Army satellite controllers re-up with MV-22 Osprey
March 28, 2013
OKINAWA, Japan -- Army satellite controllers from Echo Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (Satellite Control), 1st Space Brigade, decided to re-enlist five of their own during a ceremony at the Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa on March 15.
What made this a unique re-enlistment event was a backdrop of the first ground familiarization static display of the MV-22 Osprey. The Army Space Soldiers who re-enlisted next to and even in it were Staff Sgt. Carlos Halsell, Staff Sgt. Joshua Bemis, Sgt. Michael Hwang, Spc. Clayton Nichols and Spc. Benjamin Bartlett.
"This was a unique opportunity," said Halsell, squad leader SATCON controller supervisor. "When am I ever going to get another chance to be on an Osprey?"
After the traditional re-enlistment ceremonies, MCAS personnel answered all of Echo Company's questions, which ranged from the Osprey primary mission uses to the types of weapon systems it can carry. The newest aircraft to join the Marine Corps inventory, the MV-22 Osprey flies twice as fast, carries three times the weight, and flies more than twice as high and six times farther than the dated helicopter (CH-46) it replaces.
Echo Company is one of five Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers located around the globe. Its mission is to control the communications payloads and communications transmissions of the Defense Satellite Communications Systems and Wideband Global SATCOM constellations; provide space situational awareness and defensive space control as directed by U.S. Strategic Command; and provide the assured wideband satellite communication for Warfighters that is so important in today's operational environments.
"The Soldiers and family members of Echo Company, 53rd Signal Battalion (SATCON), left MCAS with a broader understanding of the MV-22 Osprey and five highly dedicated Soldiers ready and willing to faithfully serve their country," said Capt. Jason Sharritt, Echo Company commander.