FORT A.P. HILL, Va. -- Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 24’s communications detachment wasted no time unloading their vehicles and setting up shop yesterday at Ft. A.P. Hill to kick-off a months’ worth of pre-deployment training. Their main objective at A.P. Hill is to maintain communications between the battalion landing team and MEU command element, and ensuring that all of the Marines’ logistical needs are met while they are training. “Our mission out here is to support our unit,” said 1st Lt. Kurt Meves, communications officer for MSSG-24. “But ultimately we are here to support the BLT.” MSSG-24 has many tools at its disposal to monitor their gear and to ensure that their Marines have the means to complete the mission. One of the tools being put through its paces here at A.P. Hill is the Battle Command Sustainment System or BCS3. The BCS3 is a web-based, secure-network program, giving the Marines operating forward a quick way to acquire gear while allowing commanders an overall view of how much gear they have and how much their Marines are requesting. This program cuts out virtually all the steps of requesting gear and establishes two steps, the request from the field and the answer from the top. MSSG-24 is bringing new technology to the battlefield in the form of the Logistics Support Wide Area Network. The LSWAN is a satellite-based network that the Army has already field tested in Iraq and the Marine Corps is now testing for service. It allows Marines to establish a network where there isn’t already one in place and uses satellites to dramatically reduce the time it takes for Marines to start receiving supplies and support. The LSWAN also gives Marines the capability to establish a wireless network in theater and set up Non-secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR), Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR), and it works in conjunction with the BCS3 system. Here, MSSG-24’s biggest responsibility is keeping the basic Marine connected to everyone else. “We support radio operations on convoys,” said SSgt. Josef Dukes, MSSG-24 Radio Chief. “We’ll provide communication for all of the tactical convoys and all the training during the time that we’re here.” Without the Marines from MSSG-24 and their knowledge of the communication equipment they use to keep everyone supplied and connected the 24 MEU would have a hard time completing its mission, during training or the real thing. The 24 MEU is conducting training at Ft. A.P. Hill until the 26th of January in preparation for its upcoming deployment.