GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - They are the first in, during the calm before the storm, safe guarding information. They are preparing for the worst and anticipating the arrival of classified material and the last to leave. They are the 1st Armored Division communications section.

The communications section, or known in the Army as G6, is the first Soldiers into the field and the last to leave, ensuring the security of electronic information, said Sgt. Maj. Joe Armstead, 1st AD communications sergeant major.

"We know it's important to the war fighter, if we fail they fail," said Armstead.

The G6 Soldiers are at Unified Endeavor, a mission readiness exercise to prepare the division for its upcoming Iraq deployment. They are striving to prepare, maintain and protect the network that contains classified information. The exercise is taking place at the Grafenwoehr Training Area.

The network consists of the non-secure Internet protocol network and the secret Internet protocol network.

Armstead said locations, timelines and other classified material are secured on a secure network. "That's sensitive information that could give the enemy an advantage," he said.

Hackers looking for classified information are one of the many threats to the network, said Staff Sgt. Anthony Neal, Internet Protocol Nodal systems specialist, 146th Signal Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st AD.

"All information that flows across [a secure network] is encrypted so the enemy cannot acquire that information." said Armstead.

"I like being included in the communications security technology," said Neal. "My job title IP systems network engineer requires a lot of thinking outside the box just that challenges us and this is a challenging job."

G6 provides operational capabilities to enable joint expeditionary "netcentric" information dominance for the Army.

"It's somewhat comforting because you know your guys did a lot of the initial push to get where we are now," said Armstead. "However, we're not there yet, that's just the initial push we still have to get through the MRX."

The G6 will continue to provide communications support throughout Unified Endeavour until the exercise ends in mid-October.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16