By Staff Sgt. Roger AshleyJanuary 14, 2015
VICKSBURG, Miss. - Army Reserve Soldiers from the Deployable Command Post One, 412th Theater Engineer Command, trained on basic Soldier movement and communication skills in Vicksburg, Miss., Jan. 11.
Their goal was to move tactically as a team, set up a temporary command post and communicate with headquarters using radio, video and phone capabilities.
Movement and communication are core fundamentals every Soldier must know. Army doctrine states every Soldier, regardless of rank, position and job, must be able to shoot, move and communicate to survive.
The Soldiers assembled in the early morning light for a head count, safety brief, to perform maintenance on their vehicles and become more familiar with newer up-armored vehicles. Though the movement was part of their training, their main objective was to set up communications.
Capt. John Anderson, construction effects officer, DCP One was mission leader for the day's training.
"I lead the convoy to the training site and the goal was to get training on tele-engineering kit, in which we were able to set up a rudimentary deployable command post and get re-familiar with communications and radio procedures," he said.
"Today we're doing peer-to-peer training with Soldiers who will be using the tele-engineering kit in the future," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Shaidnagle, a senior technical engineer with DCP One.
Shaidnagle, who served as the subject matter expert said, "What the tele-engineering tool kit provides is the opportunity to make a phone call, have internet capabilities and to do a video conference with your unit or experts back home."
The Army Corps of Engineers designed and deployed the communications kit and through their reach-back center serve as a switchboard for satellite communications that come through the tele-engineering tool kit to connect multiple parties or give expert advice.
"The neatest thing about the tele-engineering tool kit is if you need to make a phone call, it's there for you or if you need to get on the Internet, it's there," said Shaidnagle. "It's not necessarily your primary mode of communication, but it is a very good secondary. It's the fact that within five or 10 minutes you can make a phone call."
The training was a success, according to Anderson.
"Overall I was really happy how we pulled together as a team," he said. "We set the tent up and the command post up quickly. Staff Sergeant Shaidnagle was able to get some Soldiers trained on the equipment so we can branch out and expand our knowledge base."
Master Sgt. Ernest Green, a DCP One administrator was the first to try the communications kit.
"Staff Sgt. Shaidnagle did a great job instructing us," said Green. "That was my first time seeing the kit. It gave me an experience that I'll always remember."
While this was a great first experience for Green, this is only the beginning.
"We're building our capabilities within the DCP," said Shaidnagle. "This is the crawl phase of the Soldiers' training learning to deploy with the kit, familiarize with the components, do a functions check then redeploy back to the main body."
DCP One has begun the crawl phase; their next goal is to reach the walk phase, then the run phase, getting more proficient with the equipment in each stage.
"The next phase is to set up at our next weapon's qualification instead of just a few miles down the road," said Shaidnagle. "It'll be a little more of an austere environment. The run phase will be when we have a mission outside of Mississippi or the continental United States. That's what we're getting set up for. Our mission as the DCP, it gives the Army Reserve the opportunity to deploy into theater with all assets and operate at the command level."