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24th MEU enhances communication capabilities

12 Feb 2019 | Lance Cpl. Camila Melendez 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, North Carolina - Marines conducted Hatch Mounted Satellite Communication Antenna System with an MV-22B on Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, Feb. 12. HMSAS enhances communication abilities on aircraft while on the go and is essential for deployment readiness.
Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit rehearsed installing the kits on the aircraft and refined their troubleshooting techniques while mid-flight.
“This training is very important because it can be implemented in various ways during a real life situation,” said Cpl. Vitus Agbenoo, a data systems administrator with the 24th MEU. “For instance, should we be traveling over a long distance of land, people still need to be able to communicate with the ground and this kit allows that to happen.”
With the system, personnel can access the Non-classified Protocol Router Network and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network while in the air. The efficiency of these services is vital for the crisis response teams and mission success.
During real world operations, situations on the ground can change rapidly. HMSAS provides the ability for fast communication and increased situational awareness by keeping Marines in the air connected to ground personnel.
“The system was made so that commanders can stay informed while on the go.” said Lance Cpl. Spencer Northcutt, a KMI custodian with the 24th MEU. “You used to have to wait until you hit the ground, but now during a crisis we can keep the chain of command informed of everything.”
The Marines went to a HMSAS networking on the move air course in San Diego prior to executing on an MV-22 where they learned the system on the ground. The MV-22 launch allowed the Marines to refine their skills while in flight.
“We’ve learned a lot” said Agbenoo. “This was a very good learning experience but the main thing is improving common problems, troubleshooting steps and learning how to use the HMSAS.”
The continuous practice of this system increases unit readiness, confidence on flights throughout deployment, and prepares Marines for real-life scenarios.