by LTC Michael Curry and CPT Eric Eick
CAMP SENDAI, Japan – 20 soldiers from throughout 516th Signal Brigade provided command-and-control communications for Exercise Yama Sakura 41, a joint bilateral exercise between the United States and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Jan. 25-30 at Camp Sendai.
Other exercise participants included elements from I Corps, Fort Lewis, Wash.; III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; Japan’s North Eastern Army; and several other U.S. Army Pacific units.
|78th Signal Battalion's PFC Shani Fielder (seated) and two Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces soldiers serve as opposition-force controllers in the high-tech exercise Yama Sakura 41.|
“Among Team Signal’s many tasks were maintaining communications and network connectivity, completing installations, cutting cables, working on servers, making hardware swaps, completing repairs, providing data recovery, maintaining communications security and providing video and still photography support,” explained MAJ James Doepp, S3/operations officer, 78th Signal Battalion. “In addition, there were several Signal soldiers working additional tasks as opposing-force data controllers or providing classified courier service.”
Most Signal soldiers arrived several days earlier than the exercise as members of the advance party and departed one to three days following the exercise.
“Although the duty was long, it wasn’t always particularly onerous, and there was enough off-duty time for the Signal troopers to relax and to get to know their Japanese counterparts,” said Doepp.
SPC Judson Lyons of 78th Signal Battalion’s local control center enjoyed both the professional and cultural exchanges with Japanese counterparts. “The exercise was outstanding, and I had a good time on and off duty,” Lyons said. “It was the first time I sang karaoke. I worked every day and had a good time every day.”
CPT Eric Eick, also of 78th’s LCC, appreciated the cultural exchange. “The professionalism shown was immense,” Eick said. “It’s not always easy to integrate two units with completely different traditions and methods of working into one whole, but for Yama Sakura 41, there was a lot of camaraderie shown between both sides. It seemed everybody was trading badges, pins and patches with each other.”
“Overall, the experience was positive for both sides,” Eick said. “Yama Sakura gives soldiers the opportunity to hone their skills in a different environment and to expand our ever-important bilateral relations with our Japanese hosts.”
COL Monica Gorzelnik, 516th Signal Brigade commander, and LTC Michael Curry, 78th Signal Battalion commander, visited Team Signal soldiers at Camp Sendai during the height of the exercise.
“I was so proud of our soldiers,” said Gorzelnik, who later presented them brigade certificates and coins. “Their hard work enabled the American and Japanese forces to successfully coordinate their efforts via the C2 capability they provided. Also, our Team Signal soldiers served commendably as role models and ambassadors for the U.S. Army Signal Corps to our Japanese counterparts.”
Other Team Signal Yama Sakura participants included SFC Thomas Wolf, 516th Signal Brigade; SSG Marc Dent, 30th Signal Battalion; SGT James Holloman, SGT Cory Urbatsch, SPC Jason Barker, SPC Bobby Flowers, SPC Gary Holmes and SPC Michael Tell, 58th Signal Battalion; and SFC Frances Sanchez-Jones, SGT Takeysha Anderson, SGT Daniel Cruz, SPC Joshua Balog, SPC Kevin Cadungug, SPC Austin Conners, SPC David Podwoski, PFC Shani Fielder, PV2 Christine Colvis and PV2 Mandee Miller, 78th Signal Battalion.
LTC Curry commands
78th Signal Battalion. CPT Eick is assigned to 78th’s LCC.
by Bill McPherson
FORT RICHARDSON, Alaska – SSG Carol Hector, 59th Signal Battalion’s unit prevention leader for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program the past two years, has been selected as the Army’s winner for the 2001 Government Employees Insurance Company Military Service Award.
Hector received her award from GEN Eric Shinseki and SGM of the Army Jack Tilley at GEICO’s awards banquet April 29 in Washington, D.C. She also received a plaque and a $2,500 stipend.
“We’re extremely proud of Hector’s accomplishments in the battalion’s ADAPC program,” said the 59th’s CSM Patrick O’Brien. “Under her proactive leadership, the unit’s testing ratio increased by 29 percent. She is very meticulous, and her outstanding records system with zero mistakes has established the standard for other UPLs in U.S. Army Alaska.”
Last fall, Hector’s performance as the battalion’s UPL earned her recognition as the Unit Prevention Leader of the Year for both USARAK and U.S. Army Pacific. As USARPAC’s honoree, Hector competed with UPLs from other Army major commands for the overall Army title this year.
“Her professionalism and dedication is evident by the recognition she and 59th Signal Battalion have received by these prestigious awards,” said LTC James Riseley, battalion commander. “Thanks to her hard work, the Fort Richardson ADAPCP has commended 59th’s program as one of the most efficient unit biochemical programs on the installation.”
Riseley said that Hector uses breathalyzer testing in conjunction with urinalysis testing in the 59th’s program. As the battalion’s UPL, she supervises and mentors three alternate UPLs.
“She is an active participant in the war against use of illegal drugs in the Defense Department and the country,” Risely noted. “A major part of her job as our prevention program is the training. Hector is very conscientious in providing routine, realistic and interesting training for our soldiers.
“Because of her demonstrated abilities, Hector is frequently called upon to assist USARAK with remote-site testing or to serve as a member of the ADAPCP sweep team,” Riseley added.
Mr. McPherson is 516th Signal Brigade’s public-affairs officer.
ut in October
by Jim Garamone
WASHINGTON – Defense officials announced April 17 the establishment of U.S. Northern Command as part of the changes in the Unified Command Plan.
At a Pentagon press briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force GEN Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the plan the most sweeping set of changes since the unified-command system was set up in 1946.
“(The plan) realigns and streamlines U.S. military structure to better address 21st-century threats,” Rumsfeld said. For the first time, commanders’ areas of operations cover the entire Earth.
The biggest change is U.S. Northern Command. The new command will stand up Oct. 1 at Peterson AFB, Colo. The NORTHCOM commander will be responsible for homeland defense and will also serve as head of North American Aerospace Defense Command, a U.S.-Canada command.
The current NORAD commander is also commander of U.S. Space Command, also at Peterson. That command will not go away, but it will have a separate four-star officer heading it.
NORTHCOM’s area of operations will include the United States, Canada, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean and the contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
“The new commander will be responsible for land, aerospace and sea defenses of the United States,” Rumsfeld said. “He will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities.” The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks but also for natural disasters.
NORTHCOM takes the homeland-defense role from U.S. Joint Forces Command. JFCOM’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support and related activities will report to NORTHCOM.
JFCOM headquarters are in Norfolk, Va. The command will retain its mission as a “force generator” to the geographical commands. The change will free the command to focus on its mission of helping transform the U.S. military. This includes experimentation, innovation, improving interoperability and reviewing, validating and writing joint doctrine and preparing battle-ready joint forces and coordinating joint training, simulation and modeling.
The current commander of JFCOM is dual-hatted as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s supreme allied commander, Atlantic. That alliance command will be split off, and U.S. officials will consult with NATO allies to see how they want this handled.
Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.
by Sue McKinney
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Army Signal Command winners and runners-up were announced for the Fiscal Year 2001 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence competition by the Department of the Army March 28.
DA initiated the AAME program in 1983. The program’s main objective is to improve unit-maintenance readiness and maintenance programs by recognizing each unit’s unique exceptional-maintenance program.
This year ASC had three of the four winners and runners-up from Forces Command in the active Modified Table of Organization and Equipment and Table of Distribution and Allowances categories.
This is the last year ASC will compete under FORSCOM. Starting next year, ASC will compete as a stand-alone unit.
The following units are all first-time DA AAME winners and runner-ups:
The competition begins at battalion level. Winners are forwarded and compete through the command level to the major command level. Winners at the MACOM level progress to the DA level. Each unit competing is judged by its performance in four major areas: mission accomplishment, effective use of maintenance resources, innovative management accomplishments and personnel quality-of-life programs.
The Army’s chief of staff presented the winners with the prestigious AAME plaque and a coin at a ceremony held June 7 in Washington, D.C. The ASC commander and command sergeant major presented awards, certificates and coins to deserving ASC soldiers and civilians at a dinner following the ceremony.
Last year, the AAME program was changed to mirror the secretary of defense’s Phoenix Maintenance Award program. The SoD maintenance award recognizes maintenance excellence performed during high-intensity missions in demanding environments. ASC had the Army’s only Defense Department winner last year.
“This year 52d Signal Battalion will go forward to compete for the SoD maintenance award because the unit was a winner at the DA AAME competition,” said CW3 Kenneth Wycoff, AAME program manager for ASC’s office of the deputy chief of staff, G-4 (logistics).
Every year the SoD recognizes six units selected from among all branches of service that have demonstrated the most significant maintenance achievements in mission support and maintenance accomplishments. Of the six units, only one of the finalists is selected as the best overall and awarded the SoD Phoenix trophy.
Ms. McKinney is a public-affairs specialist assigned to ASC’s Public Affairs Office.
by Patrick Swan
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Army Knowledge On-line rolled out its new tactical Warrior Knowledge Network this spring to assist soldiers in “phoning a friend” when they need advice in a pinch.
The network will use a web-based platform, though, not a telephone call, to provide tailored, timely and relevant knowledge and information. It will offer access to this knowledge by identifying or creating “communities of practice” linked through a virtual Warrior Development Center On-line, the tactical knowledge center of AKO.
WKN relies heavily on the communities-of-practice concept. Communities of practice are voluntary associations of people bound together by a shared passion for a particular practice. Soldiers would recognize them from noncommissioned officers’ and officers’ calls as well as lunchtime discussions on work-related issues.
Although communities of practice have always existed – in antiquity, artisans formed “corporations” and in the Middle Ages tradesmen formed guilds – the Internet has enabled them to become exponentially more powerful, according to G-6 officials.
WKN supports a call by the Army Training and Leader Development panel for the Army to become a “learning organization,” G-6 officials said. They said WKN does this by applying state-of-the-art concepts in knowledge management emerging from the commercial sector.
“WKN provides the tools that help leaders and soldiers ‘understand first’ by providing them with needed knowledge from peers, subject-matter experts, mentors, virtual staffs and other knowledge resources,” said Rick Morris, deputy director of the Center for Army Lessons Learned. “Because WKN is both tailorable and scalable, it supports soldiers anywhere (in the field, in garrison or on a deployment).”
WKN leverages new and emerging methods of knowledge creation and transfer, Morris said. He said this helps leaders as they make their units ready, confront complex battlespace and engage in lifelong learning.
“WKN’s network-centric approach has human and technical dimensions,” Morris said, “linking peers to peers, mentors to mentored, subject-matter experts to those needing expertise, leaders to on-line facilitators and coaches, and members of virtual communities, teams and staffs.”
A garrison application of WKN is the Installation Crisis Support System, stood up as a force-protection measure at the direction of Training and Doctrine Command’s commander. ICSS was established by CALL with the support of the Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Directorate of Information Management.
“Let’s say there’s a catastrophic disaster on your base, such as the Pentagon suffered in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack,” said Jim Ritter, chief of plans and operations in CALL’s Knowledge-Management Directorate. “You could call up the lessons-learned section from the Pentagon crisis response and apply those lessons to your post.”
ICSS contains a content center and a library, which pulls everything the domain thinks is important, including regulations, publications, laws and lessons-learned, Morris said. These are made easily accessible through browsing tables and a knowledge base.
“That base is structured so that when you ask one specific question, you get one, accurate, specific answer that is dead-on right,” Ritter said.
A third component is a collaboration center whereby soldiers can query subject-matter experts from the field.
“WKN provides the human and digital information networks to make available what we call ‘knowledge fires,’” Ritter said. “It enables you to get just the right expertise to those who are combating terrorism, engaged in force protection or managing the consequences of something that’s gone wrong on the post.”
Ritter said ICSS is vital because “no one can be everywhere seeing everything. We must advance the Army’s ability to share what it already knows and to create new knowledge that is evaluated, interpreted, understood and woven into the way we do things.”
ICSS, Morris explained, is not only an application of WKN – “it’s a pilot and testbed for WKN processes and tools that is as applicable to military operations abroad as it is to those in defense of the homeland. It’s a place where we can test-drive approaches that advance the Army as learning organization.”
“This is a learning revolution from which the Army is positioning itself to achieve intellectual overmatch against anybody, anywhere,” Ritter said.
Mr. Swan is a public-affairs liaison officer with the Army’s chief information officer/G-6 office.
by Rudi Williams
WASHINGTON – All service members, including Coast Guardsmen, who were on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible to wear the National Defense Service Medal, defense officials announced May 1.
“The sacrifices and contributions made by the armed forces in direct response to the terrorism attacks on the United States and to the long-term resolution of terrorism merit special recognition,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
Members of the National Guard and Reserve may also be awarded the medal if they were on federal active duty on or after Sept. 11. Exceptions are if they were on active duty for training; on short tours of active duty to serve on boards, courts, commissions and the like; or on active duty solely to get a physical exam.
Service members previously have worn the National Defense Service Medal for duty in three distinct periods, starting with the Korean War era, defined as June 27, 1950, to July 27, 1954.
Executive Order 11265 authorized the secretary of defense to establish periods of eligibility after Dec. 31, 1960. The second period of eligibility was a loosely termed “Vietnam War era” of Jan. 1, 1961, to Aug. 14, 1974.
The medal was again authorized by a memorandum from the secretary of defense dated Feb. 20, 1991, for active service on or after Aug. 2, 1990 – the beginning of Operation Desert Shield. The termination date was later set as Nov. 30, 1995.
No closing date has been established for this newest period.
Eligible service members can receive and wear the award immediately. Those already awarded the medal for an earlier period will receive a bronze service star device to attach to the ribbon.
Established by President Dwight Eisenhower on April 22, 1953, the National Defense Service Medal indicates military service during a time of war or conflict regardless of the service member’s station of duty.
Images, a description and history of the National Defense Service Medal (http://www-perscom.army.mil/tagd/tioh/medals/ndsm.htm) are on the web at http://www-perscom.army.mil/tagd/tioh/medals/ndsm.htm.
Mr. Williams writes for American Forces Press Service.
WASHINGTON (Defense Department news release) – The Defense Department told Congress in February that it’s feasible to share the 138-144 megahertz band with public-safety users. A DoD Joint Spectrum Center engineering study identified ways sharing would be possible without interfering with DoD operations.
“We believe it’s possible to share portions of the 138-144 mHz band with public-safety users on a limited, coordinated basis,” said Steven Price, deputy assistant secretary of defense for spectrum and command, control and communications policy. “DoD is willing to work with National Telecommunications and Information Administration, state and local governments, and first-responders on a case-by-case basis to explore sharing the band for the common good.
“While the 138-144 mHz band continues to be critical in DoD’s operations, the department has found it helpful in emergencies to share communication systems with other first-responders. A small number of channels may be shared on a regional basis when it’s to the mutual benefit of DoD and public-safety officials,” Price said.
DoD operations that would be affected if this band were interrupted through heavy use of too many channels would include air-surface-air; air-traffic control and ground-support functions at military airfields; tactical communications for close air support; land-mobile radios for sustaining installation infrastructure support; and LMRs and specialized equipment for training and test-range support. Other systems that would be affected include fire and security alarms, and hydrology and utility controls.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2000 reclaimed for federal – primarily DoD – use three mHz in the 138-144 mHz band previously identified for reallocation for mixed federal government and non-federal government uses. However, in the fiscal 2001 authorization, Congress directed DoD, in cooperation with the Justice Department and NTIA, to provide an engineering study on spectrum sharing in the 138-144 mHz band with public-safety users.
John Stenbit, the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, submitted the report to the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
JSC’s study showed that areas of operation associated with DoD frequency usage in the 138-144 mHz band encompass nearly the entire continental United States. Large distance separations would be required to prevent co-channel and adjacent-channel interference between DoD equipment and potential state and local public-safety systems, particularly in the case of DoD air-ground-air radios.
WASHINGTON (Defense Department news release) – The Federal Communications Commission’s Feb. 14 decision authorizing use of ultra-wideband devices above 3.1 gigahertz and imposing strict technical limits below 3.1 gHz continues to protect critical, spectrum-dependent military systems including the Global Positioning Satellite system, a Department of Defense official said.
Steven Price, deputy assistant secretary of defense for spectrum and command, control and communications policy, said, “DoD supports FCC’s reasoned and balanced approach of protecting critical national-security systems from frequency interference while allowing commercial deployment of new technologies. DoD appreciates the leadership efforts of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration – the agency with lead responsibility for managing federal-government spectrum – ensuring mission-critical operations are not jeopardized. We concluded the FCC’s technical restrictions on UWB devices would be enough to protect military systems. Such restrictions were the minimum required to avoid interference with those systems.”
Price said that DoD intends to monitor regulatory and market developments to ensure national security is maintained and that UWB devices, as deployed, don’t jeopardize mission-critical operations supporting public safety, national security and homeland defense.
by Linda Kozaryn
WASHINGTON – “Smart weapons are worthless unless they’re in the hands of smart, well-trained, highly motivated soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told members of the House Armed Services Committee in February.
“If we’re to win the war on terror and prepare for tomorrow, we have to take care of our greatest assets, the people in the (defense) department,” he said.
Rumsfeld said the proposed fiscal 2003 defense-budget request of $379 billion includes $94 billion for military pay and allowances. This would give service members a 4.1 percent across-the-board pay raise, and mid-grade service members would get another $300 million in targeted pay increases.
“We’re competing with the private sector for the best young people in our country,” Rumsfeld said. “We can’t simply count on their patriotism and their willingness to sacrifice alone.”
The proposed budget also includes $4.2 billion to improve military housing. This would put the department on track to eliminate most substandard housing by 2007, Rumsfeld said. This is three years sooner than originally forecast.
Money is also allocated to reduce out-of-pocket housing costs for service members living off base from 11.3 percent today down to 7.5 percent in 2003. This would put the department on the track to eliminate it by 2005, he said.
About $10 billion would go for education, training and recruitment, he said, “and a breathtaking $18.8 billion to cover realistic costs for military health care.”
Anyone who visits America’s troops “can’t help but come away with just enormous confidence in their dedication, their patriotism, their confidence, the training they’ve had and the very high state of morale they bring to the important work they’re doing,” Rumsfeld told committee members.
“They put their lives at risk for our country, and we all are deeply appreciative and grateful to them,” he said.
Ms. Kozaryn writes for American Forces Information Service.
by Anthony Ricchiazzi
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. – Tobyhanna is teamed with General Dynamics in its mission to overhaul hundreds of S-250 mobile-subscriber equipment shelters.
The work began last year to strip and repair eight versions of the MSE shelters, which contain communications-electronics equipment installed by General Dynamics and are mounted on humvees.
MSE interfaces with troposphere and satellite-communications systems to link them together. Different types of phones and radios can be routed through the MSE system, which acts as an operations and switching center. MSE is also capable of routing data and facsimile traffic.
Fifteen employees working in teams of three repair everything from leaking roofs to installing racks and door seals. After inspection, the shelters and racks go to another team for painting.
Tobyhanna overhauled 92 shelters last year, says production controller Bob Moore, Production Management Directorate. About 80 are scheduled for this year.
“We’ll complete about 80 a year from 2003 through 2008,” he said.
The toughest challenge for Tobyhanna is meeting the schedule requirement of five shelters per week.
“We have a 30-day turnaround from the date we receive a shelter to finish it on time,” said Jerry Sulima, chief, Sheet Metal Structural Repair Division. “We’ve built a good working and teaming relationship with General Dynamics over the first year’s contract and kept within budget requirements.”
General Dynamics conducted the first-article tests at Tobyhanna with Tobyhanna and Communications-Electronics Command personnel. Sulima said they did a thorough inspection; Tobyhanna passed and was given the go-ahead to complete the rest of the shelters.
“Minor problems were worked out through e-mail,” said Joe Symuleski, a sheet-metal mechanic leader in Tobyhanna’s Systems Integration Directorate. “We’ve had nothing but good reports at meetings. This is the first time General Dynamics has teamed with a depot for this type of work, and they are very pleased with the results.”
Tobyhanna finished shipping the second group of shelters to General Dynamics March 21.
Mr. Ricchiazzi is a public-affairs specialist assigned to Tobyhanna’s Public Affairs Office.
by Patrick Swan
KANSAS CITY (Army News Service) – More than 500 warfighters, functional experts and information-technology professionals – dubbed “knowledge warriors” by the Army’s chief information officer – massed forces here April 1-4 for the second annual knowledge symposium.
The symposium covered a wide range of issues, including how to use knowledge concepts when designing systems and tools necessary in the Objective Force environment, said COL Jane Maliszewski, lead symposium organizer. Some of the nation’s top knowledge-management professionals shared lessons-learned on how their companies have used KM to improve performance and dramatically increase their competitive edge, she said.
The symposium was sponsored by the Army’s CIO/G-6, LTG Peter Cuviello, along with the Center for Army Lessons Learned and the Association of the United States Army.
“Next to building the Objective Force, information superiority is our Army’s next highest priority,” said Cuviello in his welcoming address. “KM isn’t about centralizing authority. It may start from the top, but we execute it from anywhere in the Army. We must all be on board to make this work. The Army, run as an enterprise, is our mission focus.”
SFC Gerald Ecker said he found useful the knowledge-sharing theories and philosophies discussed at the symposium.
“We need to grow leaders who are deeply rooted in this knowledge culture,” said Ecker, the medical noncommissioned officer for Project Warrior in the Army Medical Department’s lessons-learned office at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
“We have the technology and we should exploit it,” Ecker said. “I’m not a technical guy, but I understand we should use every resource at our disposal to win our nation’s wars. When we leverage technology to spread knowledge, we can also save soldiers’ lives on the battlefield. We have weapons for mass destruction; we should use knowledge-sharing for mass potential. I believe in the ‘train-the-trainer’ mentality: the more NCOs learn about KM, the more credibility – and usefulness – this concept will have.”
“This is all about sharing knowledge so soldiers can do their jobs better,” said CSM Cynthia Pritchett of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan. “Soldiers want to know what’s going on. They don’t want to reinvent the wheel to address problems that someone else has already solved.”
In an effort to help soldiers share knowledge more effectively, COL Robert Coxe, the Army’s chief technical officer, CIO/G-6, unveiled the new Enterprise Collaboration Center for the Army portal (www.us.army.mil).
“ECC is now operational,” he said. “Soldiers staffing a requirement or issue can now post documents to a dedicated site on Army Knowledge On-line rather than send huge files to many addresses via e-mail. This will unclog the e-mail pipelines, so to speak, and allow soldiers to set up their own collaborative groups based on mission need rather than organizational structure.”
John Garstke, the assistant director for concepts and operations at the Defense Department’s office for force transformation, briefed attendees on strategies for leveraging a knowledge advantage in network-centric operations.
“Technology is enabling us to be a transformed, network-centric force operating in the three domains of warfare,” Garstke said. Those domains are physical, informational and cognitive.
“Our soldiers and equipment operate in the physical domain,” Garstke said. “The information they need for battle is created, manipulated and shared in the informational domain. But, to succeed in network-centric warfare, we must transform our operations into the cognitive domain, where our force has the capability to develop and share high-quality situation awareness. Through the cognitive domain, we must give our force the ability to develop a shared knowledge of commanders’ intent and the capability to self-synchronize its operations.”
In his keynote dinner address April 2, retired GEN Gordon Sullivan praised attendees as moving in the right direction.
“You are applying KM to real tasks completed by real people,” said Sullivan, a former Army chief of staff and current president of AUSA. “You are using knowledge to develop a common base of understanding. This allows you to move knowledge around so you can share lessons-learned through the Army. This ultimately allows you to successfully fight and win our nation’s wars.”
Following Sullivan’s remarks, Cuviello presented the first Army knowledge awards to nine representatives from various Army activities. Army knowledge awards covered the following categories: best business practice, best electronic Army initiative, best community of practice, best e-learning initiative, best transformation innovation, most innovative KM initiative and best overall KM program.
Mr. Swan is public-affairs liaison to the CIO/G-6.
by Linda Kozaryn
WASHINGTON – Federal, state and local authorities, law-enforcement agents and the American people need to know about terrorist threats as quickly as possible.
To ensure that happens, President George W. Bush signed a directive March 12 creating the Homeland Security Advisory System. White House officials say the system is the foundation for building an effective communications structure.
Part of a series of initiatives to improve coordination and communication in the fight against terrorism, the advisory system would provide a national framework for federal, state and local governments and private industry, allowing officials to communicate the nature and degree of terrorist threats.
Government officials would determine if a threat is credible and whether it has been corroborated. They’d also determine the gravity of the threat and whether it is specific and imminent.
Government officials would also characterize levels of vigilance, preparedness and readiness in a series of graduated threat conditions. These threat conditions would help federal, state and local government officials, law-enforcement agents and citizens decide what action they could take to help counter and respond to terrorist activity.
Based on the threat level, federal agencies would then implement protective measures the government and private sector would take to reduce vulnerabilities. States and localities would be encouraged to adopt compatible systems.
The advisory system would also include public announcements of threat advisories and alerts and inform people about government steps to counter the threat. The announcements would also provide information to help people respond to the threat.
Heightened threat conditions could be declared for the entire nation, for a specific geographic area or for a functional or industrial sector, White House officials said. Officials would use a color-coded system: conditions green, blue, yellow, orange and red.
Condition Green would indicate a low threat of terrorist attack. Government and law enforcement authorities would refine and exercise protective-measure plans and regularly assess facilities for vulnerabilities and taking steps to reduce them.
Condition Blue would indicate a general risk of terrorist attack. Among other precautions, authorities would check communications with emergency-response and command locations. They would also review and update emergency-response procedures and provide the public with necessary information.
Condition Yellow would indicate significant risk of terrorist attacks. Protective measures would include increasing surveillance of critical locations; coordinating emergency plans with nearby jurisdictions; and implementing contingency and emergency response plans, as appropriate.
Condition Orange would indicate a high risk of terrorist attacks. Authorities would coordinate security efforts with armed forces or law-enforcement agencies, and they would prepare to work at an alternate site or with a dispersed workforce and restrict access to essential personnel only. More precautions would be taken at public events.
Condition Red would indicate severe risk of terrorist attacks. In this case, emergency-response personnel would be assigned, and specially trained teams would be prepositioned. Authorities would monitor, redirect or constrain transportation systems, close public and government facilities and increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs.
The president has given the attorney general responsibility for developing, implementing and managing the Homeland Security Advisory System. Government and law-enforcement officials and the public will have 45 days to comment on the plan. Ninety days later, in coordination with the Office of Homeland Security, the attorney general will present a system to the president for approval.
Ms. Kozaryn writes for American Forces Press Service.
by Gerry Gilmore
WASHINGTON – Implementation of “smart card” technology across the Defense Department by 2003 will enable the department to deploy troops faster and safeguard its people and facilities better, the card’s program manager said March 5.
DoD’s common-access card is a plastic identification card with an embedded 32-kilobyte memory chip, said Mary Dixon, director of DoD’s Access Card Office. The card has already been issued at many stateside and overseas locales; about this time next year, 4 million active-duty military, selected reservists, DoD civilians and eligible contractor employees are expected to have them, she noted.
The card and stored data can be tied into computer networks for personnel actions and added security. It has proven its worth in speeding troop-processing times during recent testing at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Dixon noted. The 25th Infantry Division troops there once had to spend one or more days preparing for deployments using paper records, she said.
The cards reduced deployment-processing times to about an hour or two for each individual who took part in the test, Dixon remarked. And besides getting troops to the front faster, she noted, common-access cards could save time in a number of other ways.
“We’re returning that time to the units – they can use it for training,” she explained.
Security concerns across DoD have been greatly heightened because of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dixon noted. Widespread use of smart-card technology for identification purposes will also enhance DoD’s security infrastructure, she noted.
Personal-identification numbers today, and biometric data such as fingerprints in the future, can be contained on the card, making it much more secure than paper IDs, Dixon said.
“There is a one-in-a-million chance you might guess a person’s six-digit PIN,” she explained, adding that the card automatically locks up to deny access after receiving three incorrect PINs.
Widespread use of common-access cards should bolster security for DoD’s people, buildings and facilities, Dixon noted. The new technology, she added, also allows a “one-card-fits-all” system, so IDs, Public Key Infrastructure tokens and multiple security passes could be melded onto one card.
Unlike easily duplicated paper ID cards, common-access cards – with their one-of-a-kind computer chips and embedded biometric data – can facilitate secure access into a sophisticated computer security network, Dixon explained.
If a common-access card is lost or stolen, she noted, the identification and security accesses on the card can be invalidated immediately. Biometric information already in the card’s computer database, she added, would be checked when a request is made for a replacement card.
Issuance of common-access cards contains myriad checks and balances to ensure integrity, Dixon noted. A fraudulently issued card might conceivably get past security officials at first but definitely not for long, she said.
Mr. Gilmore writes for American Forces Press Service.
by SFC Kathleen Rhem
WASHINGTON – The federal government’s redesigned web portal FirstGov (http://firstgov.gov) provides countless links that any Internet surfer might find useful.
FirstGov now is faster and more accurate than the pilot version in connecting visitors with the transactions, services and information they want, according to site managers in announcing the redesigned site’s Feb. 27 launch.
Access is easy. The site is named FirstGov, but the web address is a non-case-sensitive “firstgov.gov.” You don’t even need to type “www.” unless it’s too old a habit or unless you’re using an old browser.
Military members might find the search engine on the left side of FirstGov’s homepage particularly helpful. It can call up any state’s official Internet site. Service members and their families can find information on state taxes and motor-vehicle-registration requirements.
Many states offer veterans benefits that are in addition to the federal government’s. Education and burial benefits, state-government veterans’ employment preferences and job-training assistance are other possible state web topics.
On FirstGov’s homepage under the heading “On-line Services for Citizens” is a link titled “Change Your Address.” Service members moving from one duty station to another can change their address with the U.S. Postal Service via an on-line form for $1, or they can print the appropriate forms free and mail or take them to their local post office.
The Postal Service site links to many other government and private services available to get settled in a new location. Links to government services, for instance, include emergency numbers, schools, senior-citizens programs, the Better Business Bureau and local Departments of Motor Vehicles. Links to civilian services include telephone and utility companies and Internet-service providers.
Other FirstGov site links provide federal forms and regulations, directories for federal agencies, military-personnel-locator information and even links to copies of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Click on the homepage’s “Laws and Regulations” link and then the “Statistics Gateway (FedStats)” link. You’ll gain access to an alphabetical listing of all the statistics kept by various government agencies. You can also find links to pages designed for children that several government agencies maintain.
If all else fails and you can’t find what you’re looking for, the FirstGov main page includes a search engine that reaches out to all federal and state government Internet sites.
SFC Rhem writes for American Forces Press Service.
The Army’s Chief of Staff, GEN Eric Shinseki, recently announced new jobs for four Signal brigadier generals. One of them has also been selected to receive her second star, Shinseki announced June 4.
BG Marilyn Quagliotti received the nod for major general and is being assigned as deputy director for operations, Defense Information Systems Agency, Arlington, Va. Quagliotti is dual-hatted as 5th Signal Command’s commander and deputy chief of staff for information management, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Mannheim, Germany.
BG Carroll Pollett has been reassigned to succeed Quagliotti at 5th Signal Command, while Quagliotti will replace Pollett at DISA.
BG Edwin Spain III, 359th Signal Brigade’s commander, will become vice director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers (individual mobilization augmentee) in the office of the secretary of the Army, Washington. The 359th is a U.S. Army Reserve unit located at the Signal Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.
BG Janet Hicks has been selected as the new Chief of Signal/Signal Center and Fort Gordon commander, replacing MG Pat Cavanaugh, who is slated to retire in September. Hicks is director of C4 (J-6), U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
Specific report dates aren’t yet set.
by Bill McPherson
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – About 250 friends and co-workers of the late retired CSM Samuel “Mac” Smith attended a 516th Signal Brigade-sponsored sunset memorial service here March 7. Smith’s wife Joan and her sister, sister-in-law and niece were special guests.
Smith, who had served as 516th’s command sergeant major from June 1992 through March 1996, died Jan. 29 in Griffin, Ga., at age 56.
The service, conducted behind the sixth green at the Fort Shafter Golf Course according to Smith’s wishes, included a ceremonial golf drive in Smith’s memory by his friend Espy Garcia.
Eulogies were given by BG Jan Hicks, John Thorpe, Rev. Phil Terry, retired Adm. Dick Macke and retired COL Frank Rawlerson, former 516th commander and Smith’s friend.
“I was always impressed to hear Mac express his love for the Army and his place in it, as he uttered his favorite philosophy several times a week to co-workers: ‘Every day is a holiday, and every meal a picnic,’” Thorpe said. “These oft-repeated words indicated that Mac genuinely loved being a soldier throughout his 30-year military career. To him, his career as a senior noncommissioned officer and leader in the Army wasn’t a job, but a profession, and he was so proud to serve his country.”
When Smith retired as 516th Signal Brigade’s command sergeant major in April 1996 after 30 years of Army service, a speaker at his retirement dinner took note of his leadership and expertise, but also his sense of humor. Smith’s technical talent in the areas of communications and automation was well-known throughout the Army, dating back to 1986 when he was Fort Gordon, Ga.’s Army Computer Science School’s sergeant major, responsible for all enlisted training that included eight courses and averaged about 1,400 students annually.
Smith entered the Army in February 1966 from Atlanta, Ga. His career included assignments as sergeant major at the Force Integration Staff Office, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Benning, Ga., as well as service in Vietnam, Korea and the Defense Communications Agency in Europe. Other stateside assignments included Fort McPherson, Ga.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind.; and Fort Bliss, Texas.
Among his awards and decorations were the Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals and nine Good Conduct Medals. The Signal Corps Regimental Association awarded Smith both the Bronze and Silver Orders of Mercury. In 1999 the Chief of Signal, then-MG Peter Cuviello, inducted Smith as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment.
Following his retirement from active duty, Smith was employed as an engineer with Wheat International Communications in Honolulu. He was an elder of the Pearl Harbor Church of Christ, Pearl City, Hawaii.
Mr. McPherson is 516th Signal Brigade’s public-affairs officer. Some information excerpted from Smith’s Distinguished Member of the Regiment biography, available on-line at http://www.gordon.army.mil/ocos/rdiv/dmr/dmbios.asp.
by SSG Tim Volkert
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Soldiers from 11th Signal Brigade here are the first to train with and man a new communications system that will greatly increase the speed at which information travels across the battlefield.
A five-soldier team from 40th Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, completed its training and testing exercises in late June on the Theater Injection Point system, the latest evolution of satellite communications.
The TIP is a transportable satellite-broadcast system mounted on two humvees that will enable one-way communication to travel at a bandwidth much greater than the conventional SATCOM used on the battlefield today, said James Patterson, the TIP instructor.
This new system will operate with the Global Broadcast Service and will supplement the current tactical-satellite systems the Army uses, said SPC Mayo Vandyck, a SATCOM operator and maintainer with 40th Signal Battalion. Vandyck is a member of the brigade team learning how to operate the system.
Brigade soldiers training on the new system include SATCOM systems operators and maintainers and information-systems operators and analysts.
The TIP will operate with a concept similar to satellite television, he said. A theater commander will decide what programs, files and other information he will need to send to units under his command. That information will be scheduled into the TIP and then the satellite will send only that specific information to the designated units. The TIP will then send the information to the subordinate units via a Receive Broadcast Manager, which is a receiver that is a little larger than a personal computer, Vandyck said. These RBMs will then be connected into the tactical command post’s local-area networks so the information can be disseminated as needed at the local level throughout the CP.
This is where the TIP’s technology is a great improvement over current technology used in the field, he said. The theater commander can decide which unit needs specific information and can target individual computers. When the information is sent out from the TIP, only the designated computers will receive that information.
TACSAT systems used in the field currently have to combine all voice, video and data information into one stream to send it to a satellite. The people who need information have to download the entire stream and then filter out what they need, said John Warren, another TIP instructor.
Because the TIP will use a different satellite system to transmit and has a greater bandwidth, it will reduce the time needed to transmit information faster, eliminate the time needed to filter information and free up large amounts of space on the TACSAT’s system, he said.
Vandyck said the TIP can handle up to 23 megabits per second, while the brigade’s largest TACSAT systems can run at a maximum of only about 4.5 mbps.
Because of the enormous increase in speed and capability to handle large amounts of information, the TIP will be able to send large files, such as detailed maps, photos, video and other information much quicker than a tactical satellite, he said. Use of the TIP will free up the tactical communications resources, which will in turn increase the tactical system’s ability to more efficiently handle the daily nonsecure and secure internet, teleconferencing and voice communications, Vandyck said.
Although this is new technology, Patterson said that it’s not revolutionizing Army communications – it’s just the next step in its evolution.
“It’s not revolutionary, it’s evolutionary,” he said. “It’s another tool in the toolbox, one that really didn’t exist before.”
|SPC Mayo Vandyck from 40th Signal Battalion ensures cables are tight during the power-balancing procedure before operating equipment in the Transportable Theater Injector. TTI provides the satellite connection for the Theater Injection Point, the new communications equipment 11th Signal Brigade soldiers are training to operate.|
The 40th Signal Battalion’s soldiers completed their training at Fort Huachuca’s Electronic Proving Ground in early May, said JoAnn Robinson, the GBS developmental test officer at EPG. The soldiers were then involved in two test exercises, which EPG’s developmental tester conducted: the first at Huachuca in May, and the second exercise at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla., in June.
Robinson said the Military Satellite Communications system project manager anticipated fielding the first TIP to 11th Signal Brigade after the exercises. Plans include fielding two more TIP systems in the Army inventory. The dates for implementing and training this equipment haven’t been released.
SSG Volkert is assigned to 11th Signal Brigade’s Public-Affairs Office at Fort Huachuca.
by Michael Bennett
FORT BUCKNER, Okinawa, Japan – 58th Signal Battalion’s 333d Signal Company just completed the third phase of a project to automate the Fort Buckner Technical Control Facility and 12 remote Defense Information System Network sites.
Fort Buckner is using the state-of-the-art InRange 2700 Matrix switch to automate the operations and management of more than 2,000 DISN circuits on Okinawa.
“The Matrix switch represents the latest technology in telecommunications that enhances the 333d’s important mission of maintaining and operating all DISN circuits and systems on Okinawa,” said CPT Sonise Lumbaca, company commander.
“The Matrix switch provides the ability to remotely test, monitor and troubleshoot DISN circuits at all Okinawa sites from the Fort Buckner Technical Control Facility,” Lumbaca explained. “This saves valuable travel time during circuit testing and results in improved service for the more than 35,000 warfighters and DISN customers that 333d Signal Company services.”
|PFC Ronald Cohen, left, and SGT Zachary Parks monitor network activity at the Fort Buckner Technical Control Facility.|
The new switch also eliminates miles of signal cable, reduces the number of wiring frames and makes patch panels obsolete, she said.
“Instead of manually accessing circuits with patch panels, soldiers now use modern computer work stations to test circuits,” Lumbaca noted. “The result is better customer service.”
The first phase of the Matrix switch project was completed in July 1999, when the first 4096 port Matrix switch was installed in the Fort Buckner Technical Control Facility. In July 2000 under Phase II, remote Matrix switches were installed at four bases: Torii Station, Camp Courtney, Camp Kinser and Futenma Air Base. In October 2001, the third phase of this project automated the remote DISN sites at Naha, White Beach, Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab.
The final phase of this project will begin this year, providing matrix switches at Camp Foster, Awase, Yaedake and Camp Gonsalves.
Automation of the Okinawa Technical Control sites is managed by the product manager, Defense Wide Transmission Systems, Fort Monmouth, N.J., and the engineering is contracted to SAIC of Sierra Vista, Ariz.
“What makes this project unique is that the soldiers of 333d Signal Company are performing much of the installation and testing of the Matrix switch equipment,” Lumbaca said.
From July to December 2001, three soldiers of the Technical Control Maintenance Section – SGT Van Abad, SPC Jonathan Smith and SPC Bobby Flowers – worked with SAIC engineers and installed all four remote matrix switches. “This joint effort keeps the project cost down and enhances the training and experience of 333d’s soldiers,” Lumbaca added.
In addition to their installation efforts, 333d Signal Company designed, installed and configured a wide-area network to control the remote Matrix switches from Fort Buckner. Charles Clayton, SGT Jeremy Lewis and SGT Zachary Parks applied their knowledge of Cisco router networking to design the network from scratch and develop a secure, survivable ring with enough bandwidth to meet mission requirements.
According to SFC Patrick Depape, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Fort Buckner Technical Control Section, “Without a WAN for control, the remote Matrix switches would be isolated from the main Fort Buckner switch, so the tech controllers showed great initiative and technical skill in making the WAN a reality.”
“The hard work and dedication of 333d Signal Company’s soldiers and civilians have enabled the Fort Buckner Technical Control Facility to apply state-of-the-art Matrix switch technology to the DISN mission,” Depape continued. “Their installation and system administration efforts in support of the program manager have saved the government money and kept the multi-phase project on schedule. The joint partnership among the PM, contractors and soldiers is a good example of how projects can work to improve customer service. And the customers of the Okinawa DISN will benefit!”
Mr. Bennett is technical director for 333d Signal Company.
by CPT Dean Denter
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – An outdoor ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 25, 2001, at just below zero degrees officially marked completion of 507th Signal Company’s $19.1 million outside-cable rehabilitation second contract, known as OSCAR II, and the $6.54 million common-user installation-transport network projects.
“Completion of OSCAR II has been a long, four-year journey with the limited digging season at Fort Wainwright,” said Dave Henry, chief of the Fort Wainwright Dial Central Office and primary contracting-officer representative for the project, at the ceremony. Henry said that the upgrades and infrastructure OSCAR provided laid the groundwork for CUITN.
“By installing fiber and replacing the majority of copper cable on post, the OSCAR II project has laid a flexible framework that will serve Fort Wainwright well for any future changes and expansion,” Henry explained. “General Dynamics, the prime contractor, installed 154 manholes, more than 30 miles of concrete-encased interduct, more than 62 miles of copper cables to buildings providing phone service to more than 5,700 customers, and more than 45 miles of fiberoptic cables.”
Celine Johnson, chief of Fort Wainwright’s local control center and CUITN project officer, said that by the end of 2001, 80 of 86 buildings were cut over to the new gigabit-Ethernet backbones. The other six buildings are undergoing construction and will be cut over later this year.
“Not only are users seeing an increase of 10-times-faster transmissions, but with the installation of fiber, we’re now able to provide connectivity to areas on post that were out of range for copper-based network equipment,” Johnson said. “Also, Lucent Technologies, the lead contractor on the project, will have a technician on-site for the length of the five-year system warrantee covering the equipment in two major communications nodes, five area distribution nodes and 86 end-user buildings.”
CPT Denter commands 507th Signal Company at Fort Wainwright.
by Danny Johnson
MANNHEIM, Germany – Another chapter in 5th Signal Command’s history happened April 19 as the command’s historical collection opened in the command building at Funari Barracks here. BG Marilyn Quagliotti, 5th Signal Command’s commander, cut the red, white and blue ribbon to officially “debut” the collection.
The historical collection consists of displays and items such as telegraph keys, telephones, field telephones, radios, postcards, photographs, flags, insignia and uniforms related to the history of 5th Signal Command and the Signal Corps.
Of special interest is the Medal of Honor issued to 5th Signal Command by the Army on behalf of CPT Riley Pitts, for whom the command building at Funari Barracks is named. Pitts was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions in October 1967 while assigned to 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam as an infantry officer. President Lyndon Johnson presented Pitts’ family his Medal of Honor in December 1968.
|BG Marilyn Quagliotti, 5th Signal Command's commander, looks over the newly opened command historical collection, which includes the Pitts Medal of Honor display. Danny Johnson (in suit), 5th Signal Command's historian and public-affairs officer, accompanies her.|
Work started on 5th Signal Command’s historical-collections project during Summer 2001. People both inside and outside of 5th Signal Command either loaned or donated items to get the effort underway.
The 5th Signal Command’s collection will be the only U.S. Army Signal Corps type of museum within the European theater of operations. The museum is open to all visitors to the command as well as to current and former soldiers, civilians and contractors associated with 5th Signal Command.
Mr. Johnson is dual-hatted as 5th Signal Command’s public-affairs officer and command historian. He serves as curator of the new museum and “welcomes any questions, comments, loans or donations.” He may be contacted at DSN 380-5167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by CPT Sonise Lumbaca
TORII STATION, Okinawa, Japan – An unconventional training session Jan. 10 turned out to be a motivating experience for several soldiers from 333d Signal Company, 58th Signal Battalion.
They conducted improvised demolition and explosives training with the Operational Detachment Alpha-115 team, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), at the Camp Hansen Demolition Range.
After receiving an in-depth safety briefing from ODA’s SFC Robert Slater, the range noncommissioned officer who was also one of two Special Forces engineers (demolition experts) on the team, 333d soldiers received safety equipment. Another engineer, SSG Brian Wood, was an assistant instructor.
The Signal soldiers were first instructed on how to use military demolitions for their conventional use. They were then taught how to improvise the use of the same charges to meet special demolition needs for which the right charge or piece of equipment wasn’t available. After the instruction, 333d soldiers were able to get hands-on training in emplacement and detonation of the explosives.
“Each soldier was able to team up with a member from ODA-115 and receive one-on-one training,” explained CPT Sonise Lumbaca, company commander, who arranged for the special training and accompanied the group. “We received detailed instruction throughout the process of rigging, employing and detonating the explosives. Destruction was witnessed from a safe distance.”
Lumbaca said the training was conducted using dynamite, Composition C4 and other improvised demolitions using shape and cratering charges, timber and metal-cutting charges, bangalore torpedoes and mortar rounds. The group was also able to “daisy-chain” claymore mines for use in a mechanical ambush.
“The soldiers of 333d enjoyed the opportunity to train with ODA-115 and the overall experience,” Lumbaca noted. “From this training, we learned that unconventional training will continue to motivate soldiers to be the best that they can be. It also demonstrates the unlimited opportunities that are out there for them.”
|PFC Chris Johnson, left, of 333d Signal Company and SFC Jeffrey Gafford, demolition NCO, wire a charge for daisy-chain claymore mines.|
|A "blow-up" means success for 333d Signal Company soldiers during demolitions training.|
CPT Lumbaca is 333d Signal Company’s commander.
by Rich Garrett
FORT RICHARDSON, Alaska – Government agencies in Alaska are currently planning and developing an interoperable trunked radio-communication system based on national standards. The project, known as Pacific Mobile Emergency Radio System, is a U.S. Pacific Command-sponsored initiative for Hawaii and Alaska.
“This system will allow federal, state, local and military representatives to operate autonomously day-to-day and transition seamlessly to a fully interoperable, interagency communications network in the event of an emergency or disaster,” said Dennis Greenwood of the U.S. Army Pacific G-6 staff, which is PACOM’s executive agent for PACMERS.
Greenwood explained that with today’s advanced land-mobile radio technology, participating agencies share the cost benefits of a common infrastructure that is spectrum efficient.
“PACMERS-Alaska was developed and designed to ensure first-responders have the tools necessary to communicate when responding to life-threatening incidents such as wild fires, avalanches and, more recently, potential acts of terrorism,” said Rich Garrett, U.S. Army Alaska’s project officer for PACMERS in Alaska.
“In the past, these emergencies and disasters were not easily addressed, due in part to the lack of interoperable radio communications, to aging, archaic radio systems and to the tremendous landmass between responding federal, state and local public-safety agencies,” Garrett said.
“A significant benefit of this system will be that emergency responders can communicate with other government emergency-services providers without having to carry more radios or requesting complicated patches,” Garrett added.
Garrett said that PACMERS-Alaska will facilitate initial implementation of Alaska’s land-mobile-radio initiative, which will create the first statewide LMR system in the nation that’s shared by the Defense Department, other federal agencies, the state and local municipalities.
“The initiative will enhance each agency’s ability to respond to day-to-day, mutual-aid and emergency medical incidents more effectively,” Garrett said. “Furthermore, the ability to support mutual homeland-defense initiatives, natural and manmade disasters will be greatly enhanced. Sharing a common radio infrastructure will eliminate duplications of capital-investment projects, reducing total radio-communication costs for all participating agencies.”
|Fort Richardson firefighter Rob Moore demonstrates the capabilities of a PACMERS-Alaska projected land-mobile radio.|
Garrett said the initial phase of the PACMERS-Alaska program will also serve as Phase I of the ALMR initiative. The ALMR initiative is a four-phased approach to develop more than 85 communications sites that will provide about 4,000 square miles of radio coverage.
Phase I will replace nine existing sites, beginning with Fort Wainwright, then migrating to Fort Greely, Eielson AFB, COPE Thunder and four road sites between Fairbanks and Black Rapids, Alaska.
Phases II through IV will build on Phase I coverage by providing LMR communications service to Juneau, Kodiak, Barrow, Valdez and other key locations, as well as providing coverage to some 1,242 miles of primary roadway among Anchorage, Fairbanks and Tok, Alaska.
Mr. Garrett works for 59th Signal Battalion.
WASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – Mort Walker is adding a new character to his famous comic strip “Beetle Bailey.” Service members were invited to submit names for the new character.
The new character is an “always prepared, gadget-loving and quirky information-technology officer.” Deadline for entries in the “name the tech officer” contest had to be received by May 20, so Signaleers may soon be seeing Walker’s interpretation of them.
The “Beetle Bailey” distributor, King Features Syndicate, and Dell Computer Corp. were the contest’s sponsors and will make a donation to the Fisher House Foundation. Fisher House Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization that has built 29 homes near major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers for use by families of patients receiving care. Fisher Houses have provided temporary lodging for more than 50,000 families since the foundation’s inception in 1990.
by CPT Kevin Bosch
TORII STATION, Okinawa, Japan – The 405th Signal Company “Renegades” has one of the most experienced and dedicated civilians working for the federal government today. With more than 55 years of federal service to the United States, no one can argue with that statement.
Julian Antonio, known affectionately within the company as the “the Godfather,” is the accountable officer for the Project Support Activity and a true marvel that everyone should strive to emulate.
Antonio was born and raised in San Marcelino, Philippines. He began his military service with the U.S. Army March 5, 1946. He enlisted in the Army with the military occupational specialty 238, telephone construction lineman, and was assigned to 11th Signal Battalion, 532d Signal Company, on Okinawa, where he served until his Army tour ended Feb. 11, 1949. He then returned to the Philippines.
“In April 1949, I returned to Okinawa seeking federal employment with the U.S. government,” Antonio recalled. “I was hired as a ‘Third Country National’ and assigned to 11th Signal Service Battalion as a telephone-construction lineman rated as D-13, which paid me all of 61 cents per hour.
“In October 1952, I switched jobs and became a property and supply clerk, working with the 8111th Army Unit, Headquarters, Ryukyus Command, Okinawa,” Antonio added. “I was rated as GS-4, gaining an increase in pay to $1 per hour.”
On March 26, 1956, Antonio married the former Mineko Uku, and to this union six children were born. In May 1959 Antonio was promoted to GS-5. In January 1960, promotion to GS-6 came his way. In January 1967, Antonio switched jobs again and became a general supply assistant, and with the switch came yet another promotion to GS-7.
“One of the happiest days in my life was Nov. 17, 1972, when I was granted American citizenship,” Antonio said.
In April 1976, Antonio moved up the corporate ladder and was appointed as the accountable officer of the Project Support Activity, and on June 3, 1990, he was promoted to the grade of GS-9, which he holds today.
Antonio says he owes much of his success to the Army’s training opportunities. Over the years, he has completed such courses as logistics-management information-systems training, Direct Standard Supply Support System, Managerial Theories from Central Texas College, U.S. Civilian Supervisor Course, Leadership Education and Development Course and the Standard Automated Bill of Materials course.
Among the awards Antonio earned are the World War II Victory Medal, Philippines Individual Ribbon, Army of Occupation Medal with Japan, Employee of the Year 1964 for U.S. Army Signal Group and 14 Sustained Superior Performance Awards. In April 1996, he received his award for 50 years of continued service to the federal government. In May 2001, Antonio received the Signal Corps Regimental Association’s prestigious Bronze Order of Mercury for his outstanding contributions to the Signal Corps.
“Antonio’s contributions to the Army and the Signal Corps have left an unmatched legacy of his devotion to duty and love of his country,” observed LTC Leo Thrush, commander of 58th Signal Battalion. “He is a gentleman whom soldiers respect and commanders can depend on, and he always rises to the challenge. Antonio can put most 20-year-olds to shame with his energy and work ethic. The Renegades are certainly a better company because of him.”
CPT Bosch commands 405th Signal Company.
HARRISON, Ark. – Digital Logistics based here is donating several of its specialized military Win9x/NT/2000/XP software applications. The free software is available from the company’s “freebies” software page located at http://www.digitallogistics.com/freebies.htm, according to Bob Dalton, the company’s president and a retired Army master sergeant.
“All these software programs are free to U.S. military personnel, units and commands of all services as well as to our allies,” Dalton said. “Each comes with an InstallShield style of installation as well as an uninstall feature. This donation of our professional-grade software is our way of giving something back to our primary military customers who have been good to us over the years.”
The software applications are “Field Safety Widgets,” “Battle Staff Widgets,” “Soldier Widgets,” “Visual Food Service Production Schedule,” “Visual 362,” “Visual 1687” and “Visual Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant Manager” (joint services version). The company’s descriptions of its software and download web addresses are:
|“Field Safety Widgets” contains operations and field-safety utility items such as a wind-chill calculator (based on the recent National Weather Service revision), heat-index calculator, wet-bulb globe temperature-index calculator, dehydration/water consumption utility and wet globe temperature-index calculator (botsball device). The software application supports input and output of data in both metric and standard measurement systems. Download from ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/fldsafe.exe;|
|“Battle Staff Widgets” contains specialized utility functions that battle-staff noncommissioned officers and officers may find helpful. Among the software’s functions are a flash-to-bang calculator, countdown timer, triple-standard concertina requirements estimator, meals-ready-to-eat requirements estimator, water requirements estimator and an ice requirements estimator. Download at ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/staffwid.exe;|
“Soldier Widgets” contains functions that soldiers, NCOs and officers may find helpful in their day-to-day jobs. These functions include a metric converter, temperature converter, calendar containing military-interest information, “paper tape” calculator, local time clock that appears as an old-style military wall clock and a “stopwatch” style of timer that measures elapsed hours, minutes and seconds from start point. Download from ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/swidget.exe;
“Visual Food Service Production Schedule” is designed for military food-service people to use while preparing the daily food-service production forms required by regulation for each prepared meal. Download at ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/vprodsch.exe;
“Visual 362” is designed for U.S. military-logistics soldiers to use in generating an exact DD Form 362 (statement of charges) for their unit personnel through their computer system. Download from ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/vis362.exe;
“Visual 1687” is designed for U.S. Army logistics people to use in generating an exact DA Form 1687 (notice of delegation) for their unit personnel through their computer system. Download at ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/vis1687.exe; and
“Visual POL Manager” (joint services version is designed for U.S. military-logistics people charged with POL accounting and management responsibilities. Download from ftp://ftp.digitallogistics.com/vpolmgr.exe.
“These items are free with no strings attached and may be distributed to others as long as no charge of any kind is made for any of them,” Dalton said. “All these software applications require a minimum screen resolution of 800x600 or better. Also, mention of us in the software has been kept very low key and in good taste so as not to offend anyone while they are in use on a military computer.”
by Linda Kozaryn
WASHINGTON – Defense-based capabilities. Transformation. Force-sizing construct. Asymmetric threats. These are some of the latest buzzwords at the Pentagon.
What do they mean?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used these terms during a Feb. 4 interview with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting System. The secretary talked about transforming the military, the president’s fiscal 2003 budget request, the war on terrorism and other defense issues.
When Rumsfeld used the Pentagon buzzwords, Lehrer asked the secretary to explain. For example, when Rumsfeld said, “We’ve moved from a threat-based strategy to a capabilities-based strategy,” Lehrer asked, “What does that mean?”
“It means that instead of deciding you’re going to look at a threat in North Korea or a threat in Iraq or a threat somewhere else (like) the old Soviet Union, and fashion your force to fit that, what you do is look at the capabilities that exist in the world – chemical, biological, nuclear capabilities, cyberattacks, that type of thing. And you say to yourself, it’s not possible to know precisely where the threat will come from or when, but you can know what nature that threat might be and what capabilities we need to deal with that.”
Transformation, according to Rumsfeld, “is not an event, it’s a process. It involves a mindset, an attitude, a culture.” He said it involves new ways of thinking, new ways of operating, new ways of doing business.
Transformation doesn’t necessarily involve a new weapon system, the secretary said, but it might involve a better way of connecting existing weapon systems. It might involve a different way of organizing or fighting as U.S. forces did in Afghanistan. Instead of sending large numbers of ground troops to Afghanistan, the United States sent in air power and special-operations forces to support anti-Taliban fighters.
“When the Germans transformed their armed forces into the Blitzkreig,” Rumsfeld said, “they tranformed only about 5 or 10 percent of their force. Everything else was the same, but they tranformed the way they used it – the connectivity between aircraft and forces on the ground, the concentration of it in a specific portion of the line.”
“One would not want to transform 100 percent of your forces. You only need to transform a portion,” he concluded.
Rumsfeld said the president’s fiscal 2003 budget “reflects the priorities that are appropriate to our times.”
Since national defense and homeland security are crucial right now in light of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said, that’s where President George W. Bush wants to put the nation’s money. At the same time, Rumsfeld said, Bush wants to hold down spending in other areas.
The president hasn’t forgotten the folks who fly the planes, man the weapons and fight the battles, Rumsfeld added. There’s money in the budget request for another military pay raise. “If there’s anything that’s central to the success of the armed forces,” he said, “it’s that the men and women be properly treated. These are the people who voluntarily risk their lives for our country. And we need to have talented people capable of doing the important jobs and increasingly high-tech jobs.”
Lehrer reminded Rumsfeld that before Sept. 11 changed the military’s focus, the defense leader had expressed concern about how the Pentagon controlled its money. Is the structure in place to make sure this money is not wasted? Lehrer asked.
“I guess I would have to say after 11 months or so in the saddle that I’m encouraged,” the secretary replied. “The Department of Defense has been characterized by a lot of people as being very difficult to change, resistant, set in its ways, but if you think back over the last 11 months, what’s happened, we have a new defense strategy.”
The military has a new “force-sizing construct,” he said. In the past, the thinking was that the United States should be able to fight two major regional conflicts. Overwhelming U.S. forces would occupy the countries, take over the capitals and change the regimes. Defense officials were supposed to size the forces to ensure this could happen.
Defense leaders have changed that approach, Rumsfeld said, because the armed forces had too little airlift, too few forces, and “the world wasn’t like that.”
“We still have to be able to win two conflicts,” he said, “but we only have to be able to occupy and change the regime in one while stopping the other, and in addition, be capable of engaging in the other lesser contingencies or non-combatant evacuation or an event like Kosovo.”
So where does terrorism fit in this picture? Lehrer asked.
Rumsfeld said cruise and ballistic missiles, cyberattacks and other terrorist tools are “asymmetric threats.” They are “ways of attacking the United States where they don’t have to go straight after our armies or navies or air forces.”
Terrorists can’t directly attack the U.S. armed forces because the U.S. military is too capable, he said. So they go after perceived vulnerabilities such as information technology, or they turn America’s own capabilities against us. U.S. officials couldn’t foresee that the Al Qaeda would use box cutters to turn U.S. airliners filled with Americans into missiles.
The threat of future attacks of an even worse nature exists, Rumsfeld said. Several terrorist networks have active programs to acquire biological and chemical weapons as well as radiation and nuclear weapons.
“We’ve found intelligence in Afghanistan that attests to the enormous appetite and effort they’ve put into this,” Rumsfeld said. “We don’t know how successful they’ve been, but we know they want them, and we know there are countries that have them. The power of a biological weapon is something we have to be very respectful of as a country.”
Countries that engage in terrorism or harbor terrorists pose a danger to the world, he said. Terrorists can attack anywhere, anytime using a range of techniques.
“It’s physically impossible to defend at every time in every location against every conceivable technique of terrorism,” the secretary stressed. “Therefore, if your goal is to stop terrorism, you must take the battle to the terrorists.
“They are planning. They are plotting,” he said. “They have trained thousands of terrorists very well, and we have no choice but to find those people and root them out. … We have an obligation to try to find them.”
Ms. Kozaryn writes for American Forces Press Service.
by Gerry Gilmore
WASHINGTON – Military and civilian space specialists will seek ways to increase the amount of intelligence gathered by orbiting satellites as part of Defense Department efforts to integrate national-security space capabilities, the Air Force’s No. 2 civilian said here Feb. 7.
Air Force Undersecretary Peter Teets told Pentagon reporters he’s been tasked “to bring together the military and national elements of space to ensure we’re providing the nation the best national-security capabilities while still being good stewards of the American tax dollar.”
Teets, who also serves as director of the National Reconnaissance Office, will integrate recommendations of the Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization, which Donald Rumsfeld chaired before being appointed secretary of defense. The commission recommended that DoD enhance military space technology and study ways to project power from space.
Teets said two new offices would be formed immediately under him as part of a reorganization: the deputy for military space and the deputy director of NRO. Other offices would handle acquisition, integration and military/civilian space issues.
A major goal of reorganizing space operations is to achieve what Teets termed “universal situation awareness” involving intelligence-gathering satellites.“I think what we’ve found is that, moving ahead with this war on terrorism, ... it’s going to be important for us to have persistent intelligence, universal in terms of time, but also universal in terms of space,” Teets said.
He noted that satellite-intelligence collection capabilities over Afghanistan have been excellent. However, “We need to add persistence to the equation. You’d like to know all the time what’s going on around the face of the globe. You’d like to have more ‘long dwell,’” he added. Ways to achieve this more continuous view, Teets suggested, include orbiting more satellites or higher-flying ones that can survey a given area longer.
As NRO director, Teets is responsible for acquiring and operating all U.S. space-based reconnaissance and intelligence systems. This includes managing the national reconnaissance program, where he reports directly to the defense secretary and director of central intelligence.
Other space reorganization goals include joint-warfighting capability, integrated cultures, a cadre of space professionals and assured access and protection of space assets, Teets noted.
Mr. Gilmore writes for American Forces Press Service.
by Anthony Ricchiazzi
Tobyhanna army depot, pa. – When Special Forces called for help with a communications problem, Tobyhanna provided the answer.
Employees here designed and built a transit-case prototype that allows Special Forces soldiers to communicate through different satellite systems.
“We were tasked [in August 2000] by the program manager of Communications-Electronics Command’s Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems to develop interoperability capability for satellite systems used in voice and data transmission,” explained Ken Stackhouse, electronics technician, Satellite Communications Systems Directorate.
The prototype’s electronics work by interfacing with user equipment via wire cabling and interfacing with satellite equipment via fiberoptic cables. Stackhouse said it’s called a transit case because it’s easily transported.
After meeting with U.S. Army Special Operations Command representatives to find out what they needed, a team began working to design a transit case from scratch. “We had to keep the case as small as possible to meet Special Forces mobility requirements,” Stackhouse said. “We started in September 2000.”
Their first prototype is a 32-inch deep x 34-inch tall x 27.5-inch wide transit case that weighs 125 pounds and contains commercial-off-the-shelf equipment, plus Tobyhanna-manufactured racks and brackets.
“The prototype effort was to prove that what they wanted could be accomplished,” Stackhouse said. “We got it ready in December 2000, but the unit deployed, so it couldn’t be tested until March 2001.”
When the unit tested the case, they found it satisfactory, but asked Tobyhanna to remove components that were no longer necessary. The team is building a second prototype that will be 30 pounds lighter and five inches shorter.
“The second one is
another proof-of-concept,” Stackhouse said. “Once it’s used, Special
Forces will determine how many they want. Usually, it takes longer to go from
design to working prototype. This project shows that when push comes to shove,
Tobyhanna can do quick-reaction prototypes.”
|Dennis Green, a mechanical engineer in Tobyhanna Army Depot's Satellite Communications System Directorate, attaches a component of a communications transit case designed for Special Forces. The case allows soldiers to communicate via satellite terminals.|
“Tobyhanna is doing a great job,” said Robert Yee, DCATS program manager. “The users in Special Operations Command are happy because they can interface their satellite terminals with our baseband transit cases and communicate with minimum reconfiguration and a minimum amount of additional equipment the Special Forces units have to carry.”
Mr. Ricchiazzi is a public-affairs specialist assigned to Tobyhanna’s Public Affairs Office.
by Patrick Swan
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – On a small budget of $20 a month, plus “lots of time and sweat,” two Army officers have established a virtual officers’ club that’s earned them a place on a “champions of innovation” list.
Fast Company magazine selected them for inclusion on a list of 50 innovative leaders from a “global readers’ challenge” that garnered more than 1,650 entries (and more than 10,000 comments on those entries) representing more than 30 countries, according to its website, http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50/.
MAJ Nate Allen and MAJ Tony Burgess were recognized for their leadership of CompanyCommand.com and PlatoonLeader.org. These user-driven websites facilitate the lateral sharing of knowledge among company-level leaders in the Army. The fast-growing sites currently attract more than 30,000 visitors and 1.5 million “hits” monthly.
“They are forums where Army leaders share knowledge and learn from others’ experience,” Allen said. “Leaders are accessing knowledge, sharing ideas and tapping into the experiences of others, helping to transform the Army into a learning organization.”
In addition to leading the all-volunteer team of 25 officers who run the websites, Allen and Burgess have published a book on company-level leadership. They write a monthly company-level leadership newsletter and give leadership seminars at pre-command courses.
“What we’re doing isn’t about a website,” said Burgess. “It’s about connecting like-minded leaders who are passionate about building combat-ready teams.”
Burgess said he and Allen set up CompanyCommand.com and PlatoonLeader.org for a simple reason: to fill a need.
“Even though all Army officers – literally thousands each year – command a platoon or company,” Burgess told Fast Company magazine, “there was no system that allowed them to share what they were learning in real time laterally across the entire organization. When they left their jobs, so did their experience.”
The websites provide a way to capture and share that experience, and to actually create new knowledge through on-line discussion forums.
“The Internet makes possible a virtual officers’ club,” said MAJ Steve Schweitzer, the site’s webmaster. “We offer a non-time-sensitive, non-location-dependent discussion forum that soldiers can access from anywhere in the world.”
Burgess said he isn’t surprised by the success of CompanyCommand.com.
“It makes sense that Army leaders would be passionately committed to figuring out and sharing what works,” Burgess said. “We knew that if Army leaders could easily share their ideas and lessons-learned real time, they would enthusiastically do so. That is what professionals do.”
The officers feel limited only by the resources they can dedicate to the effort. “Pulling this off with no funding other than our savings accounts and on our free time has definitely been our biggest obstacle,” said Burgess.
“On the other hand,” he added, “the fact that our work is totally grassroots has created a spirit of community that is downright inspirational.”
Allen and Burgess believe their efforts support the leader-development portion of Army transformation.
“The potential to leverage this model of learning to affect Army transformation is huge,” said Allen. “Leaders who come together to share knowledge can more quickly learn what they need to know, when they need to know it, making them more competent and adaptive.”
“It’s all about building combat-ready teams,” added Burgess.
Allen and Burgess were among eight officers recognized at the April 1-4 Army Knowledge Symposium for building CompanyCommand.com into the most innovative knowledge-management initiative.
William Taylor and Alan Webber, Fast Company founding editors, said their goal in establishing the “champions of innovation” recognition was to “remind the world of all the good that gets created when passionate people with big ideas and strong convictions are determined to make a difference … to unleash the spirit of innovation, creativity, determination and struggle that moves the world forward – and to recognize leaders, teams and companies that are achieving extraordinary results.”
Mr. Swan is a public-affairs liaison officer with the Army’s chief information officer/G-6 office.
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.