[SatNews] “Connectivity could be a lifesaver if emergency services need to be called in.”
The 35th Signal Brigade, Fort Gordon, Georgia, is teaming up with the 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to establish communications and networking to austere areas of operation in support of the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance in Liberia.
The JFC-UA is supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development-led comprehensive U.S. Government and international effort to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The equipment the signal personnel are bringing in will improve mission capabilities of JFC-UA troops.
“The equipment will speed up communication and allow more users to access the network,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Erik Averill, information service technician, 35th Sig. Bde.
Soldiers from the 35th Sig. Bde. and 50th Expeditionary Sig. Bn. are receiving equipment from the U.S. in Monrovia, Liberia. Upon arrival, the equipment is set up and validated.
“We validate it here so that when we get equipment to our sites we can run it as soon as possible,” said Spc. Kaleb Stewart, satellite communications systems operator/maintainer, 50th Expeditionary Sig. Bn. “Everything can be done quicker with communication.”
JFC-UA is responding as quickly and safely as possible to support USAID, and signal personnel are imperative to accomplish this.
Before these communications are set up, personnel must rely on radios with short-range capabilities or transportation to relay messages, said Stewart. With the network, it would only take a simple email or phone call to communicate.
The network and communication capabilities also make it safer for Soldiers and Department of Defense employees.
“Signal provides a tactical military network that allows secure communication to protect the information transmitted,” said Averill. Secure lines keep sensitive information protected from adversaries, keeping troops safe.
Stewart agrees communication is key for safety. “Connectivity could be a lifesaver if emergency services need to be called in,” said Stewart. "Getting a medical evacuation using the lines signal provides can be more reliable and expedient," he said.
Upon validation of the incoming equipment, it will be sent out to JFC-UA remote areas of operation and will provide the communication necessary to accomplish their missions. Soldiers in these isolated sites can look forward to conducting their missions faster and safer with the arriving signal personnel and equipment.