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Marines train with mobile intelligence centers

CAMP PENDLETON — Marines with 1st Intelligence Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force are getting a change of pace by moving their workspace to tents during an operation check of an Intelligence Operations Center (IOC), which commenced May 16.
An IOC is part of an expeditionary command and control center and provides Marines with up to the minute intelligence information to operate in a deployed environment.
“It is set up to provide real time intelligence to support the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanders’ decision-making,” said 2nd Lt. John Behrmann, all source fusion platoon commander for 1st Intel.
1st Intel is assembling the IOC to remain proficient with computer systems and basic functions as well as complete a gear inventory. Marines are expeditionary; part of the mission is to train and equip as required and when a contingency operation occurs.
Behrmann said what they are doing is making sure the gear works and setting systems up as they would in a non-training situation. He added the IOC would ultimately attach to MEB intelligence and Command Operations Centers. Behrmann said the IOC is designed to be packed and put on an aircraft or ship. It can be set up almost anywhere in the world within a few days.
For the training, it took 20 Marines two days to set up the eight tents, two generators and hundreds of feet of Constantine wire which house, power and protect the intelligence systems and Marines inside the IOC. The tents are double-insulated to help keep personnel and equipment working in the worst environment conditions such as the extreme heat in Afghanistan.
“The double insulation keeps us much cooler,” said Sgt. Kyle Sigler, an imagery analyst for 1st Intel.
Details about what exactly goes on inside the IOC are classified, but Marines generate information to create intelligence products to support a MEB.
With the IOC set up, Marines are now conducting real-world 24-hour operations to create and maintain a current intelligence picture for the commanders as they do when they are in their regular offices.
There are about 100 Marines supporting the training, scheduled to conclude May 19 after the commanding officer performs a walk through to confirm the unit’s readiness.