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Cmdr. Larry M. Young (left) and Lt. Cmdr. Steve A. Penley (right), both are electronic warfare officers for Regimental Combat Team 5, stop for a moment while on a patrol in Hit, Iraq, May 5, while they were monitoring radio units in the area. Young has been deployed to Al Asad, Iraq, since August 2007 and will soon return to the Navy staff at the Pentagon. Penley is replacing Young as the EWO for RCT-5 and is scheduled to remain here until later this year.

Photo by Courtesy photo by Navy Cmdr. Larry Young

Strong signals keep one sailor active

18 May 2008 | Cpl. Shawn Coolman

One sailor’s fight is to keep deployed members of his sister service, the Marine Corps, out of harms way has finally reached the end.   

Cmdr. Larry M. Young, an electronic warfare officer, began his nine month deployment in August 2007, with Regimental Combat Team 2, and has continued working with the Marines of RCT-5.

“The Navy is supporting the war on terrorism through augments,” said Young, 40, who came from the Navy staff at the Pentagon. “We, (electronic warfare officers), belong to a unique Navy command out of Baghdad, (Iraq), which is the Joint Crew Composite Squadron-1.”

“We have (between) eight-thousand to ten-thousand sailors and airmen serving as augments here,” said Young. “We fill jobs in the Army and Marine Corps because of the shortages that our sister units experience due to the war on terror.”

Young manages radio units that are being used by Marines all over the Al Anbar province while deployed.

“What we do is embed with Army and Marine Corps units across the whole war fighting spectrum,” said Young, who is from Rockville, Md. “We come from all over the fleet and get some training and are placed in Marine Corps and Army units in Iraq.”

While maintaining a radio unit in Anah, Iraq, Young observed the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.

“This was my first opportunity to work along side the ‘grunts,’ it was amazing, I learned a lot from (them),” said Young. “My best experience was when I went to Anah, Iraq, and visited Kilo Company, Third Battalion, Second Marines.  I was with the Marines, going on patrols with them and watching the way Marines interact with the population. I was very impressed with the professionalism of even the junior Marines there.”

“The experience has been very rewarding; I would rank this as one of my best tours with twenty-two years of wearing this uniform,” added Young.  

Young is scheduled to depart Iraq and has plans to continue working on the Navy staff at the Pentagon.

“I’m director of assessment their (pentagon) and work for the chief of Naval Operations,” said Young. “We evaluate what capabilities the Navy needs and what resources the Navy has to meet those demands.”

Although Young is looking ahead to returning to the Pentagon, he reflects back on his deployment with the Marines.

“I can’t say that I’m ready for another deployment, but if I had the opportunity to do this deployment over again, I would,” said Young. “It’s something I needed to do.”