By Capt. Derrick DejonNovember 28, 2017
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- U.S. Army signal Soldiers throughout the 2d Cavalry Regiment came together for an external evaluation on performance of their signal tasks in a challenging training scenario ran by the Charlie Troop, Regimental Engineer Squadron and the 2CR S6 section on Nov. 15, 2017. The primary objective of the training event was to evaluate the various radio retransmission (RETRANS) team's ability to execute their mission essential tasks (MET) in accordance with established Training and Evaluation Outline (T&EO) criteria.
Six RETRANS teams across four different squadrons took part in the assessment. Twenty-four hours prior to execution, each team was given an operation order with all the mission details and maps of the training area for each team to conduct their own Troop Leading Procedures (TLPs) and pick their own primary/alternate RETRANS sites. Junior noncommissioned officers were empowered to develop and execute their own plans.
"The training event provided a good opportunity to validate our systems, integrate the new Soldiers into our teams, and compare our proficiency against the other squadrons," said Sgt. Freddie Lane, 2nd Platoon, Charlie Troop, RETRANS crew chief.
Upon arrival to the training area, RETRANS teams were linked up with their evaluator and immediately conducted movement to their primary RETRANS site. Once the team dismounted, the clock started because each team was being timed so they could be ranked against each other on how fast they could execute their mission.
On site, the teams had to rapidly setup their antennas, establish FM radio RETRANS capabilities and then setup camouflage. The evaluator would then validate that their systems were setup properly by communicating to a distant mission command node across the training area.
Once validated, teams had to react to a gas attack and then artillery simulators were dropped on them to force the teams to jump to their alternate RETRANS site. The teams had to rapidly tear down, conduct movement to their alternate site, and re-establish all tactical radio services, and setup camouflage again. Once completed, time stopped for the teams.
For signal Soldiers, those on RETRANS teams are most likely to encounter enemy activity in a combat training center rotation or in a real world scenario. There are times where these teams need to be able to operate on their own. Conditions were set to simulate the challenges these six teams would face all while getting their MET proficiency evaluated. The end result of this training are teams returning to their units with a filled out Training and Evaluation Outline for their commander's to asses.