Signal command manages global communications from Hawaii
October 5, 2006
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (September 22, 2006)--The Army Reserve's 311th Signal Command (Theater) became the newest element in the U.S. Army Pacific Command during a Sept. 15 ceremony at Fort Shafter.
The event, which included the uncasing of the command's flag, marked the arrival of the unit from Fort Meade, Md., and the beginning of its operational mission of managing communications in the Pacific theater.
"It truly represents a beginning of the United States Army transformation," said Maj. Gen. William H. Brandenberg, deputy commanding general of USARPAC, and host of the ceremony.
"As we become a warfighting headquarters, the enabling capabilities that the 311th Signal Command brings to the United States Army Pacific is unsurpassed," he said. "The United States Army is at war ... one of the things that was recognized, is that this headquarters at Fort Shafter (USARPAC) did need to change, and the 311th is a major part of that change because of what they bring to the fight."
As a theater signal command that includes Army Reserve and active component senior leadership, the 311th SC assumes responsibility for managing the Pacific portion of the Army LandWarNet, the Army's network enterprise, a global communications grid that includes all Army networks - from sustaining military bases to forward-deployed forces.
To support this mission, the command's configuration is unique in the Army Reserve, observed the 311th SC Commander, Maj. Gen. Donna L. Dacier, during her remarks.
"The 311th Signal Command is the first major subordinate command of the Army Reserve to move from strategic reserve, which means a traditional reserve unit with the 'one weekend a month, and two weeks a year' requirement for unit membership, to a unit that will serve seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," she said. "This ensures that communications are provided in a reliable and robust manner to all the user groups here in the Pacific."
In the big picture, this permits the USARPAC commander, Lt. Gen. John M. Brown III, to provide support to the Pacific Command in his role as the Army Service Component commander. With the 311th SC managing signal assets, the warfighter can deploy anywhere in the Pacific, said Dacier, and "take on any mission - whether it's military support to civil authorities, operational support or noncombatant operations - and get safe, secure and reliable communications from the foxhole back to the garrison."
Over the coming year, the 311th SC will work with the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and the 516th Signal Brigade, at the USARPAC in Fort Shafter, Hawaii, to ramp up its role as planner and executer of signal operations in the Pacific Theater. A rear detachment at Fort Meade, Md., comprised primarily of traditional Reserve Soldiers, will provide administrative and staff support to the unit's command at Fort Shafter.
The day of celebration also included a change of responsibilities ceremony transferring the highest enlisted position in the command from Command Sgt. Maj. Honora B. Rhatigan to Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald W. Capps.