By Ms. Leticia Hopkins (USARCENT)October 21, 2016
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- U.S. Army Central formally welcomed and reactivated a Digital Liaison Detachment during an activation and assumption of command ceremony at Patton Hall Oct. 21.
Col. Oscar W. Doward Jr., officially assumed command of the 2503rd Digital Liaison Detachment, the first stateside all active-duty detachment of this type.
During Doward's remarks, he expressed how blessed he is and how much of a privilege it was to be selected as the 2503rd DLD commander. He added he was humble and grateful for the opportunity and ready to meet the challenges ahead.
The detachment, originally activated in Korea July 2013, and deactivated in December 2014, was reorganized and reactivated at USARCENT Oct. 16.
"We're reactivating it here with ARCENT because ARCENT really has the mission forward," said Lt. Col. Robert Rowe, 2503rd DLD executive officer.
Rowe said the DLD is a small 30-man detachment with a lot of capabilities that will help USARCENT communicate between units. He added it is similar to a communications unit, but it also performs more technical capabilities, which is why the word digital is included in the detachment name.
Doward explained that each DLD is composed of functional cells that replicate warfighting functions, and each of those cells complements an Army battle command system.
The detachment will serve a unique mission for USARCENT by providing liaison efforts through its detachment headquarters to joint, allied and coalition partners. It will also send teams to carry out tasks associated with operations and maneuver, intelligence, fire support, logistics, air and missile defense, and signal warfighting functions.
According to Rowe, additional benefits the DLD will offer USARCENT is the ability to deploy and set up communications cells in a short time period, flexibility and adaptability, and the ability to build and maintain relationships with partner nations.
As of now, both Doward and Rowe agreed that in the short term they're going to primarily focus on manning, equipping and training the DLD. They also said the DLD will play an important role in helping USARCENT accomplish its mission.
"We're active; we're in CONUS, and we're basically the only game in town in the continental United States," said Doward. "We can shape this in terms of how DLDs are perceived … how they are manned and equipped in the future."