRITORY, Australia - Few plans survive contact with
the enemy. No plan survives without a group of men and women
standing behind the scenes tying all units together into a cohesive
In order for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 to adhere to
the commanders' plans, U.S. Marines with 7th Communication Battalion
established communication channels in Australia before the majority
of the personnel arrived.
Talisman Sabre is a bilateral
training exercise between the U.S. Armed Forces and the Australian
Defence Force designed to improve interoperability and readiness.
More than 33,000 personnel are involved in the biennial exercise.
While the role of Marines in the communication battalion is
often overlooked during exercises, there is no doubt communication
is vital for any exercise. The main goal of communication
specialists is to create a real-time transfer of data.
U.S. Marines, Cpl. Shea P. Nolan and Lance Cpl. Edward Y. Cho, stand in front of a Secure, Mobile, Anti-Jam, Reliable, Tactical-Terminal during exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 at Robertson Barracks, Australia, July 6,
2015. The exercise is designed to improve U.S.-Australian combat training, readiness and interoperability. Nolan, from Wallington, New Jersey, is a tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel equipment operator. Cho, from Dix Hills, New York, is a satellite communications operator and maintainer. They are with 7th Communication Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, currently attached to 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Mandaline Hatch)
“You can't do anything without communications,” said Cpl.
Shea P. Nolan, a tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel
equipment operator and maintainer with 7th Communication
Battalion from Wallington, New Jersey. “If communications
are down, then everyone else isn't able to do their job, so
we are the vital link that keeps everybody together and
keeps everything going.”
In a military activity as
large as Talisman Sabre, which includes a full gamut of
ground, air, sea, intelligence, cyber and practically every
military asset the nations control, communication becomes
Talisman Sabre has units
across the Pacific in Australia, Okinawa and Hawaii with
more than 13,000 miles separating the locations.
Communication specialists are using ground mobile force
terminals to send data signals on multiple frequencies to a
satellite located 30,000 miles in space. Transmissions are
received through carriers on the satellite and repeated to
other ground locations.
“We as a communications
battalion allow everybody to join together to do their part
in a cohesive manner,” said CWO2 Robert M. Childree, an
operations officer with 7th Communication Battalion.
During Talisman Sabre, time is essential. Vital
information needs to be readily accessible at all times and
communication makes that possible.
running letters by horse anymore. It's all about speed,”
said Childree from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
day and age the world is dependent on technology.
Establishing a secure and ready to use network is a
necessity. Without communication specialists, military
commands would not be able to effectively lead their troops.
7th Comm. Bn. is with III Marine Expeditionary Force
Headquarters Group, III MEF, currently attached to 3rd
Marine Expeditionary Brigade for the exercise.
By U.S. Marine Corps LCpl. Samantha Villarreal
The U.S. Marines
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