Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Christopher Jourden, a maintenance technician from RCT-8 communications section, removes a hard drive from a broken laptop. Jourden says as a technician he does a substantial amount of work on computers. Properly working computers are a key factor in ensuring that Marines are able to transfer and receive information.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alan Addison

RCT-8 Communication Marines: keeping it connected during the fight

18 Jan 2009 | Lance Cpl. Alan Addison 2nd Marine Division

CAMP RIPPER, Iraq -- Constant communication between leaders at all levels is important whether they are deep in the sands of Iraq, the mountainous regions of Afghanistan or the confines of Camp Lejeune, N.C.  

Marines of Regimental Combat Team 8 Communications section work hard to ensure that Marines have the ability to communicate with one another whether they are on base or out on patrol.

“We know that without proper communication Marines won’t be able to complete assigned missions, so we do everything we can to make sure their equipment is up and running and ensure they have access to networks needed in order to complete the mission,” said 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Walker, operations officer for RCT-8 communications section.

 The communications section consist of independent parts that all work together in order to keep the regiment’s communication intact.  Marines in the radio section support the regiment with single channel radio communication as well as satellite communication, while Marines from the data section ensure that computers and their networks are up and running properly.  Those working in the wire section deal with the telephone connections on base and in the field, and the communication maintenance section works to replace broken equipment.

 “We work a lot with computers,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Jourden, a maintenance technician with the communications section. “Since communication greatly depends on computers, we have to work hard to make sure we get them repaired quickly so individuals can properly use them,” said Jourden, a Sparta, Mich. native.

 “We also do a lot of repair work on communication systems in humvees. If it’s broken we’ll do what we can to fix it, replace it or update it,” said Jourden. 

 Although there are many working components to the communications section, each of them is equally important.  “It’s a conglomeration of everybody; all the shops are working hard to become familiar with the infrastructure here in order to be successful. It’s been a mass effort and it will continue to be that way,” said Walker.

While the main goal of communication is to keep the regiment working together in order to stay combat effective, there are also other advantages of having good avenues of communication.  When Marines are deployed they don’t enjoy the luxury of seeing their families, so communication via telephone and e-mail becomes their primary way to stay connected to family and friends. 

“E-mails home and phone calls home are important to Marines and without us staying on top of our job Marines won’t have as many opportunities to keep in contact with their families,” said Walker.

Marines working in communications have an incredible task of making sure everyone has access to send and receive information in order to complete their tasks.  With this constant flow of information, leaders can get updates faster and deliver the information to their Marines.