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These two multi-channel radio antennas aboard Al Asad Air Base serve as a communication link between service members here and other forward operating bases in the western Anbar Province. Marine Wing Communication Squadron 38, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), provides 24-hour service to ensure communication lines stay online, giving battle commander's continual service to visually see what's taking place in the region and make sound decisions based on the information in front of them.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Stevens

Can you hear me now?

18 May 2008 | Lance Cpl. Michael Stevens

Communication and data exchange are vital tools in the war on terrorism.

The United States’ ability to have a sustained strategic battlefield and base-to-base communication system provides all service members an advantage in everyday operations.

Marine Wing Communication Squadron 38, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), provides the vital communication link between several bases operating in western Anbar Province and with units back in the states.

“We are a centralized communication unit that provides 24-hour continual service to support all operations and facilitate the movement of all information on and off the base,” said Gunnery Sgt. David Puente, data chief with Company A, MWCS-38. “Without us here, there would be no internet, email or any other form of communication available.”

Marines work around the clock, maintaining the network’s infrastructure, ensuring no unit operates without the necessary information-flow needed to complete their mission.

“Continual service ensures battle commanders can visually see what’s taking place and make sound decisions based on the information in front of them,” said Puente.

Troubleshooting and adjusting to the system’s ever-changing capabilities remain a constant component of the job.

Working side-by-side with civilian contractors, the system has become virtually flawless, creating endless forms of back-up power and network mapping so it remains running all hours of the day.

In addition to data control and exchange, MWCS-38 also maintains the equipment used in the communication process.

A maintenance section within the squadron fixes radio and computer systems for all wing units and for some Army and Air Force commands stationed aboard Al Asad Air Base.

The squadron supports the large spectrum of 3rd MAW (Fwd.) issues by ensuring desktops, laptops, printers and fiber optic cables used in the data-exchange process remain in good working condition.

“We have a huge responsibility out here in Iraq. The network here is one of the largest communication networks in a deployed environment,” said Capt. Jonathan L. Camarillo, the Company A company commander. “Our Marines do a great job by remaining sharp and focused, knowing that without communication, Marines and all service members operating here cannot successfully complete their mission.”


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3rd Marine Aircraft Wing