Signal leaders assess progress at Humphreys before summit meeting
December 15, 2013
USAG Humphreys, South Korea -- Leaders from the office of the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, 311th Signal Command (Theater), Army Network Enterprise Technology Command and 1st Signal Brigade met to see the overall construction efforts underway to make USAG Humphreys the main hub for U.S. forces before attending the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Summit the following day.
The group met on Nov. 25, a cold, windy, rainy day at the 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion's conference room to discuss key upcoming target dates for C4I operations in Korea. They also were briefed on the progress being made with facilities and the expansion area, as well as problems that engineers have faced during the construction prior to starting a site tour at USAG Humphreys.
Maj. Gen. James T. Walton, commanding general of 311th Signal Command, Brig. Gen. William J. Scott, Director, Architecture, Operations, Networks, and Space Office of the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, and the NETCOM command team, Brig. Gen. Peter A. Gallagher and Sgt. Maj. Earl B. Allen were in attendance with the 1st Signal Brigade command team, Col. Paul H. Fredenburgh III and Command Sgt. Maj. Darris Curry, accompanied by the 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion command team, Lt. Col. Vanessa K. Ragsdale, and Command Sgt. Maj. William Jordan leading the tour.
When the expansion and relocation programs at USAG Humphreys are complete, Humphreys will become the third largest U.S. Army Base in real estate and the sixth largest in population. That expansion will include more than 500 new facilities such as family housing, schools, recreation facilities, a new Exchange and commissary, motor pools and aviation hangars. These facilities will be added to an expansion area of more than 2,000 acres. The population is expected to grow from 8,000 to about 34,000 Soldiers, dependents, civilians, contractors and retirees.
Lt. Col. Heriberto Galarza, C4I Plans and Integration Officer for 1st Signal Brigade, said the 1st Signal Brigade and Republic of Korea Army serve as C4I's joint working group for United States Forces Korea's transformation and relocation program.
Galarza explained, "C4I is basically in charge of 'connecting' everything; telephone, internet and cable television. We are currently working on finishing the outer fiber rings of our communication lines."
While efforts at USAG Humphreys began in 2009, it wasn't until 2011 that C4I operations could begin for this massive undertaking.
One of the difficulties for the engineers has been building on ground that was once Korean, rice patty farms. Because the ground is so soft from centuries of farming, the dirt must be built up into layers to provide firm support for all of the new facilities it will hold. This has forced engineers who routinely encounter sink holes to dig and set deeper pylons than normal.
"Not everything has gone according to plan, but we are positive it is possible to meet target dates despite the challenges we face," said Galarza.
The group toured one of the newly completed future family housing apartment towers and were impressed by the spacious living accommodations it will provide. The balcony from the apartment provided a bird's eye view to see the whole construction area and future homes to schools and unit facilities.
When trying to move out from the ADN construction site the vehicles struggled as the rain turned the dirt roads into a muddy swamp. The experience helped the group to gain a better perspective of ground issues the construction teams faced on a daily basis.
"I think the feedback I have from the generals is good. They are very pleased with the progress and the engineering efforts being made and are continuing to help us find ways to improve to meet our deadlines," said Galarza.
The following day, they attended the second annual C4I Summit meeting at Osan Air Base.
The meeting provided the opportunity to show the ongoing efforts to improve C4I interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces. The summit focused on air interoperability and the synergistic effects of combined C4I for the war fighter.
The 1st Signal Brigade enables joint and combined command, control, communications, computers, and information management operations throughout Korea to support United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, and Eighth Army's ability to lead, direct and maneuver available forces during armistice, crisis, or war.