Circuit check


Signal Center accepting distinguished member nominations

FORT GORDON, Ga. – The Signal Center is accepting nominations for Regimental distinguished members. Since plans are to induct the newly selected DMs during the 2000 Signal Symposium Nov. 27-Dec. 1 at Fort Gordon, Ga., nominations must be in by Oct. 30.

The distinguished member of the Regiment is the most prestigious of the Chief of Signal awards program. The award, offered since Regimental activation, recognizes people who stand above their peers in their career-long contributions or exceptional service to the Regiment.

The designation as a distinguished member of the Regiment is largely ceremonial and serves to perpetuate the history and traditions of the Regiment, enhancing unit morale and esprit.

Nominees must be current or former members of the Regiment: active, Army Reserve, Army National Guard or Department of the Army civilians (active or retired). Any member of the Signal Regiment may nominate a DM, but the nomination must be endorsed by a Signal Corps colonel or higher. Final determination on whether the nominee is selected or not rests with the Chief of Signal.

The nomination consists of the O-6 endorsement, a justification and any supporting documentation for the justification. The justification is as a word-processing document (Word or ASCII text) that details the nominee’s outstanding contributions to the Signal Regiment and why he or she stands above his/her peers: legacy, exceptional leadership, support to programs and/or Regimental members. Supporting documents may include material such as letters, newspaper or journal articles.

Submit nominations to Susan Wood, email, or mail to: Commander, U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, ATTN: ATZH-POM, Bldg 29808A (Signal Towers) Room 713, Fort Gordon, GA 30905.

story divider

Annual Signal symposium scheduled Nov. 27-Dec. 1

FORT GORDON, Ga. – Registrations are now being accepted for the 28th Signal 2000 Signal Symposium logo symposium. The 2000 event is slated at the Signal Center is slated Nov. 27-Dec. 1. This year’s theme is Army transformation and joint warfighting.

The week kicks off Nov. 27 with the council of command sergeants major scheduled in Classroom XXI of Greely Hall, plus the senior noncommissioned officers’ icebreaker at the Radisson Hotel on Washington Road in Augusta, Ga. A senior NCO seminar is scheduled Nov. 28 in the Gordon Club.

The Reserve and National Guard forces are invited to a two-day seminar Nov. 27-28 at the Reserve Center, Bldg. 14401. A barbecue for attendees is slated Nov. 27 at the Reserve Center.

The agenda for Nov. 28 also includes Personnel Command interviews; combat-developments directorate/ Training and Doctrine Command systems managers workshops; warrant-officer workshop; council of colonels; and grand opening of the exhibit area.

Opening ceremony is Nov. 29. Slated for the day are the "State of the Signal Regiment" plus keynote and other speeches. The day’s agenda also includes workshops, distinguished members of the Regiment induction ceremony and PERSCOM interviews.

Nov. 30 continues the addresses from guest speakers; a general-officer session; PERSCOM interviews; workshops; the Regimental Noncommissioned Officers Academy reception; and unit reunions.

For the symposium’s final day Dec. 1, the commanders’ breakfast with the Chief of Signal is followed by Signal branch briefings; Office Chief of Signal briefing; closing remarks; and Regimental golf tournament.

Registration for the symposium is $50 until Nov. 10, $60 afterwards. Cost includes all sessions and displays. Attendees may register on-line at

Not included in the registration cost are the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s president’s dinner Nov. 29, which costs $25, and the golf tournament, which is $40.

Soldiers wishing PERSCOM career-counseling interviews may call CPT Jay Chapman at DSN 221-7678 before Nov. 20.

story divider

334th Signal Company activates, becomes part of initial brigade combat team

by PFC Frank Magni

FORT GORDON, Ga. – The Signal Regiment activated its contribution to the initial brigade combat team Aug. 11 in a ceremony at the Signal Center.

A total of 73 officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers were hand-picked in May to make up 334th Signal Company. After activation, the unit departed Fort Gordon to join the IBCT at Fort Lewis, Wash.

"This unit fights Signal a lot differently," said SFC Phillip Arnold, project NCO in charge, Team Signal. "This is not a standard Signal unit, this is full technology on the battlefield."

The 334th first breaks the Signal mold with its size. With only 73 soldiers to support a brigade, 334th Signal Company has twice the capability of a traditional Signal company with half the people.

The increased capability comes from 334th’s use of new technologies. The 334th will be the first Signal company to be fully digital.

The 334th’s fully digital capabilities come from a variety of different technologies aimed at improving existing problems in Signal.

Currently, 70 percent of all radio traffic on the battlefield revolves around location. The 334th’s answer to eliminate all this radio traffic is a command-and-control computer network that has the capability to track and show the grid coordinate of everybody within the IBCT.

This computer network will use a series of battlefield computers within the IBCT’s armored vehicles. With these computers, soldiers with the IBCT will be able to request medical evacuation, submit intelligence reports, or call for fire all with typed messages on the computer network, instead of traditional radio means.

The 334th’s goal is to eliminate all phones from the battlefield. The 334th will not only eliminate radio traffic within IBCT, but the 334th computer network can transmit data at speeds previously unheard of. A conventional Signal company can send traffic at 16 kilobits per second; the 334th’s network has the capability to send traffic at speeds near eight megabits per second.

"We’re going from a data pipe the size of a dime to a data pipe the size of a basketball," Arnold said.

The 334th Signal Company will be followed next year by another company to supplement the IBCT.

PFC Magni is a staff writer with The Signal, Fort Gordon’s post newspaper.

story divider

507th Signal Company personnel with part of Alaska pipeline 507th SIGNAL COMPANY DEACTIVATES – Members of 507th Signal Company, Fort Greely, Alaska, pose for a souvenir shot in front of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline that runs through Fort Greely. The company deactivated Aug. 14 in a ceremony at Fort Greely, which is realigning due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1996. After realignment is complete, communications services will be provided on Fort Greely by technicians assigned to Fort Wainwright with duty at Fort Greely. Shown with the group are 507th’s company commander, CPT Krystal Gates, and the first sergeant, 1SG Robert Vereen. (Photo by Shirley Magwood)

story divider

Regiment receives new top enlisted leader

FORT GORDON, Ga. – The Signal Regiment received a new command sergeant major as CSM John Holden Jr. retired after 30 years’ service and CSM Stanley Davis replaced him in a change-of-responsibility ceremony here Sept. 8.

Holden, the fourth Regimental command sergeant major, had been the Regimental command sergeant major since assuming the position in May 1996.

Davis rejoins his old boss, BG John Cavanaugh, former commander of 5th Signal Command, as Cavanaugh has taken command of the Signal Center (see related story). Davis has spent the past 10 years in high-level leadership positions: 1991-1995, he served as command sergeant major of 1116th Signal Battalion, 516th Signal Brigade, Fort Shafter, Hawaii; from 1995-1997, he was group command sergeant major for Regional Signal Group SHAPE, Belgium; 1997-August 1998, command sergeant major, 2d Signal Brigade, Mannheim, Germany; August 1998-September 2000, command sergeant major, 5th Signal Command, Mannheim, Germany.

Retiring CSM John Holden Jr.
Retiring Regimental CSM John Holden Jr., right, is greeted by LTC Jean-Marc Wasielewski, the French army's Signal liaison to the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon.
(Photo by SGT Mark Swart)

story divider

Alaska and Okinawa companies join forces for Exercise Northern Edge 2000

by CPT Dan Burnett

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – One of the largest military exercises to be conducted in U.S. Army Pacific during the winter months is Northern Edge, held in Alaska. Military units from the Army, Navy and Air Force participated in this year’s exercise March 1-31.

Northern Edge 2000 brought new challenges to 408th Signal Company, 59th Signal Battalion. Two of the units deploying to Fort Wainwright requested telephone service as well as non-secure and secure Internet protocol router network support into buildings with no existing connectivity to the post infrastructure.

Members of 408th Signal Company accepted the task of engineering the circuits, which would support the 1/1 Special Forces Battalion out of Okinawa and 1st Special Forces Group command out of Fort Lewis, Wash.

The 408th’s Celine Johnson and her staff in the network-operations center coordinated with the planners in Okinawa and at Fort Lewis to develop a list of requirements and materials. Once the advanced parties arrived on-site, 408th’s Dave Henry and his staff in the telephone-operations section worked to set up the circuits that would support the Special Forces’ operations during the exercise.

Phone service was activated. Three new NIPRNET circuits and a SIPRNET circuit were brought on-line quickly. The SIPRNET circuit supporting the 1/1 Battalion’s base of operations seemed to be the only snag.

"We were happy to find that several soldiers from 333d Signal Company (58th Signal Battalion, Okinawa) had volunteered to deploy to Alaska ‘for the experience,’" said Johnson.

"Thanks to the circuit troubleshooting and can-do attitudes of SSG Robert Byrd and SGT Paul Tavella of 333d and SGT Phillip Maestas of 408th, SIPRNET connectivity was established for 1/1 Battalion in time for the start of the exercise," Johnson added.

"The 408th was recognized by the 1/1 Battalion commander at the conclusion of Northern Edge, but we couldn’t have completed our mission without the support of our fellow Signal soldiers from 333d," Johnson said.

CPT Burnett, former commander of 408th Signal Company in Alaska, is in a Training with Industry position with the Army Spectrum Management Office, Alexandria, Va.

story divider

Signal Center reorganizes, renames schools

The Signal Center realigned its schools earlier this year and restructured some of its organization.

Regimental Directorate of Training, which was slightly renamed Directorate of Training, saw the most changes in its responsibilities. Area Communications Department and Transmission Systems Department, which were both once part of 15th Signal Brigade, merged as part of the School of Telecommunications Technology and realigned to DOT.

In fact, all schools realigned to DOT: not only STT, but the School of Leadership and Professional Development, the School of Information Technology and the Ordnance Electronic Maintenance Training Department.

The Signal Center Computer Science School became the School of Information Technology. The Regimental Leadership Department, which encompasses the Regimental Officers Academy and Regimental Noncommissioned Officers Academy, was renamed School of Leadership and Professional Development.

In another realignment, the Signal Center’s deputy-commandant position was deleted. BG Velma "Von" Richardson, the deputy commandant, was reassigned as deputy commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas, Texas.

"As part of the Army’s transformation efforts, Army force-structure requirements are continually evaluated," said COL Craig Zimmerman, the Signal Center’s chief of staff. "Unfortunately we lost our ‘one-star’ position to a requirement deemed at this time to have more priority."


Brigade moves forward on Defense Message System fielding in Pacific

by Bill McPherson

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- 516th Signal Brigade continues to move out front on implementing the new Defense Message System throughout the U.S. Army Pacific theater, according to Jerry Tanabe, the brigade’s DMS project officer.

"Implementing DMS by the Defense Department’s fall deadline was the brigade commander’s top priority this summer," Tanabe observed.

"DMS is designed to be the single, seamless end-to-end, global electronic-messaging system within DoD," Tanabe explained. "When fully implemented, it will provide integrated, fast, secure and accountable electronic-messaging service from the Pentagon to the foxhole."

By design, DMS will either replace or be fully integrated with all existing electronic-mail systems. DMS will overcome a need for separate telecommunications centers and the Automatic Digital Network.

"In essence, DMS will present the user with a ‘point and click’ capability using a wide variety of options from his/her desktop into the seamless electronic global-messaging system," Tanabe added.

The Defense Information System Agency has already commissioned DMS local-control centers at the following USARPAC installations: Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Camp Zama, Japan; Torii Station, Okinawa; and Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Tanabe said that DMS is rapidly being extended to the user population throughout USARPAC this summer in anticipation of completing the DMS organizational user base to meet the Army-mandated timeline of Aug. 15. The timeline was established for sensitive-but-unclassified and secret organizational users to no longer depend on AUTODIN for their unclassified through secret general-service organizational messaging.

He noted that follow-on installation DMS enhancements will involve the capability for selected users to process special category, emergency-action message, top-secret collateral and top-secret/sensitive compartmented-information messages. DMS will also be extended to tactical messaging systems.

Mr. McPherson is 516th Signal Brigade’s public-affairs officer.

story divider

Task force recommends soldiers be multiskilled

by Joe Burlas

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Nine months after standing up, the Army Development System XXI task force is preparing to present its final recommendations on how to improve the enlisted and warrant-officer personnel-management systems.

Chief among its recommendations to Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric Shinseki will be the concept of a multiskilled soldier as the underpinning for future military-occupation specialty and force-structure considerations.

"The environment in which our soldiers serve today can be characterized as one of rapid and continuous change," said COL Dave Cutler, ADS XXI director. "There is no one clear enemy, and our traditional roles keep expanding. Equipment modernization and changes to our doctrine and structure must be anticipated to keep pace. The enlisted and warrant-officer personnel-management system studies and their recommendations should help the Army keep current with the many changes it faces."

Cutler explained how the Army relies on institutional training to prepare soldiers for their assigned jobs, the equipment they use and the missions they receive.

"Change in the operational environment occurs faster than we can react with institutional training programs, and we may not be able to accurately quantify with an MOS all things soldiers may be required to do," he said. "Soldiers repeatedly demonstrate the ability to adapt to new environments and learn new skills."

Recognizing that soldiers are adaptable, the task force is recommending that institutional training be more focused on the core job competencies that comprise a soldier’s MOS as opposed to all the separate tasks.

As a result of the momentum created by the ADS XXI study, Army branch proponents have independently initiated actions that may reduce a burdensome 241 MOSs currently in the Army inventory to a more manageable and broader figure of around 200, Cutler said. This potentially creates larger pools of soldiers from which commanders can draw in the future to meet Shinseki’s guidance to keep warfighting units manned at 100 percent.

ADS XXI also advocates providing NCOs with published, approved career-development plans. This may include placing greater emphasis on directed self-development beyond the required institutional Army schools and providing the proper resources for that development. A rewritten Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-25 will lay out the training and operational assignments required for development along specific career paths.

Other enlisted-personnel-management recommendations include: restrict garrison and other non-warfighting organizational manning-requirement changes and require Department of the Army approval for those changes; develop a web-based automated personnel-management system; and improve unit-readiness reporting with a system that better captures soldiers’ deployment histories.

The task force’s warrant-officer recommendations include:

Define warrant-officer duties and responsibilities more thoroughly in DA Pam 600-3;
Report warrant-officer assignments and readiness throughout the Army by grade;
Improve warrant-officer accessions by targeting candidates earlier in their careers;
Institute an enhanced warrant-officer education model for professional development with increased opportunity for technical training. "From the very beginning, our measure of success for any recommendation has been that it must be good for the soldier, the Army and the nation," Cutler said. "I believe we are meeting that standard."

The task force will make its final recommendations to Shinseki sometime in early October. A complete look at recommendations is posted on the web at

Mr. Burlas writes for Army News Service.

General officer transitions

Signal Regiment receives new Chief of Signal

by SGT Mark Swart

FORT GORDON, Ga. – MG Peter Cuviello handed over the reins of the Signal Center and Fort Gordon to BG John Cavanaugh in a change-of-command ceremony July 11.

Immediately after Cavanaugh became the 29th Chief of Signal, Cuviello was promoted to lieutenant general by Training and Doctrine Command’s commander, GEN John Abrams. Chief of Signal since May 1998, Cuviello’s follow-on assignment is director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers (see guest column).

BG John Cavanaugh accepts Signal Center guidon BG John Cavanaugh, new Chief of Signal, accepts the Signal Center guidon from Training and Doctrine Command commander GEN John Abrams. (Photo by SGT Mark Swart)
MG Cuviello gives Signal Center guidon to CSM Holden Then-MG Peter Cuviello gives the Signal Center guidon to Regimental CSM John Holden Jr. as his last act as 28th Chief of Signal. (Photo by SGT Mark Swart)
GEN Abrams and Chris Cuviello pin stars on MG Cuviello Abrams and Cuviello's wife Chris pin Cuviello's third star on the former Chief of Signal immediately following his change-of-command ceremony with BG John Cavanaugh. (Photo by SGT Mark Swart)

Cavanaugh came to Fort Gordon from Germany, where he commanded 5th Signal Command. He said he looks forward to this tour as the 29th Chief of Signal.

"These are exciting times for the Army, the Signal Regiment and Fort Gordon. The Signal Regiment and Fort Gordon have a big part in the (Army) transformation efforts. Much has been done, and much remains to be done," Cavanaugh said. "For the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines at Fort Gordon, I am excited about working the challenges ahead with you. I am proud to be a member of this team."

SGT Swart is military editor of The Signal, Fort Gordon’s post newspaper.

story divider

CECOM leader promoted

by Stephen Larsen

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – COL Michael Mazzucchi, Communications-Electronics Command deputy for systems acquisition and director of CECOM’s systems-management center, was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony here Sept. 5.

MG Robert Nabors, CECOM’s and Fort Monmouth’s commander, BG Michael Mazzucchi promoted the new general officer with Mazzucchi’s wife helping Nabors pin the stars on her husband’s jacket. About 500 CECOM employees, dignitaries and Mazzucchi’s family, friends and members of Mazzucchi’s parish watched.

In his remarks, Nabors said that, in the Army, for an individual to be promoted to the rank of general officer means that Army leadership sees the potential for future greatness. "It means we think your greatest achievements lie ahead," said Nabors. "Today is all about future potential, and Mike has certainly demonstrated that."

"I’m humbled, appreciative and energized, and I’ll forever remember this day," said Mazzucchi. "I assure you that I will continue to do everything I can to bring honor and esteem to CECOM, but I promise to ensure that we will remain focused on the true bottom line: the soldier."

Information-technology project managers and programs under Mazzucchi’s charge as CECOM’s DSA and SMC director are defense communications and Army switched systems, which is modernizing the telecommunications capabilities of Army sustaining-base installations under the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program; defense communications and Army transmission systems, which provides long-haul connectivity between the warfighter, sustaining base and National Command authority; information management and telecommunications, which is providing a modern telecommunications backbone and infrastructure hand-in-glove as the Pentagon is renovated for the first time since it opened its doors in 1943; and the command-center upgrades/special-projects office, which provides integrated command-center systems to the unified and specified commanders-in-chief worldwide.

Tactical project managers and programs under his leadership include mobile electric power, which manages a coordinated interservice effort to develop, acquire and support the Defense Department’s mobile-electric power generator; physical-security equipment, which does surveys and fields physical-security equipment, including robotics, for the Army, joint services and other government agencies; Firefinder, which develops and fields weapon-locating radars and Shortstop Electronic Protection System, a radio frequency proximity-fuse countermeasure; and Global Positioning System, which is responsible for all user equipment in the joint services’ GPS program.

Mazzucchi’s organization also includes the Army’s small-computer program, which provides a complete menu of computer hardware, software and services from a series of indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts and blanket-purchase agreements it negotiates and manages; two organizations that manage classified programs, the product manager for information warfare and the technology-applications office; and the brigade-combat-team special-projects office, which is integrating the suite of command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment CECOM and the program executive officers at Fort Monmouth are providing for the interim armored vehicles and other mission-critical vehicles the initial BCT at Fort Lewis, Wash., will use.

Mr. Larsen is employed at CECOM’s SMC.

story divider

Signal leadership moves to new positions

A number of reassignments took place this summer for Signal Regiment general officers.

Chief of Signal MG Peter Cuviello was promoted to lieutenant general and became the director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers, as well as the Army’s chief information officer. Cuviello replaced LTG William Campbell, who retired.

BG John Cavanaugh replaced Cuviello as Chief of Signal and commander of the Signal Center, Fort Gordon, Ga. He was commander of 5th Signal Command in Germany, where BG Marilyn Quagliotti, former vice director for command, control, communications and computers at the Joint Chiefs of Staff office, replaced him.

BG Velma "Von" Richardson, former deputy commandant of the Signal Center, was  reassigned as the deputy commanding general of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas, Texas, following Signal Center reorganization (see related story). Richardson was Fort Gordon’s first woman deputy commanding general and assistant commandant, responsible for overseeing the communications training of nearly 20,000 service members and foreign students each year. Her new assignment at AAFES takes her to a $7.3 billion per-year retail business, providing merchandise, food and services to soldiers, airmen and military retirees and their family members at installations around the world.

BG James Bryan, former J-6 of Pacific Command, was selected for promotion and became  vice director for Defense Information Systems Agency. Bryan was replaced by former Signal Center chief of staff COL Jan Hicks, who has been selected for promotion to brigadier general.

The Fort Gordon and 516th Signal Brigade public-affairs offices contributed to this report.

BG Velma "Von" Richardson
BG Velma "Von" Richardson

COL(P) Janet Hicks
COL(P) Jan Hicks

Of interest

58th's MARS conducts radio contingency test with other services

by CPT Mark Mistal

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – 58th Signal Battalion’s Military Affiliate Radio System station recently conducted the first of several very-high-frequency interbase and communications contingency tests with sister U.S. services on Okinawa to try and make sure Murphy’s Law does not have a chance to present itself.

The 58th Signal Battalion’s MARS station served as the net-control station, conducting the test with the U.S. Navy hospital, U.S. Fleet Activities Office, U.S. Air Force Communications Squadron and U.S. Marine Corps G-6 office to ensure they could all communicate and to establish a contingency net and point-of-contact list.

"The Army’s MARS station is the only high-frequency commercial station located on the island of Okinawa," said SGT Loy Mullins of 349th Signal Company, noncommissioned officer in charge of 58th Signal Battalion’s station. "It’s the last means of command, control and communications in the event of catastrophic communications outage on Okinawa.

"Our test was successful because most units had no problems communicating and entering or exiting the radio net," Mullins added.

The station operates two high-frequency commercial radios that are capable of transmitting voice or text messages, as well as serving as the Army’s NCS for the VHF typhoon net on Okinawa, Mullins said.

Mullins is assisted by three more soldiers from 349th Signal Company: SPC Tony Marzolf, PFC Shannon Hood and PVT2 Christy Rabetoy.

SPC Tony Marzolf conducts radio checks in MARS test
349th Signal Company's SPC Tony Marzolf conducts radio checks with other U.S. services during the MARS test. (Photo by CPT Mark Mistal)

During typhoons and contingency operations, the MARS station is manned 24 hours and conducts hourly radio communications checks with the U.S. Army Japan’s MARS station located at Camp Zama on the Japanese island of Honshu, Japan.

MARS Okinawa is also training with various MARS stations located on mainland Japan, Korea, California and at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

CPT Mistal commands 349th Signal Company.

story divider

30th Signal Battalion’s TV-2 upgrades studio, expands programming

by Toni Wilcox

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – What if you revived the old "To Tell the Truth" game show, but the goal was to guess the mystery guest’s military-occupation specialty? How about a "cardio-kickboxing" series with shows taped on military installations around Oahu, and no irritating infomercials to promote it? Unit profiles? Man-on-the-street interviews?

All these ideas, and many more, are in various stages of production at 30th Signal Battalion’s visual-information center’s HACN (Hawaii Army Cable Network) TV-2.

Crew of HACN TV-2, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii The crew of HACN TV-2 readies the set for a news broadcast.

One of 30th Signal Battalion’s five business centers, VIC provides photographic, presentation and visual-information-library services to all of U.S. Army Hawaii. VIC television services are available to Oceanic Cable subscribers in Army offices, barracks and family quarters on Oahu.

TV-2 has transformed in just a few months from an electronic bulletin board to a station with 12 hours of programming per day. Many of the shows are produced locally.

VIC manager Larry Thomas said the greatest challenges in the job he started last fall have also brought the greatest pleasures. "There was nothing here when we started," he explained. "The pleasure comes from starting something brand-new. The frustration comes with never having enough time to get everything done."

Time isn’t the only thing in short supply. Thomas, and all the VIC personnel, had to be very creative in building a professional production facility without a commercial broadcaster’s budget.

Gesturing to new lights hanging from the studio ceiling, Thomas said, "We saved thousands by making our own lights with materials from Home Depot." Asked about the expensive chairs lined up by the news-anchor desk, he admitted, "We found those in a dumpster and had them reupholstered."

Building a TV studio from scratch is a project that has energized the crew at TV-2. Once tasked almost exclusively with providing sound support and taping events no one watched, they can now be found editing news and special events on the fly in their mobile unit.

Much of the old sound mission has been turned over to customer units who use loaned VIC equipment, while the center focuses on its core business of providing command information.

"Getting the commanding general’s word out is the entire reason for having a TV-2," said LTC John Wilcox, battalion commander. "Getting people to watch so that the ‘word’ will be seen and heard is quite a challenge with all the options available to today’s television viewer.

"That’s why TV-2 emphasizes the local military community, both in programming and behind the scenes," Wilcox added. "School and scout tours are common, with visitors taking turns as camera operators, directors and editors. Volunteers Christine Marshall and Evelyn Burns recently joined the staff, and internships for college students are being discussed with Leeward Community College and Hawaii Pacific University."

Who knows, maybe some day you’ll see a name in the credits of an Emmy Award winner and say, "Isn’t that someone from that Army station in Hawaii?"

Ms. Wilcox "freelances" on stories about 30th Signal Battalion.

story divider

Former Signal commander dies

by Sue McKinney

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The second commanding general of the Army Signal Command’s predecessor, the Strategic Communications Command here, died July 10 at Sterling, Va. He was 83 years old and is survived by his wife.

Retired LTG Walter Lotz Jr., who commanded STRATCOM as a major general from Jan. 31, Lotz as STRATCOM commander, 1968 1968, to Sept. 7, 1969, retired from the Army Aug. 1, 1974. With a master’s in communications electronics and a doctorate in physics, Lotz is credited with orchestrating the upgrade of STRATCOM’s global capacity to incorporate satellite-communications technology.

Lotz graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1938. He served in World War II as assistant director of communications for the Ninth Air Force in England and went on to become the director of the Ninth when the headquarters moved to post-war Germany.

After World War II, Lotz focused on his academic development and its application to the Army Signal Corps requirements. He served as signal officer for the Eighth Army in post-war Korea and as assistant chief of staff of communications-electronics, Military Assistance Command, in wartime Vietnam.

After leaving STRATCOM, he held key Army-level positions. After the Army reorganized in 1962, the Chief Signal Officer became the chief of communications-electronics, a post Lotz held from 1966-1967.

"He was a well-respected, highly-educated communications leader who was recognized throughout the Army for his technical knowledge and leadership capabilities," said Wrenne Timberlake, who was the public-affairs officer for ASC from its inception until early 1993.

Lotz’ funeral service was Aug. 1 at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Va. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Ms. McKinney is ASC’s public-affairs officer.

story divider

Re-enlistment by videoteleconference a Fort Gordon first

by SGT Mark Swart

FORT GORDON, Ga. – A Fort Gordon sergeant made post history here July 28 when she became the first soldier to re-enlist at a videoteleconference in Nelson Hall.

The VTC brought re-enlisting SFC Elena Gregory, Regimental Officer Academy, face to face with LTC Robert Farrell, commander of 1st Cavalry Division’s 13th Signal Battalion, roughly 1,000 miles away at Fort Hood, Texas.

"We were on the phone about two or three weeks ago, and the discussion came up that this was her very last re-enlistment," Farrell said at the VTC. Although he wanted to attend her re-enlistment here, he knew that his schedule wouldn’t allow it.

"He was talking about his chain of command being done by VTC," Gregory said. "So I said, ‘Hey, maybe a re-enlistment would be OK.’"

Soon after, arrangements were made and the re-enlistment went off without a hitch. The two have known each other since 1996, when they were assigned to the S-3 section of 7th Signal Brigade in Mannheim, Germany.

LTC Robert Farrell re-enlists SFC Elena Gregory via VTC Gregory re-enlisting via VTC with Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo by SGT Mark Swart)

"I’m very happy to be a part of this ceremony, and it is indeed a pleasure," Farrell said.

Gregory has been in the Army for 20 years and seven months. She is currently a senior instructor at the Warrant Officer Division, ROA.

SGT Swart is military editor of The Signal, Fort Gordon’s post newspaper.

story divider

Defense Technical Information Center to host annual conference

Defense Technical Information Center will host DTIC 2000, its annual users meeting and training conference, Nov. 6-9 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rockville, Md.

The conference theme is "information solutions for the 21st century."

Registration may be made on-line through Nov. 1. Full conference registration is $310 before Oct. 16, $350 afterward. Daily registration is $110 for early registration, or $120 if registration is late.

Visit DTIC’s website at for conference information, including an agenda. For questions, contact conference coordinator Julia Foscue, (703) 767-8236, email

story divider

Tobyhanna helps Army in logistics modernization

by Anthony Ricchiazzi

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. – Tobyhanna is participating in a 10-year effort to upgrade and standardize the Army’s logistics systems and software.

The new system, called Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program, will replace two current systems: the Standard Depot System and Commodity Command Standard System.

"CCSS is used at the major Army command level to manage inventory functions such as repair and buy decisions, inventory control, and planning and budgeting," explained Nancy Schlenner, management and program analyst with Tobyhanna’s directorate of production management. "SDS is used to manage logistics at the depot level, such as inventory accountability, maintenance management, equipment management and facilities management."

The existing systems represent 1970s technology and 30-year-old processes. They are inflexible and expensive to maintain, said Bill Kelly, program analysis officer for DPM.

John Feschuk inputs data with Standard Depot System
Production controller John Feschuk of Tobyhanna's DPM inputs data with SDS. SDS will be replaced by the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program system, which uses COTS software and will be used throughout the Army. (Photo by Anthony Ricchiazzi)

"Government arsenals and government-owned, contractor-operated facilities have been using more modern systems for years," Kelly said. "The logistics-modernization solutions that will be evaluated and implemented are based on these types of systems and will use commercial-off-the-shelf systems."

There are significant advantages to adopting commercial systems over developing a new system.

"SDS and CCSS are two separate systems, but they are used together," Schlenner said. "For example, when information is sent from Communications-Electronics Command to Tobyhanna, it must be filtered so the two systems can talk to each other. The logistics-modernization system will be used throughout the Army right up to the MACOM level, so it’s seamless. People here will see the same information presented in the same format that employees at CECOM and Army Materiel Command will see."

A single, integrated system provides consistent, up-to-date information for all users. It will eliminate the need for multiple applications and multiple logons and passwords. Eventually it will eliminate redundant data entry and will provide on-line, up-to-date information to manage everyday business.

"If we wanted to change or upgrade SDS or CCSS, the cost is high, but COTS systems are less expensive because so many people use them," Kelly said. "We can continuously purchase upgrades because they are upgraded by the companies to keep pace with improvements."

The modern software will also allow changes to customize views or reports without having to change the program. Installations will be able to make changes to fit their needs much like employees customize their own computer-menu button bars to maximize performance.

The $680 million contract for development and integration was awarded last December to Computer Sciences Corporation. Subcontractors include GRC International, IBM, Raytheon, Signal Corps, KPMG and Metter Industries.

Implementation will be done in three phases and will include continuous-process improvement. The Computer Sciences Corporation will sustain SDS and CCSS but will implement "Quick Hits" until the new system is fully implemented.

"Quick Hits are low-cost, simple interim upgrades," Schlenner said. "They will temporarily improve the current system."

Mr. Ricchiazzi is Tobyhanna Army Depot’s public-affairs officer.

Acronym QuickScan
ADS – Army Development System
ASC – Army Signal Command
AUTODIN – Automatic Digital Network
BCT – brigade combat team
CCSS – Commodity Command Standard System
CECOM – Communications-Electronics Command
COTS – commercial-off-the-shelf
DA – Department of the Army
DM – distinguished member
DMS – Defense Message System
DOT – directorate of training
DPM – directorate of production management
DSA – deputy (for) systems acquisition
DTIC – Defense Technical Information Center
GPS – Global Positioning System
HACN – Hawaii Army Cable Network
IBCT – initial brigade combat team
MACOM – major command
MARS – Military Affiliate Radio System
MOS – military-occupation specialty
NCO – noncommissioned officer
NCS – net-control station
NIPRNET – nonsecure Internet protocol router network
PERSCOM – Personnel Command
ROA – Regimental Officers Academy
SDS – Standard Depot System
SIPRNET – secure Internet protocol router network
SMC – systems-management center
STRATCOM – Strategic Communications Command
STT – School of Telecommunications Technology
USARPAC – U.S. Army Pacific
VHF – very-high frequency
VIC – visual-information center
VTC – videoteleconference

dividing rule

Back issues on-line | "Most requested" articles | Article search | Subscriptions | Writer's guide

Army Communicator is part of Regimental Division, a division of Office Chief of Signal.

This is an offical U.S. Army Site |


This is an offical U.S. Army Site |