Monday, August 13, 2007

Long Knife Brigade Enjoys Award Winning Communications

31 Jul 07
By Pfc. Bradley J. Clark
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq - It’s not everyday that Soldiers get recognized for the outstanding work that they do and, even less often, do they get acknowledgment from the head of their branch.

That was just the case when Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division’s communications and automation section, or S6 shop, were awarded the Signal Regiment Certificate of Achievement and the Chief of Signal Plaque.

The Signal Regiment CoA is used to recognize outstanding achievements relative to the Signal Regiment’s mission. The plaque is for those Soldiers whose performance and contributions set them apart from their peers.

“Both awards are designed to foster ‘esprit de corps’ and to contribute to the Signal Regiment’s cohesiveness,” said Sgt. Maj. Beverly Lewis, senior enlisted member of the 4th BCT S6 shop. “The Soldiers won these because of what they have done since we have deployed.”

Since their deployment, the signal Soldiers have been responsible for managing hundreds of networks, radio systems and communications systems, from Baghdad to the Syrian border. These systems provide communications to over 5,000 Soldiers, stationed across 58,000 square kilometers.

“When we got here, we hit the ground running,” said Spc. Elvis Cabrera, information systems operator. “We were able to setup all of the systems in a real short time. Now we are constantly adapting to new standards, while preparing for new units, so they can be as successful as us.”

The S6 Soldiers are responsible for planning and managing critical communication systems to ensure mission success without communication interference. They provide this support to many units consisting of four combat battalions; two support battalions; an aviation battalion; two Iraqi army divisions; U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy elements; along with Department of Defense contractors and civilian agencies within Multi-National Division-North.

One troop believes the mission success is due to the team effort and constant training.“We are all a piece to the puzzle,” said Pvt. Sandy Ackerman, signal systems support specialist. “When we’re all doing our part and you put us together, that’s how we’re successful. On top of that, we train weekly to keep up-to-date on Army standards.”

Lewis can see the results of the training and cohesiveness of the team play out during the deployment.“These Soldiers demonstrate outstanding professional skill, knowledge, and leadership in developing, planning and executing all aspects of information security and tactical communications in support of combat operations in Ninevah province and Multi-National Division-North,” said Lewis.

The Soldiers worked with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division; the 1st Cavalry Division; the 25th Infantry Division; and several attached border and military transition teams to ensure mission success.

“My Soldiers always go the extra mile to ensure the communications network is maintained at a high standard, and the commander is poised to command and control the battlefield at all times, utilizing numerous communications assets,” said Lewis. Lewis explained that his Soldiers contributions to the warfighter, combined with tactical and technical expertise, directly lead to the efficient and successful execution of combat operations.

Lewis went on to say that she has never worked with more dedicated and technically proficient Soldiers in her career. “The Signal Corps should be very proud of the tremendous talents of its Soldiers engaging in combat operations,” said Lewis. “My Soldiers work very hard, around the clock. I know their families miss them, but their families can be proud of how dedicated they are to mission accomplishment and sustained readiness.”

PHOTO: Telecommunications operator and maintainer Pfc. Ashley Bumpas (left) and signal systems support specialist, Pvt. Sandy Ackerman, both in the communications and automation section, or S6 shop, of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, check the fiber optic cables that connect all of the signal tactical vehicles together, July 30, at Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq. Ackerman and Bumpas are just two of the members of the S6 shop to receive awards from the chief of the signal regiment for their work in Iraq. Photo by Pfc. Bradley Clark.

Source: DVIDSHub.

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