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Marines conduct radio operations training in desert setting

14 May 2009 | Lance Cpl. Eugenio Montanez

Marines and sailors with Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division participated in a Basic Radio Operators Course during the four-day Required Operational Combat Exercise here Apr. 30.

The ROCEX was meant to re-familiarize Marines with such combat skills as combat life saving, convoy operations, improvised-explosive-device recognition, crew-served weapons and basic radio skills that were taught during Marine Combat Training.

The mission of the radio course was to crosstrain and provide Marines with the necessary communication skills needed to operate in a forward environment.

“I think the course will help the Marines who do not have any experience with radios overcome many of the difficulties of using one,” said Cpl. Ruben Chavez, 22, a field radio operator with Communications Company, HQ Bn.  

During the course, instructors covered communication security, proper voice communication techniques, pro-words and phrases and how to relay such reports as landing zone and casualty evacuation briefs.

“This is the first time an event like this has ever been done, and we’re going to utilize the feedback we receive to (improve) the course and make sure the classes given are well absorbed by the Marines,” said Chavez, who is from Dallas.

Many students were interested in the call and respond portion of the class.

“If I don’t know what some of the things I say mean over the radio, then I can say the wrong command and something bad can occurr when using it,” said Pfc. Michael K. Romero, 19, a separations clerk with Headquarters and Service Co.,HQ Bn., who is from Central Point, Ore. “At least now I won’t say something that will negatively affect me or others.” 

During the practical application segment of the course, the Marines practiced how to conduct a proper radio check.

“That part helped me the most at applying all the stuff I learned,” said Lance Cpl. Jazmine Bonilla, 26, a warehouseman with H&S Co., who is from Milwaukee, Wis. “I was lost during the beginning, but then it all kind of clicked together when we talked on the radio.”

This training was also designed to make the Marines an additional asset to their respective commands.

“Through this training they learned all the basic skills they need to be able to handle a radio when anybody needs them to do it,” said Chavez. “Providing these skills to non-communications Marines will help in the occasion where one of the actual communications Marines cannot complete their job. Then that Marine can take over for them and complete the task.”