By Sgt. Joseph TruckleyDecember 5, 2017
Fort Benning, Ga. -- Soldiers with the military occupation specialty Signal Support Systems Specialist or 25U are vital to the mission success of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Benning, Ga.
SFABs are new brigades specifically trained and built to enable combatant commanders to accomplish theatre security objectives by training, advising, assisting, accompanying and enabling allied and partner indigenous security forces.
"It is like working with a bunch of professionals as a member of 1st SFAB," said Sgt. 1st Class Douglas King, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, Section Chief, 4th battalion, 1st SFAB.
Signal operations in a unit are primarily conducted solely by 25 series MOS's.
"It is a job that does not get a lot of recognition in most units," said King. "The leadership here as a whole is fully engaged not only in training but the communication piece as well, which is key toward the success of the missions of SFAB."
King said that he has never been in a unit where everybody is willing to get involved to help accomplish the mission.
"There is a common understanding of the roles of everyone, and how important it is to work together," King said.
"As a 25U our, role is to help our foreign counterparts as well as our teams to understand the significance of proper communication. During missions everyone will be spread out and ensuring those lines of communication are up and available will be our focus," said King.
As advisors to partner nation communications specialists, 25Us will assist with the best use of communication equipment, and developing plans for how to employ communications assets, said Sgt. 1st Class Charvis Phillips, from Roanoke, Alabama, senior communication chief, 2nd battalion, 1st SFAB.
Phillips said as part of assisting in the development of plans they will advise their partners on dealing with factors such as the environment and terrain that could affect the range of voice and data communications.
"There is a whole lot of hands-on training with new communication equipment," said King.
"There are systems we use here that throughout my 16 year military career that I have never used before," King said.
"The real difference is the availability of different communication equipment," said Phillips. "The type of radio platforms we have allows us to talk on multiple wave lengths, such as frequency modulation, ultra-high frequency, high frequency and satellite communication for voice and Soldier radio waveform and tactical reconnaissance wing for passing data."
The exposure to all the different signal platforms that wouldn't be available in the normal Army, is definitely a benefit to joining SFAB, said Phillips.
During King's prior assignment, he was a capability developer at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he was part of the future development of the Army's network.
"I never thought I would get my hands on some of the equipment we use here which is really cool. I was part of the planning team at Fort Huachuca, but never thought that I would get the opportunity to use the equipment," said King.
"The tempo of training and execution is very fast and competitive in nature," said King. "That is one of the big differences between SFAB and a conventional unit. But here, no one is too big for the task, a lot of working together and doing what it takes to get the job done and complete the mission."
"The experience both technically and tactfully is rewarding in itself," said King. Soldiers looking for a challenge and willing to be part of a winning team would be great candidates to join SFAB, he said.
"Without comms the mission would fail, that is what makes our job so important," said King. "Individually we all don't have the answers but we will find the answers together."
Soldiers looking to volunteer for 1st SFAB should contact their branch manager.