Photo Information

Communications Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit assemble the Hawkeye III Lite system during a communications exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 8, 2013. The Marines learned to quickly set up communications capabilities for missions that require a smaller footprint. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Amber Blanchard/Released)

Photo by Sgt. Amber Blanchard

22nd MEU Trains to Communicate Using Smaller Footprint

16 May 2013 | Sgt. Amber Blanchard

    Communications Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit learned how to quickly establish communications using more efficient equipment and a smaller footprint at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 8-10, 2013.

    Setting up a small forward operating base, Marines from Joint Communications Support Element aboard MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., introduced the MEU Marines to the Hawkeye III Lite system. The system is a lightweight communications satellite that provides a quick way to establish communications using a smaller footprint. The system is meant for missions that require a minimal amount of gear and personnel, such as a site visit.

    “If you have a small team that goes out, you don’t need a big data package,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Webber, JCSE initial entry team chief and native of Altamount, Fla. “For us, we have three small suitcases and you can quickly give the team leader capabilities such as data, email and communication to the ship, to the MEU headquarters.”

    When the system is assembled and powered up, Marines can get remote Internet, live videoconferencing, surveillance or reconnaissance feeds as needed. The system minimizes the need to bring multiple vehicles and systems for small groups of Marines while allowing for appropriate security level communication between personnel. The system can operate on a range of security classification levels, depending on the task. The MEU employs a system similar to the Hawkeye III Lite that helps to streamline their capabilities as a quick reaction force.

    “It gives us the ability to deploy with small teams and provide full network capabilities,” said Sgt. Andrew Lee, 22nd MEU cyber security manager and St. Louis-native. “It provides the same capabilities as some of the bigger equipment.”

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit