AL TAQADDUM, Iraq -- Communication is important. Without telephones, radios and other wireless transmissions no information can be transferred during combat operations. Commanders rely on communications to control the movement of Marines and equipment during battle.
With such a requirement for reliable communications, the need for knowledgeable and experienced communications maintenance Marines is a must. The Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, communication and electronics maintenance platoon, work hard to keep all equipment operational for the forward deployed 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing assets here.
“We provide maintenance support for all communications electronics equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Keith A. Shaw, the cryptologic site chief with the communications squadron.
The squadron performs a myriad of tasks to ensure information can be transmitted when needed. With the unit on call 24 hours a day, they work a variety of shifts to ensure all communication equipment is operational at all times.
“We are ready 24 hours a day for any computer, switchboard or telephone problem that may come up,” added Shaw, a native of Chesapeake, Va. “We also respond and assist with fiber optic cable repair when we can.”
The unit also has shown it’s flexibility by supporting forward operating base Kalsu while remaining ready to set up communications equipment anywhere in Iraq.
These Marines understand how important their jobs are and realize that someone’s life could depend on their ability to keep the lines of communication open. Commanders must have the confidence that they’ll have free flow of communications when they need it the most.
“The Marines on the ground need to know their air wing counterparts will be able to communicate with them when minutes are critical,” said Lance Cpl. Adrian Doria, a radio technician with MWCS-38 and La Quinta, Calif., native. “The different units need to be able communicate with each other when planning and executing missions with lots of moving parts. You can’t fight a war without quality and reliable communications.”
For many of the Marines this is their third deployment to Iraq. Although the time away from loved ones is hard, helping Iraqi’s gain and retain their basic freedoms is an honor none of them would pass up.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve my country, no matter where it is,” said Sgt. Milton J. Malueg, a satellite repair technician with MWCS-38. “When times get tough I just remember what great things we are doing for the Iraqi people,” added the Leopolis, Wisc., native. Being here is an honor and something I’ll be able to look back on with great pride.”
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 has had members of their unit deployed to Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, Calif., based squadron continues their selfless service and provides reliable communications support that Marines in the air and on the ground can depend on.
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