U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATONS (March 1, 2018) – Timely and accurate information are two crucial factors in winning the information war both on and off the battlespace, which makes communications specialists, such as U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremy Kinkead, an integral component to every mission.
Kinkead, a systems administrator attached to Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5), was selected for a three-month deployment aboard French Navy Mistral-class amphibious assault ship LHD Tonnerre (L9014) where he says he witnessed the “truest application” of his job.
“I like my job because I get to learn how an entire mission works and see the larger aspects of the Marine Corps unfold,” Kinkead said. “The Tonnerre had all aspects of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, from planning through execution, with ground forces, aircraft and amphibious elements.”
TF 51/5 embarked approximately 150 U.S. Sailors and Marines aboard Tonnerre in November 2017 to join a multinational landing force consisting of French infantry, French Armored Cavalry and commandos from the United Arab Emirates’ Presidential Guard. Throughout the deployment, TF 51/5 subordinate units with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command and a U.S. Navy Role 2 Light Maneuver medical team with surgical capability conducted amphibious and maritime security operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
While assigned to the Tonnerre, Kinkead was tasked with ensuring the command element had access to multiple communication platforms including satellite, radio, email and/or cell phone in order to maintain mission capability. According to Kinkead, the multilateral operation provided an invaluable opportunity for these countries to enhance capabilities in critical mission sets inherent to the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team operating in the region.
“Working on communications equipment ensures Marines can communicate, but developing sufficient communication with multiple commands aboard a French ship in order for troops to respond to potential threats expanded my knowledge base and provided me with a fresh perspective on my job,” Kinkead said.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, he enjoys the outdoors, traveling and learning about other cultures. Kinkead joins his brother and father in his service to the U.S. Marine Corps.
For more information about TF 51/5 visit our website www.TF515.marines.mil or subscribe to our DVIDS page https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/Tonnerre, contact TF 51/5 Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Arnold at Sandra.email@example.com, 973-1785-6965 or Marine Capt. Monica Witt at Monica.firstname.lastname@example.org.