Marines return to in-person drilling

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua Weaver
  • 434 Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Practice can make perfect, but what happens when practice is no longer an option amid a pandemic that has forced in-person training to be nearly impossible?

You have to start over and re-learn old, and new equipment.

After months of virtual unit training assemblies the Marines from Detachment 1, Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group were finally able to get some much needed ‘hands-on’ time with their gear.

“We just wanted to get our hands back on the gear,” said Sgt. Christopher Whalen, Detachment 1 radio operator. “It’s been quite a while, so we’re just trying to retrain and learn some of the new gear.”

One of the main goals of the exercise was to establish an ultra high frequency network back to a high frequency network, all while using new equipment.

“There was a new modification put on our equipment, and with this exercise we were just trying to get the kinks out of it,” said Whalen.

Equipment wasn’t the only thing that was new however.

“Since we haven’t been drilling in person, we have gained a few new Marines,” said Whalen. “We are just trying to integrate them into our communications company, and teach them about the new gear.”

Even with new gear and all of the new Marines, the exercise was a success and everyone involved was able to take something away from it.

“This is a crucial learning experience,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Walmsley, Detachment 1 Communications Company maintenance chief.  “Each section was able to execute their jobs on their own, identify any shortfalls, and remedy any issues they encountered.”

Possibly the biggest part of the exercise was having the ability to show new and even seasoned members just how important their job is, and how their job fits into the mission.

“By allowing these Marines to establish entire networks, it shows them how much of an integral part their jobs are to the big picture in the Marine Corps,” said Walmsley.