MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Winning the hearts and minds of the local populace has led to mission accomplishment in operations Marines encountered across the globe. Operations overseas have proven that through gaining the support of the locals, Marines found a way to indirectly combat terrorism.
Combat camera Marines have a mission to help educate and inform locals by creating products that range from books to posters. To accomplish that objective, they count on a Tactical Imagery Production System.
The TIPS is an expandable shelter capable of supporting production requirements in a deployed environment. It enables combat camera Marines to place an organic asset in different countries and also update service members and their families with information as far as video, photo and reproduction within 24-48 hours.
Due to the success of past operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, combat camera units still use the TIPS today.
Marines with combat camera, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, trained with a TIPS to convey messages and practice reproduction during Large Scale Exercise 2014 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
LSE-14 is a bilateral training exercise being conducted by 1st MEB to build U.S. and Canadian forces’ joint capabilities through live, simulated, and constructive military training activities from Aug. 8-14.
1st MEB adopted the TIPS to help pass on messages and document events for LSE-14.
“If the MEB needs us to be able to support or document any of their subordinate units by taking photos, making videos or even printing maps, we have that capability,” said Cpl. Robert Reeves, combat camera reproduction chief with 1st MEB.
Marines with combat camera support the joint force exercise by operating the TIPS and aiding with product development at multiple levels.
“Some products can be for military information support operations, public affairs informational products for the Marines or anything that needs to be printed in a tactical setting to aid with the mission,” said Capt. Anthony Lopez, combat camera officer and information operations planner with 1st MEB.
The TIPS has become an essential part of the MEB for its ability to reach out and communicate with adversaries while overseas. Influencing host nations is already a challenging task as it is, but the TIPS makes communication in multiple operations possible, Lopez said.
“The TIPS brings value to the MEB in cases of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and trying to communicate with host nations,” said Lopez. “We need to be able to communicate in their language in order to share what the MEB’s themes, messages and objectives are.”
While in a forward environment, combat camera Marines think the TIPS is a useful tool when doing their job.
“The TIPS is an incredible system,” said Reeves. “It is an invaluable tool for the Marine Corps, combat camera and for individual Marines alone. This [military occupation] needs to focus as much energy as it can in the training of its Marines in the TIPS.”
Through training with the TIPS, combat camera Marines continue to develop their ability to contribute to the MEB’s mission of helping promote peace, stability and functionality in whatever part of the globe they might find themselves.