KAHUKU TRAINING AREA, Hawaii --
Marines and sailors with the 3rd Radio Battalion perfected essential skills during a 10-day mission rehearsal exercise here at the Kahuku Training Area, April 8.
The Marines were evaluated and certified before being sent on deployment.
“These training exercises are one of the best ways we can become proficient with the equipment we use during a deployment or while serving on a Marine expeditionary unit,” said Lance Cpl. Taylor Gondeck, radio operator with 3rd Radio Bn., and a native of San Antonio, Texas. “Our command expects more and more of us each time we come out here. Every training exercise has new challenges, and they expect us to know how to react to any given situation.”
Every Marine, regardless of rank, within the battalion was evaluated during the exercise. These measures were to ensure that the battalion’s top leaders all the way to the newly enlisted were able to perform their duties.
“We are also critiqued as leaders, but its really getting to evaluate all Marines in our command,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Donaldson, staff noncommissioned officer of 3rd Radio Bn. detachment 31, from Springfield, Ill. “We want to make sure every Marine is meeting the standards, and if they aren’t, we will train more.”
Marines went to Kahuku Training Area’s Military Operations on Urban Terrain Facility to practice insurgency patrols. As the Marines approached the town, a possible insurgent ran out to meet the Marines while waving his hands in the air and speaking in a foreign language, forcing them to decipher the situation.
They set up security and began to question all civilians on the location of a possible insurgent. After clearing the area, they soon figured out it was the man that ran out to them on their arrival. The Marines then followed through with their orders of operation and completed the mission successfully.
Marines with 3rd Intelligence Battalion from Okinawa, Japan, analyzed information during the exercise in cooperation with 3rd Radio Bn.
“We wanted to understand how 3rd Radio and 3rd Intelligence would work together on a larger scale,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Muni, exercise and control lead planner for the mission rehearsal exercise here, and a native of Buffalo, N.Y. “We are perfecting our signals intelligence between the two battalions to improve unit cohesion before we deploy together.”
Third Radio Marines faced a variety of scenarios, covering any threat or situation they may encounter during deployment.
Marines needed to carry a gas mask in case of a chemical attack, which could occur at any time, represented by smoke emanating from a thrown grenade. Marines stopped, deployed their gas mask and continued the mission.
Not every task Marines performed during the exercise was in preparation for war or attack. Humanitarian missions had Marines practice providing for those in need.
“We are training for humanitarian relief assistance and disaster relief in case of tsunamis or natural disasters,” said 1st Lt. Andrew Heck, officer in charge for 3rd Radio Bn.’s mission rehearsal exercise at KTA, and a native of Zionsville, Ind. “All the training during the 10-day training exercise is to prepare Marines for real-life experiences in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines.”