USAG HUMPHREYS, Korea -- Soldiers, Leaders, and Korean Augmentees to the United States Army gathered to participate in sling load training that was conducted by Soldiers of the 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade at taxiway D, here on Oct. 16.

The Training was designed to enhance overall military readiness, by learning the basic concepts of team-based deployment of communication equipment during battle.

"If something happens here, We can deploy our assets anywhere, regardless of road conditions." said Lt. Col. Vanessa K. Ragsdale, battalion commander, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. "You know the Korean traffic is pretty bad, but this gives us the ability to airlift some of our critical communication equipments to support critical command posts around the South Korean peninsula."

"We did the earlier one this summer, with the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, and this is the second time in which they're doing with one of the satellite equipments,"
said Ragsdale. "The soldiers who are participating in this training can learn the basic concepts of Sling Load Operations. The team is learing how to get airlifted to the locations together. Obviously it's enhancing their morale. It keeps us to be ready to fight tonight."

The mission of the 304th ESB, 1st Signal Brigade during the sling load training was to ensure the safe packaging of the equipment and attaching it to the Black Hawk.

"The importance of the event is to train up our soldiers on sling loading and deploying our signal equipment to anywhere so we can prepare if anything should happen in the peninsula," said 2nd Lt. Eric R. Thorsen, 1st platoon leader, A Co, 304th ESB, 1st Signal Brigade. "By sling loading signal equipment, we can re-establish communication anywhere and anytime. It's a really good opportunity for soldiers to get some training and have fun. The training like this is conducted three times a year. We're planning another one for this December."

"It's vital training for communicating, but it's fun as well." added Thorsen. "Actually our battalion is an expeditionary signal battalion, so we need to deploy our signal resources to support command posts around the peninsula. As communication is everything that matters in battle field, if you have communication outage, such as internet, for a day or two, that's a big problem. So we need to get the resources as quickly as possible, and the fastest way to do that is sling loading it to a helicopter."

After participating in the sling load training, Sgt. Joseph W. Hatcher, a cable system installer and maintainer, A Co. 304th ESB, 1st Signal Brigade, shared his thoughts of the training.

"It's very important for our signal components to be able to move the equipment that we have, so we don't have to rely on another unit to move it," said Hatcher.
"This makes us much quicker and gives us the ability to rapidly deploy our own critical signal equipments."