Photo Information

Sergeant Casey J. Fransisco, 26th MEU intelligence system administrator, lays a coil of concertina wire up around the perimeter of the MEU's command post compound during an exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, NC, April 9, 2006.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jeremy T. Ross

26th MEU incorporates OPSEC into field exercise

14 Apr 2006 | Lance Cpl. Jeremy T. Ross 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and Sailors from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit took to the field here April 9-13 for a command post exercise, bringing their security measures with them.

The unit maintained operational security, the protection of unit intelligence and apabilities, at all times during the exercise marking the first time this year that the entire MEU has functioned outside the security of its permanent headquarters building.

During the exercise, Marines established physical security by stringing layers of concertina wire around the command post perimeter, maintaining an entry control point with a one-hundred percent ID card check and providing escorts to all civilians and Marines not from the MEU who entered the compound.

The security practiced by the MEU included these physical measures and other less visible measures, said Sgt. Casey J. Fransisco, 26th MEU Intelligence System Administrator. 

"It's not always an in your face kind of thing, but OPSEC is always there," said Fransisco.

In addition to using secure computer and telephone networks, all classified and important information is secured at all times, he said. 

Before moving on from a location, MEU intelligence personnel also conduct a thorough sweep of the area, making certain that no sensitive material is left behind, a procedure known as a vacate command post inspection. If the unit doesn't need to bring a piece of information with them when they move, they destroy it, he said.

Fransisco added that the purpose of these and other non-physical security measures is to make sure that the knowledge of unit activities and capabilities stay with those who have a need to know.

Practicing physical and non-physical security in a field exercise is important because it gets troops in the mindset of protecting information and MEU capabilities, said the 26th MEU Intelligence officer.

"OPSEC is every Marine's responsibility," he said.  "It protects our forces and our mission and helps get us home safely."

The 26th MEU continues to prepare for a scheduled 2007 deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.