By Army Staff Sgt. Amber Emery
Special to American Forces Press Service
Oct. 28, 2008 - In a combat environment, good communication capabilities are the key to success, giving warfighters visibility on the ground and across their battle space. A team of communication maintainers in the Communication and Electronics shop here ensures this vital aspect of the battlefield functions properly.
"The importance of our mission is to keep the warfighter talking," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Klar, a maintenance supervisor in the 10th Mountain Division's network support company.
The Victory Base Complex shop has provided technical assistance to numerous locations throughout Multinational Division Center's area of operations.
"The mission of our section is to primarily take care of the communication assets for Task Force Gauntlet and Task Force Mountain locally, but we have extended our reach to any unit that doesn't have communications support," Klar said. "So we've gotten our name out there quite a bit."
The shop maintains both signal and ordnance communications through various types of equipment.
"Every signal system reaches to one of the two main hubs in theater, either here at Victory Base Complex or in Kuwait, and from there are two satellites from those nodes that reach back to the States," Klar said.
To ensure the soldiers are ready for any issue that may occur within the shop, they are continuously learning. The soldiers also work closely with contractors' field support representatives and other support assets such as Communication Electronics Command.
"All we can do ... is to keep up on our skills as technicians," Klar said. "There is really no set, defined way of saying, 'OK, if this situation happens,' because anything can happen. So most of the time it is common sense we work off of, and most of the time it is things we have learned in the past."
Klar said that despite a rough start, the mission has been successful so far. Now that the units know where they are located and what their capabilities are within the shop, he said, things have started to come into place.
"We are succeeding and providing them their support," said Army Spc. Brent Moore. "As long as everyone is able to communicate and everyone's happy, that validates my success."
(Army Staff Sgt. Amber Emery serves in the Multinational Division Center Public Affairs Office.)