Face of Defense: Marine Leads Surveillance Sensor Operations

By Marine Corps Sgt. Sean J. Berry, Resolute Support Headquarters

“I’d rather take lessons from the past than learn lessons the hard way,” said Marine Corps Sgt. John Verhage III, who hails from South Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a surveillance sensor operator with Task Force Southwest here.

“It’s better to use something like ground sensors now, rather than something happening and wishing we would have employed measures like this beforehand,” Verhage said.

Verhage leads the ground sensor operations in Helmand province, which helps employ remote sensors as general surveillance and early warning systems to aid the Afghan National Defense and security forces.

Supporting Afghan Forces

The constant management of the remote sensors systems helps Afghan forces maintain a high level of awareness during combat operations.

“We’re all working together here; we’re protecting ourselves and the [Afghan National Police] at the same time with these sensors,” said Verhage, who has logged numerous security patrols — both mounted and dismounted — to help boost the Afghan’s defense capabilities through sensor emplacement.

“If I do my job, the police feel safer, which in turn makes us all feel safer,” he said. “Every life matters out here, and I’m just doing my part.”

Providing Warning of Enemy Activity

The ability to detect enemy activity…

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