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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared Curtis (left), and Lance Cpl. Dylan Shawver, guard force sentries with 2d Marine Expeditionary Support Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, pose with a portable handset enabled with PacStar Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) during Exercise Cold Response 2022, Bodo, Norway, March 9, 2022. PacStar RoIP is a critical communication capability which enables instantaneous and simultaneous two-way radio communication using local and worldwide internet networks. Exercise Cold Response '22 is a biennial Norwegian national readiness and defense exercise that takes place across Norway, with participation from each of its military services, as well as from 26 additional North Atlantic Treaty Organization allied nations and regional partners. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Megan Roses)

Photo by Sgt. Megan Roses

II MEF presents secure expeditionary communication capability

13 Mar 2022 | 2nd Lt. Emily Stewart II Marine Expeditionary Force

BODØ AIRBASE, Norway – U.S. Marines with 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, which provides assured command and control to II MEF commanders during Exercise Cold Response 2022, introduced PacStar Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP), a critical communication capability which enables instantaneous and simultaneous two-way radio communication using local and worldwide internet networks.

The first transmission between the Marines at Exercise Cold Response ‘22 in Norway and II MEF Headquarters in Camp Lejeune, N.C. was as simple as a keystroke from a laptop, or the press of a button on a secure phone. According to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dustin Schuitt, a space and propagation engineer officer assigned to 8th Communication Battalion based in Camp Lejeune, N.C., this was the first time any unit within II MEF has utilized this capability since the service retired the previous RoIP solutions TRICS and WAVE Client.

Schuitt, a technical expert in the Corps’ communications community, explained PacStar RoIP is a smaller, lighter, portable and highly secure communication system that enables radio transmissions using existing internet networks. Previous systems relied on large amounts of equipment, more manpower and assembly time, while RoIP significantly reduces logistical efforts and costs.

Marines were required to run a system of wires, connectors, and junction boxes to remote radio communications before PacStar RoIP. Now, one Marine can carry a small PacStar kit, compared to several Marines transporting multiple large cases of equipment as before, Schuitt said.

A smaller load-out enables a more agile force, able to deploy these capabilities anywhere in the world faster and easier than ever before.

8th Communication Battalion maintains and defends communication networks in order to facilitate II MEF’s ability to command and control forces. PacStar RoIP paves the way for the future of communication within II MEF Information Group, providing commanders a more secure and efficient means of command and control in the information battlespace. Exercise Cold Response 22, a Norwegian national readiness and defense exercise with participation from NATO allies and partners, provides a unique opportunity to perform this new capability.

II MEF’s implementation of modern, innovative capabilities aligns with the Marine Corps’ shift towards modernization as outlined in Force Design 2030. 8th Communication Battalion answers this call in the face of 21st century security challenges, displaying their agility in a dynamic security environment.


2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade