Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Approximately 45 communications Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit recently returned from participating in Bold Alligator 13, a major annual training exercise, April 22 to May 2, 2013.
Bold Alligator 13 was a Navy and Marine Corps-led synthetic exercise that involved more than 3,500 personnel from 16 countries.
The 22nd MEU communications Marines aboard the USS Bataan and at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., supported more than 300 Marines and sailors with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade with setting up and maintaining a fluid communications network. A team of communications Marines from the MEU embarked the Bataan weeks before the exercise kicked off to set up radio communication, web service and network connectivity before the MEB staff arrived.
“When the staff arrived, we would troubleshoot any issues they had,” said Sgt. Andrew Lee, 22nd MEU cyber security manager and St. Louis-native. “We provided a 24-hour help desk and a 24-hour radio watch during the entire exercise that supported the MEB staff.” Lee added having personnel on the help desk and radio watch provided consistent network connectivity.
Working on the Bataan also provided an opportunity for the MEU Marines to begin building a solid working relationship with their Navy counterparts before predeployment training this summer with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.
“That is going to help us out tremendously. Now they know us, they’re familiar with us, so when we start our training they will know what’s coming,” said Lee. Lee added the Bataan has a great communications team, and building that rapport was a great experience for him and his Marines.