Training center provides mission-essential courses

7 Mar 2007 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Lyttle

When Marines complete recruit and combat training, they venture off to begin specific training in their military occupational specialty, or MOS.

MOS training provides Marines with the tools they need to perform essential duties and become an important asset to their assigned unit, which is invaluable to their mission.

The II Marine Expeditionary Force Communications Training Center recently became a fully operational facility, which retrains service members and civilians in mission-orientated courses. It also introduces them to communication equipment and networking programs used within deployed units.

“The CTC has been in development for more than two years and has recently been staffed with qualified Marine instructors,” said Maj. Jeffrey L. Hammond, the officer-in-charge of CTC. “Instructors provide an array of communications, from formal MOS training to job and equipment-specific training, designed to support Marines during pre-deployment preparation and sustainment.”

Several courses are aimed at training primarily noncommissioned officers, civilians and other service members supporting the Marine Corps mission, Hammond added.

Marines and personnel who go to CTC training receive intermediate and advanced skill level training that will help them bring more to the fight, as well as make them more valuable in the civilian job market, said Patrick S. McLaughlin, CTC training officer.

McLaughlin, one of the originators of the CTC, said another benefit is the location here, drawing students from all over the eastern region.

Before the CTC’s establishment, Marines would have to return to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., which required more time, money and planning.

Hammond explained how the CTC utilizes internal and external sources to make course studies available to students.

“By leveraging existing instructors and contracted vendors, the CTC is able to offer cutting-edge training that merges existing tactics, techniques and procedures with current technology,” Hammond said.

Hammond described the CTC’s intent to strengthen the role of NCOs by merging their responsibilities from the technical to leadership side.

“The CTC's main focus is the communication NCO,” Hammond said. “We are working very hard to bridge the gap between entry level training, which is primarily focused on button pushing, and (staff) NCO training, which leans heavily on the planning aspect. NCOs are required to not only know the equipment and their Marines, but to be able to employ them in accordance with the most current technology and techniques available.”

Marines like Sgt. Daniel Kulowiec, a field wireman with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28, Marine Air Control Group 28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., are taking part in the wire supervisor course. He said the knowledge he has obtained will help him excel and give him the ability to pass skills down to his junior Marines.

“The course I’m taking helps me revamp my skills as a field wireman, and it gives me a better understanding of the entire spectrum of my field,” Kuloweic said.

Personnel inquiring about available classes can contact their command, or call the CTC at 910-451-2942.