SMART-T Marines keep 2/25 connected

26 Jun 2003 | Sgt. Rob Henderson

Communications play a key role in winning battles, and for active duty Marines supporting the reservists of 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, keeping the battalion connected is a priority.Marines from Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, have been providing secure Internet and phone access since the unit arrived here at the battalion's command operations center in early May."Our mission is to provide secure Internet access and secure phone lines to whatever unit we are attached to," said Sayville, N.Y.-native Cpl. Michael S. Kovacik, secure mobile anti-jamming reliable tactical terminal team chief for Comm. Co.The SMART-T team uses satellite technology to keep Marines connected to higher headquarters and other units operating both in the area and in the rear."Using satellite communications, we are able to provide a bandwidth that allows a split between secured phones and Internet," Kovacik said. "We make sure the link is constantly up while maintaining cryptologic integrity."The communications process is quite easy, according to Kovacik. The TSC-154 satellite, SMART-T's workhorse, beams a coded signal down to their station here where a receiver converts the signal to a code the system can read. Finally, a device takes the signal and splits it so secure emails are routed to the secure computers and secure phone calls are routed to a secure phone."Without the constant secure phone line and internet connection, communication with higher commands would be impossible, causing an operational standstill," Kovacik said. "The SMART-T team ensures 2/25 has the communication capabilities it needs to carry out operations in the Dhiqar Province."The SMART-T team here consists of six Marines who left Camp Lejuene, N.C, for Iraq Jan. 19. The Marines are looking forward to getting home, but they know they have to stay focused on the task at hand."My team has been outstanding," Kovacik said. "They're ready to go home, but there's no complaining. The job gets done with very little problems."The SMART-T Marines dedication has not gone unnoticed by the Marines they are supporting. Marines from the battalion know the valuable service provided by the communications technicians."The SMART-T capabilities are an asset to the Marine Corps by providing long-term communications to Marines in the field," said Staff Sgt. Frank A. Hudson, assistant operations chief for the battalion. "They have done an outstanding job up to this point."