by SSG Nate Orme
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. � 280th Signal Battalion�s Alpha and Bravo companies provided much of the communication for the Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants Exercise this year. The 280th is from Seaford, Del.
�We have 80 troops here, including 10 augmentees from the Puerto Rican National Guard, 11 from 301st Signal Command and four satellite soldiers,� said CPT Valentine Miller, Company A�s commander. �We�re providing tactical-subscriber phone services to 319th Quartermaster Battalion [Warrensville Heights, Ohio] and 423d Quartermaster Battalion (Water) [Warren, Ohio], and their subordinate commands here. We�ve put in cable links, line-of-site links and one fiberoptic link.�
PFC Raul Lugo of 35th Signal Battalion in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, was here to support the 280th. He said events like the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were one of the reasons he enlisted as a multichannel system operator and maintainer.
�It enrages you and makes you try harder and put more effort into your job to make sure it doesn�t happen again,� he said.
PFC Raul Lugo of 35th Signal Battalion in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, sets up a communications cable to support 280th Signal Battalion in POLEX '02.
All the communications soldiers worked together to implement communication with the units out in the field. The 280th�s SSG Le-mmon Pitts and SPC Jackie Davis manned the AN/TTC-39D, a mobile switch housed on a truck.
�(The 39D) provides the main commo for everything on a site,� Pitts said. �Once the switch is up, we have to preaffiliate the phone listings so they can affiliate the phones in the field that go through the switch.�
Meanwhile cable dogs, as they�re affectionately known, strung miles of cable. SGT Perfecto Cobian of 301st in Fredrick, Md., explained, �We can do everything from basic phone connection to heavy construction. We run cable between switch vans to patch panels and out to subscribers in the field.�
SPC David Lane of 280th Signal Battalion said he likes his job as a cable-and-wire maintainer. �We do fiberoptics in-house and in the field,� he said. �Plus, we can use this in the real world.�
SSG Orme works with 214th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Richmond, Va.
See related article on 280th Signal Battalion's C Company's work in POLEX and Grecian Firebolt.
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Army Communicator is part of Regimental Division, a division of Office Chief of Signal.