by PFC Mekonya Cheefus
FORT DIX, N.J. � With an experienced National Guardsman overseeing annual training, the world�s largest Signal exercise (Grecian Firebolt) truly exemplifies the Army�s motto, �An Army of One.�
CW5 Ronald LaSana was the acting chief logistician for the annual exercise Grecian Firebolt 2002 here. He�s from 261st Signal Brigade, a Delaware National Guard unit from Dover, Del.
His military-occupation specialty is Signal-systems maintenance manager. LaSana also has a secondary MOS: network-management technician. During drill weekends, his duties are just plain organization, he said. He does everything that needs to be done to keep things running smoothly, such as logging in equipment, running the S-4 logistics shop, making sure equipment is working properly and making sure soldiers are paid on time.
CW5 Ronald LaSana from 261st Signal Brigade, a Delaware National Guard unit from Dover, Del., monitors operations during Grecian Firebolt '02.
The mission behind Grecian Firebolt is to send data from the United States to Germany by way of satellite, said LaSana.
Soldiers set up large switchboard terminals that send signals from Fort Dix to Fort Meade, Md., and then to 7th Signal Brigade located near Mannheim, Germany. The signals will relay density reports such as how many soldiers, vehicles and equipment are in certain areas.
�Basically, this is a global communications operation,� said Army National Guardsman SGT Wilfred Green, a switchboard operator for 230th Signal Battalion from Orangeburg, N.Y. Green was is in charge of controlling the switchboard terminals. �Communication is the backbone of any operation,� he said.
LaSana brings 38 years of experience to this mission. He spent three years in the active-duty Army, 5� years in the Air Force Reserve, two years in the Army Reserve and 24 years in the National Guard.
�I switched to the National Guard to become a warrant officer. I got out of the Air Force because everything was so boring. Everything was so perfect,� said LaSana with the energy of an enthusiastic young soldier. In the Army, said LaSana, you get the opportunity to see that things don�t always run smoothly and learn how to fix problems.
Warrant officers are technical experts who manage and maintain increasingly complex battlefield systems. They remain single-specialty officers whose career track is oriented toward progressing within their career field rather than focusing on increased levels of command and staff duty positions.
LaSana retires from the National Guard Nov. 28, his 60th birthday.
PFC Cheefus is assigned to 318th Public Affairs Operations Center, Chicago, Ill.
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Army Communicator is part of Regimental Division, a division of Office Chief of Signal.