By Mr. William B King (2nd Signal Brigade)July 1, 2017
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania -- U.S. Army Spc. Jumoke Robinson stood on the flightline at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, June 30, 2017, raised his right hand and re-enlisted in the Army, then flew over the Black Sea on his first ever ride in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Robinson is a 25Q Multichannel Transmission Systems Operator-Maintainer assigned to Charlie Company, 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 2nd Theater Signal Brigade. He is currently in Romania as part of a team operating a Satellite Transportable Terminal (STT) and Phoenix terminal providing voice and data communications support to exercise Saber Guardian 17.
Exercise Saber Guardian 17, a U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise, will take place in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania July 11-20, 2017. SG17 is larger in both scale and scope over its predecessors. Approximately 25,000 service members from 30 allied and partner nations will take part, and the exercise highlights participant deterrence capabilities, specifically the ability to mass forces at any given time anywhere in Europe.
Robinson has been in the Army for three years and re-enlisted for another two years.
"What I like about the Army is the camaraderie and the unity it brings within the Soldiers. As for the Signal Corps, I like learning about computers, the internet, how switches and routers work, and how everything correlates," Robinson said.
He said he's looking forward to the training he will receive during exercise Saber Guardian 17, specifically in gaining more experience on the Phoenix terminal.
"Some of us have never been in this kind of situation before, so it just helps us retain more knowledge of what can happen in a real-world battlefield situation," Robinson said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Yeager, 44th Expeditionary Signal Bn. senior enlisted leader, said being in Romania and working with multinational allies and partners during Saber Guardian 17 is a great opportunity for junior Soldiers such as Robinson.
"To come out here to a different area and get exposed to a different mindset and a different region is a great opportunity. What these Soldiers get a chance to do is what a lot of people never really even get to dream of doing," Yeager said.
After the re-enlistment ceremony, Robinson and several other Soldiers from his unit boarded a UH-60 Black Hawk from Bravo Company, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, part of Europe's Regionally Allocated Forces, for a ride over the Romanian countryside, the Black Sea and along the beach near Constanta.
Yeager said it was very significant for an aviation unit to take the time to support a re-enlistment, and that it was an experience his Soldiers won't soon forget.
"Not a lot of Signal Soldiers get the opportunity to go fly around and see the Black Sea," Yeager said. "How many people can say they flew along the coastline of the Black Sea?"
2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.