KUWAIT -- The computer gurus of Marine Aircraft Group-13, from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., are busy doing their part to keep Marine operations at here connected and Operation Iraqi Freedom online.
Sgt. Morgan T. Jordan and Lance Cpl. Earl R. Sjogren, MAG-13 Aircraft Information Systems Department, have been responsible for establishing and maintaining the tactical flight line network for the Marine Forward operating base, which includes elements of MAG-13, including Marine Attack Squadron-214 and a turnaround detachment comprised of detachments from four separate AV-8B II Harrier squadrons operating from USS Bataan and USS Bonhomme Richard as well as FA-18 Hornet squadrons.
With the help of Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, from Marine Corps Air Station Mirimar, Calif. the Marines have established all data connectivity on the Marine flight line here and provide continuing support to keep communications running smoothly.
The Marines built the network from scratch, said Jordan. Mere weeks ago the information hub that keeps the flight line connected to the rest of the Marine Corps and the world was a sandy patch of desert. It took 72 straight hours of work to lay the foundation for the system and about two weeks to complete it, he said.
The job requires a lot of imagination and ingenuity in any environment, said Jordan, Houston, Texas native. This need is multiplied in the remote, foreign desert of Kuwait, where so many are depending on communications to coordinate and perform essential operations.
Jordan enjoys the flexibility and innovation required by his job.
"It's interesting and always changing," he said. "You can put imagination into your work and if you make a change in the way things are done the initiative is appreciated."
Sjogren, originally from Casper, Wyo., joined Jordan recently to assist in the maintenance of the system here. Before arriving in Kuwait, Sjogren helped establish and maintain the network aboard USS Bonhomme Richard, where two of the four MAG-13 Harrier squadrons are operating. Both experiences have been valuable, he said.
"I learned a lot on the ship and out here about networking," Sjogren said. "I've got more confidence because I've had to work on my own a lot."
Both Marines are happy to be a part of supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"It feels like I'm making a difference," said Sjogren.
"I'm excited to be a part of it," Jordan said. "I'm glad to have a direct impact on MAG-13 operations.