By Capt. Kurt E. Van Slooten, 1st Signal Brigade PAOApril 30, 2014
USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- As part of the focus on the Pacific, the Army's new Chief Information Officer met with senior Army leaders in Hawaii before coming to Korea to see the massive construction project underway at USAG Humphreys.
Lt. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, Army CIO/G-6, was given an aerial tour of the construction area with communication leaders from United States Forces Korea, Eighth Army and 1st Signal Brigade. While in-route he received a brief on the Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan before finishing the brief at the 304th Signal Battalion conference room on USAG Humphreys.
Col. Richard J. Turner, U.S. Chairman, C4I Joint Working Group and Chief, Task Force Mercury, explained the intricacies of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) aspect of YRP/LPP. These projects when complete will move the majority of U.S. Army troops out of Area I, which is the land mass north of Seoul and Area II, or the area in and around the city of Seoul.
Eighth Army is going to have a phased move, said Col. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, commander of 1st Signal Brigade, based on the completion of key facilities like the Korea Command (KORCOM) Operations Center.
Fredenburgh went on to explain that under the new C4I structure at USAG Humphreys, 1st Signal Brigade would manage the network from there and would have its brigade headquarters, moving from USAG Yongsan, and both a tactical battalion, currently on-site, and a strategic battalion also moving from USAG Yongsan, to provide that oversight.
Fredenburgh noted that another key issue driving the train for the move is readiness of C4I at USAG Humphreys. "We have to make sure we have the ability to move and migrate, while still having access to services during the migration, so that if something happened we are ready to stop wherever we are and focus on the mission at hand."
Turner continued that they are very busy working on the engineering effort with the U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems. At the same time he said there are peer reviews taking place with NETCOM, the Defense Information Systems Agency and other outside agencies as well as reviews by Republic of Korea oversight agencies before anything receives a final approval.
Turner asked the Army CIO/G-6 for assistance in establishing policy that creates a concrete standard to ensure that the technology going into the buildings will meet the requirements for the Department of Defense Joint Information Environment so it won't have to be replaced as all the military branches transition toward a single shared information technology infrastructure.
Fredenburgh also brought home that the majority of the focus back in Washington D.C. falls many times on Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPR) and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPR) but CENTRIX-K (ROK/U.S. classified network), which is essential in a coalition environment, is left out of the discussion.
After the brief, Ferrell said he had some good takeaways. "I've seen it come a long way," said Ferrell. "I'm very happy to see there is great partnering with the PEO-EIS, 1st Signal Brigade, and NETCOM HQs. That was not there initially and it is good to see the strong linkage in order to complete this major relocation effort."
During the windshield tour which following the briefing, Ferrell was able to see the new communication center and KORCOM Operations Center both currently under construction, where representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District were on-hand to answer questions. He also visited one of the completed Army Family Housing units designated for company-grade officers.