C4 deputy tours comm facilities

15 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Stephen M. DeBoard

The deputy director, Command Control, Communications and Computers (C4)  visited II Marine Expeditionary Force communications units here to talk with Marines and  become familiarized with tactical communications equipment used by the Marine Corps June 15.

Sharie J. Bourbeau, who assumed the deputy director C4 and deputy chief information officer for Headquarters, Marine Corps post February 7, said the visit was designed to give her a ground-level perspective on the communications equipment being used by Fleet Marine Forces around the world.

Bourbeau said the visit helped her “to get a sense from the people actually using the gear if we’re headed in the right direction for the future. Are we fielding for today and tomorrow’s Marine Corps what we really need?”

Bourbeau’s visits to communications units began with 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, where she was met with static displays and technical briefs on several pieces of ground transmission equipment..

She added she was very impressed with the Marines’ presentations.

“The one thing that jumped out was every Marine … the gear that they showed was by far the best piece of gear they had and it was obvious, the enthusiasm and the pride,” Bourbeau said. “The knowledge these Marines had of their equipment really jumped out at me.”

Seeing the gear on display and meeting the Marines who work with it every day brought a more personal understanding of its capabilities and limitations, said Bourbeau.

“I wish I had done this earlier,” she said. “There is a lot to be said for going out and seeing what you see on paper all the time, just to understand the gear.  Because let’s face it, you can get an acronym soup when you’re talking gear.”

Marines from the battalion echoed this sentiment and expressed enthusiasm about their visitor

“It was nice for her to come down to see what the gear is like. We don’t get visits like that much,” said Henderson, Ky., native Lance Cpl. James B. Bagwell, satellite communications operator, 8th Comm. Bn., II MEF. “She can see how the equipment really works from our perspective.”

After leaving the battalion, Bourbeau visited communications units around II MEF, including those from 2nd Force Service Support Group and 2nd Marine Division. Her visit to II MEF units culminated by observing a Maritime Special Purpose Force exercise conducted by the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“When we headed out to see all the equipment integrated, it’s a pretty impressive capability that can be set up in one day’s time,” Bourbeau said.

Bourbeau said there is “a certain comfort” when witnessing the job Marines do and  how they employ their equipment.

“I wish more of the American people would come down and just talk to Marines,” said Bourbeau. “Marines are doing an incredible job, they’re enthusiastic about it and the pride they have is phenomenal.”