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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit
I Marine Expeditionary Force

Aug 16, 2011

Lance Cpl. Cody Hudzik, 21, left, and Sgt. Robert Brown, 27, work to fill helium into a communications balloon aboard the amphibious assault ship Makin Island off Southern California’s coast Aug. 16. The balloon is designed to carry a radio-relay system up to 80,000 feet above Earth, extending communications to an area 600 miles in diameter, regardless of terrain. The Marines are Illinois natives. Hudzik is from Clifton and Brown is from Joliet. Hudzik is a radio operator and Brown serves as assistant radio chief for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s command element. A balloon launch from sea Aug. 16 signaled the unit’s and the ship’s first of a device of its kind.

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