Camp Pendleton, Calif. --
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton—A radio operator with 1st Marine Logistics Group recently designed and fabricated a vehicle-mounted, on-the-move, field-expedient antenna, which will help Marines communicate over long distances while minimizing their footprint in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Cpl. Cameron Rider, with Communications Platoon, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, used $200 worth of PVC pipe and category 5 cable, along with his previous experience and knowledge of constructing field expedient antennas in his innovation of a low-cost antenna.
Rider received a $2000 1st MLG Innovation Challenge award for his ingenuity on Camp Pendleton, California, July 16, 2020.
“We utilize the Mark-148 HF platform, which can hook to the antenna as a power amplifier” Rider said. “If you have a basic understanding of radio knowledge there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding on how to operate and establish communication using the antenna.”
The antenna allows users to transmit on multiple frequencies across the high frequency band for both voice and data capabilities with room for expansion. It provides constant on-the-move communication for long range convoys, over-the-horizon ship to shore communication, as well as mitigating enemy electromagnetic warfare actions when used as a directional antenna.
“You can solve challenges like this through expensive programmatics in Quantico, Virginia, but give it to a great NCO and he comes up with a $200 solution that is durable, repeatable, and ingenious,” said Brig. Gen. Bobbi Shea, commanding general of 1st MLG, during the award ceremony. “This type of leadership and this type of innovation deserves recognition.”
As a former communications officer, Shea recognizes the knowledge and experience required to design and fabricate an expedient antenna capable of constant on the move communication.
“The antenna was tested in a variety of configurations and performed more than satisfactorily throughout,” said Col. M. W. Stehle, commanding officer of CLR-1. “It is already a promising project to enhance Combat Logistics Regiment 1’s command and control capabilities”
In February, Shea began 1st MLG’s Innovation Challenge to recognize Marines and Sailors in her command who streamline, economize and simplify everyday tasks within 1st MLG. To submit an idea, service members should talk with their Innovation Challenge representative within their unit.