VICENZA, Italy -- U.S. Army Signal Soldiers from the 509th Signal Battalion, 2nd Signal Brigade, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and U.S. Army Africa came together for a training session on expeditionary satellite communications systems Feb. 13, 2017 on Caserma Del Din in Vicenza, Italy.

Led by the 509th Signal Battalion, the training increased the Soldiers' knowledge of expeditionary communications assets and better prepared them to support mission command in a dynamic environment across both Europe and Africa.

The training focused on the Tampa Microwave with 65cm SATCOM Terminal and also included a demonstration of Panther SATCOM Terminal. The training was divided into two sessions -- the morning session consisted of classroom training that provided an overview of system capabilities, configurations and setup procedures, followed by the afternoon session outside to practice the objectives taught in the morning with hands-on training and configuration drills.

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Manglicmot, assigned to the 509th Signal Battalion S-3, organized the training sessions. He said having signaleers from other units at the training helped foster a sense of community among units and Soldiers.

"I believe that having Soldiers from four different battalions at the training enabled all of us to see that we all have a common goal and as a signal team we can harness our combined knowledge and accomplish any mission," Manglicmot said.

Master Sgt. Jason Clute, 173rd Airborne Brigade S-6 NCOIC, said he requested the SATCOM training to better support command teams on the ground and familiarize his Soldiers with newly acquired systems.

"With new systems comes new training and finding a local military (subject matter expert) reduced the flash-to-bang time and eliminated a training expenditure," Clute said.

Sgt. Dasean Payton, an RTO for the 173rd Airborne Brigade command team, said the training was needed and that he was impressed they were able to receive the quality of training they did without having to pay industry experts.

"This training was extremely beneficial because it provided hands-on training with unfamiliar equipment from a military subject matter expert," Payton said.

The Tampa Microwave will be supplementing the Secure Internet Protocol Router/Non-secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR/NIPR) Access Point (SNAP) satellite terminals currently supporting the battalion and brigade command teams. The 173rd Airborne Brigade "Sky Soldiers" will conduct airborne operations with the Tampa to provide IP space for enhanced command and control as part of early entry packages.

"This ability allows expeditionary forces the ability to not only talk 'voice' but also pass real time reliable data to other combatant commanders on the battlefield or at home station," Manglicmot said. "Being able to shoot, move and communicate is the overall goal of the 'fight tonight' and 'Strong Europe' concept, and mobile communication kits are great assets to support that end state."

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2nd Signal Brigade builds, operates and defends Mission Command System and networks to support unified action anytime, anywhere.