New tent to improve 15th MEU’s command and control
By Cpl. Scott L. Eberle
| | October 13, 2005
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit recently enhanced its warfighting capability with the purchase of a new “high-speed” tent system known as the BASE-X Expedition Shelter.
The BASE-X is a modular dome-shaped tent which offers many new features and is designed to be set up quickly with only a few personnel to create a more efficient field working environment.
More than 40 Marines recently trained with a Base-X Expedition Shelters representative learning more about the shelters use in an operational environment. The new tent system provides a number of advantages over the older traditional tents. The most significant of these is the ease of set up.
“If you break a sweat putting it up you are either doing something wrong or it is really hot outside,” said Ron Vasinda, the Base-X Expedition Shelters representative providing on-site training for 15th MEU Marines.
While Vasinda trained a team of six Marines, the remaining Marines paid close attention waiting for their turn to get some “hands on” experience setting up and taking down the system. According to Vasinda, it takes a team of trained Marines an average of 15 minutes to set up the entire system.
Master Sgt. Patrick T. Tone, the 15th MEU headquarters commandant, said it is important for everyone to know how to set up the shelter, especially in a combat environment.
Another crucial benefit of the Base-X is its climate control features. The option of controlling the environment inside the tent helps eliminate one more possible complication in battlefield environments according to Lt. Col. Jeffrey J. Kenney, the 15th MEU operations officer. This ability is vital under extreme weather conditions like those Marines commonly face in Iraq and Afghanistan as the extreme heat or cold can impair computer and communication capabilities; both of which are essential to mission success.
During its two previous deployments, the 15th MEU routinely operated in a joint military environment and often worked closely with other U.S. and international forces.
“A lot of military units are using the new Base-X system,” said Kenney. “(This) can really help if you ever need to borrow some spare parts.”
The new system is lighter and takes up less space than the old one, making it easier to embark on and off ships, a process the MEU will go through many times before and during deployment. Furthermore, the tent’s dome shape and its ability to be easily connected to additional tents in virtually any direction will enable the MEU to easily expand its working or sleeping quarters.