CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines from 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force traveled to Denmark recently to sharpen their linguistics skills alongside America's European and NATO Allies.
Titled "Courageous Bat 03," the multi-lateral, command post exercise involved 11 nations training at Oksboel Barracks, near Billund, Denmark.
The exercise was "good for fostering international relations with our allies," said Staff Sgt. Michael Saulsbury, 37, a Leroy, N.Y., native. Forces from Denmark, Italy, Britain Sweden and others participated in the exercise. Part of the training was "getting to know those whom we serve along side in the same field," he said.
"This event provided an opportunity to develop improved electronic warfare tactics, techniques, and procedures with our European and NATO partners," said Master Gunnery Sgt. David L. Neumann, operations chief, 2nd Radio Battalion.
A major focus of the battalion is providing an added intelligence capability for Marine forces deployed. Its mission is to provide signals intelligence, conduct ground electronic warfare, review and monitor communications, and support "special intelligence communications" for the Marine air-ground combat team.
For II MEF, this unit "provides critical intelligence information," said Saulsbury.
It is through knowledge of foreign language skills from throughout the world, which allows 2nd Radio Battalion to provide the information necessary for mission accomplishment by Marine forces.
"This is an opportunity for the battalion to practice our linguistic skills," said 1st Lt. Russell Harris, future operations officer, 2nd Radio Battalion.
In addition to honing their linguistic skills, Marines immersed themselves in the regional culture and extensively interacted with allied participants during the training.
"Denmark was beautiful," said Sgt. Tiffany N. McLean, 23, of Fellsmere, Fla. The Marines got an opportunity to experience everything from training to European soccer.
"Second Radio Battalion's part in this exercise was to compare our capabilities with those of other U.S. military units who have participated previously with our counterparts in Europe," said Neumann.
"Typically, United States units have been unaware of NATO doctrine and oftentimes fail to share intelligence allowed by agreements between NATO and the U.S.," he said.
"The result of participation in 'Courageous Bat 03' was an increase in II MEF's ability to integrate intelligence information with that of our allied counterparts," said Neumann.