Keeping 1st Cav Connected
Spc. Eric Moretti, a satellite communication operator and maintainer with Company A, Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, performs maintenance to a satellite that provide internet and phone services to Soldiers on Camp Liberty, Iraq, Feb. 22. Moretti, a native of Newburgh, N.Y. main duty is assuring the communications for 1st Cav. Div. stay connected."

CAMP LIBERTY - There is one thing that Soldiers, from private to general, rely on daily while deployed. When this one thing goes down it is instantly noticed. It is typically taken for granted. This one thing of critical importance is communication.

Soldiers from Company A, Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, have been working hard since the beginning of the deployment insuring that the communication link throughout the division stays connected. The communication system is made up of various satellites and antennas linked together which provide internet, email, and phone services, said Maj. Steve Maddry, company commander with Co. A.

A lot of things go into keeping a system of phone and internet services running, said Maddry, a native of Natchitoches, La.

"We provide services that are on par to commercial companies back in the states," said Maddry.

After getting the system running, things have continually change since arriving in Iraq, said Sgt. Andrew Rawlings, a multi-channel transmission systems operator and maintainer with Co. A. Things have changed within the system because of advancements in technology, he added.

"I basically monitor and make sure everything runs smoothly," said Rawlings, a native of Orange, Va.

When coming in for the day, various checks and inspections are performed on the monitoring devices and different antennas used in the system, Rawlings said. Throughout the day everything is checked and checked again.

"Maintaining 24-hour operations and ensuring the quality of the connections is probably one of the hardest parts of the job," Maddry said.

"One part of maintaining things is to fill generators with fuel," Spc. Eric Moretti, a satellite communication operator and maintainer with Co. A. Fueling the generators is one of the most important parts of operating, he said, because the system won't run with out power.

As the communication system is maintained and runs smoothly a great deal of enjoyment comes from knowing Soldiers throughout the division are communicating properly.

"My job is basically customer satisfaction by making sure everybody is happy, that everyone is talking, and able to e-mail," Rawlings said.

"Something that makes us feel good is knowing that we're technically proficient in our jobs and know that if something happened, we'd know how to handle the situation," said Moretti, a native of Newburgh, N.Y.

As Soldiers on Camp Liberty e-mail and talk to one another on the phone, behind the scene are Soldiers keeping the connection alive.

Page last updated Wed February 28th, 2007 at 09:58