WIESBADEN, Germany -- The 102nd Signal Battalion Network Enterprise Center (NEC) was recently named the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) NEC of the Year for 2015. This is the fourth year in a row that the unit has won the award, carrying on what has become a winning tradition of excellence in network service and customer support.

Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commander of NETCOM, and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson, NETCOM senior enlisted advisor, presented the award to the 102nd Signal Battalion, 2nd Signal Brigade at an Orange Call event March 21, 2016 at the Community Activity Center on Clay Kaserne.

The NEC award program recognizes a signal command NEC that is responsive to enterprise building efforts; supports enterprise solutions; has shown the most innovative solutions to resource shortfalls; is cohesive in teambuilding, morale and structured approaches to employee relations, to include contributions towards selected enterprise initiatives.

James Ellersick, 102nd Signal Battalion regional director, said unit cohesion helped create a special bond between Soldiers and Civilians during the past several years and allowed them to better overcome obstacles and support warfighters.

"We also have an elite team of leaders at each level of the battalion, company and NECs that navigates us through the tough times, but also provide mentorship for the future up and coming leaders in the organization," Ellersick said.

The 102nd Signal Battalion's award entry included the accomplishments of the NECs in Wiesbaden, Baumholder, Kaiserslautern, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels and Ansbach, and the 181st Signal Company's Enterprise Satellite Gateway and Theater COMSEC Management Office, and the combined effort of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and battalion staff.

One of the biggest battalion initiatives that happened in 2015 was the consolidation and reorganization of services for Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels and Ansbach under the new Regional NEC Bavaria. Tom Sobey, director of the Regional NEC Bavaria, said regionalization allows them to better organize to take advantage of technological advances while still maintaining the touch labor and direct customer interaction required to efficiently provide services.

"Regionalization meets NETCOM's vision by striking a happy medium between fully centralized support and fully local support," Sobey said. "In this time of reduced resources, regionalized support is the best way to keep mission customer requirements first-and-foremost while still providing services in a cost-effective manner."

As for the possibility of winning a fifth straight NETCOM NEC of the Year award, Ellersick said the unit is working hard to improve service and complete several network modification and infrastructure upgrades before the end of the year.

"We always pursue excellence in everything we do and this year is no exception," Ellersick said.

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5th Signal Command's mission is to build, operate and defend network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational and strategic flexibility for Army, Joint and Multinational forces in the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.

2nd Signal Brigade builds, operates and defends Mission Command System and Networks in order to support unified action anytime-anywhere.