Tag Archives: marine corps air ground combat center

WE TALK TO A MARINE DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN

One of the benefits of being in the Marine Corps is that the Marines get to see and do different things, including travel to different parts of the world. Granted, one of those areas is Afghanistan, not exactly a vacation destination. But Corporal Scott Johnson, like most Marines was excited to learn he was going to Afghanistan with Regimental Combat Team-7 as a special intelligence system administrator. Managing editor Tami Roleff says Johnson feels the Marines are making a positive difference…
As an administrator of his unit’s secret and classified information system, Corporal Scott Johnson is privy to all the operations of his unit. “It’s interesting; I get to see what goes on, and because I work in the intelligence section, I’m privy to all we do, and try to prevent the information getting into the wrong hands and leading to really, really bad consequences. It’s good to know I help out in some way.” Another way Corporal Johnson helped out was to transfer detainees around Afghanistan. “I got to travel around and see different areas of Afghanistan.” He enjoyed the experience, and said he got to learn a little bit about the culture and the Pashtu language. “A Salaam Alaikom. Peace be with you.” As part of his job, he is able to see how the American presence in Afghanistan is making a difference. “Seems like it’s getting better, a lot the time, especially with our relations with the people over here. Definitely see the positive side of things. There’s more stability in the area. Education and living conditions is a big one. Because it’s a poorer country, just improving the living conditions and the roads and the schools, and helping the people out in general will be really good. There are a lot of good people, they’re just in poor circumstances.”

JEWISH SERVICES TO RESUME ABOARD TWENTYNINE PALMS MARINE BASE

The Twentynine Palms Marine Base will soon be offering Jewish services after a hiatus of a few years. Reporter Dan Stork has details…
Following a lapse of some years, there are plans to resume Jewish religious services aboard the Marine Base. The first service is scheduled for Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m., in MCAGCC Building 1551. Services are open to all Jewish personnel, both active duty and retirees, and their families. Civilians are also invited. If you don’t have base access, it is necessary to contact Lolly Crummett, either by email at lollyin29@verizon.net or by leaving a message at 760-217-4436 before the end of the day on Thursday, April 11.

JEWISH SERVICES AT MARINE BASE

Following a lapse of some years, there are plans to resume Jewish religious services aboard the Marine Base. The first service is scheduled for Friday, April 12, at 7 pm, in MCAGCC Building 1551. Services are open to all Jewish personnel, both active duty and retirees, and their families. Civilians are also invited. If you don’t have base access, it is necessary to contact Lolly Crummett, either by email at lollyin29@verizon.net or by leaving a message at 760-217-4436 before the end of the day on Thursday April 11.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO LOWER NUMBER OF FURLOUGH DAYS

Some good new for local federal workers. The Defense Department announced it will reduce the number of unpaid furlough days civilian defense workers have to take over the next several months. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided Wednesday to reduce the unpaid furlough days to 14, down from 22, a decision that will affect as many as 700,000 civilian employees. The military had been faced with some $43 billion in automatic, across-the-board cuts that kicked in March 1, but lawmakers passed a massive spending bill last week that shifted money around in order to give the Defense Department more flexibility in how it found the savings. While some of the military services initially considered eliminating the furloughs altogether, senior leaders argued that since not all the services could do that, it would be better to treat all civilians across the defense department equally. Initially, civilians would have been required to take one day a week off without pay for 22 weeks, through the end of the fiscal year on September 30 — a 20 percent pay cut for more than five months. The congressional action has given officials the leeway to lessen the salary cuts and also spread money around to other key priorities, including training, maintenance and possible ship deployments. Under the new plan, the 14 unpaid furloughs would not begin until mid-June, with notices going out before that.

WE TALK TO A MARINE WHO LITERALLY WORKS UNDER FIRE

Lots of people say they work under fire, or are under the gun, but Lance Corporal Nickolas Franklin—soon to be Corporal Franklin—means it literally. Franklin is a data networking specialist with Regimental Combat Team-7, currently in Afghanistan. Managing editor Tami Roleff spoke with Franklin last week about the challenges of working in a war zone…
Lance Corporal Nickolas Franklin, puts up communication systems—radio, telephone, computer, and satellite—at the Forward Operating Bases, or FOBs, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, so that Marines can talk to each other. “There are people relying on the job I do to get done, or else there’s going to be a lot of problems. If something happens to them, we won’t be able to find out.” His most memorable moment so far of his year-long deployment was at a FOB which came under attack. “A piece of satellite equipment went down and I had to put it back up, while we were all being shot at.” While the Marine Corps is known for the fact that every Marine is a rifleman, Franklin said his job is to repair communications gear. “Other Marines were engaging the targets while I was doing my job. My mission doesn’t stop just because we get shot at; my mission is not to combat the enemy; my mission is to get communications up.” He can laugh about the experience now. “I have to say it’s the fastest I’ve ever put up a piece of communications gear up in my life.” He loves the adrenaline rush, though. “It’s no longer training, it’s the real thing. While he doesn’t want to worry his family, Franklin said he doesn’t keep secrets from his girlfriend, Mariela. “I tell her everything. She’s my guardian angel out here.”