By Spc. Juliana MorrisonFebruary 27, 2007
KALSU - Paratroopers with Company C, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, the signal company for the brigade, have made it possible for their brigade to be successful while fighting the war on terror.
The signal company has come a long way from building a new unit, to getting hands-on training at the Joint ReadinessTraining Center at Fort Polk, La., to actually fighting a war in Iraq.
"Because of hands-on training the Soldiers were prepared to do their job in Iraq. Our section was trained in setting up the JNN before we got to Iraq. We are learning as we go and are becoming more and more familiar with this equipment as the deployment goes on," said Sgt. Isiah Brooks, the section sergeant who helps manage the network.
The signal company has had hands-on training in certain areas, but for the Help Desk section, learning the job as they go has helped them make a name for themselves.
The Help Desk is responsible for managing personnel trouble tickets and for troubleshooting any problems that customers may have with computers and other equipment. Staff Sgt. Randall Courtney is the platoon sergeant for the section, and he acts as the liaison between the customer and the Soldiers.
"Everything is digital now; if the system goes down, it can cause adverse conditions on the mission and leave us with no communication capabilities," said Courtney. "Our job is to troubleshoot the problems and correct them."
Without the signal company, the brigade would not be able to operate effectively because there would be no phones, no radio communication, and no internet access, which is the base of most communication for today's military.
Co. C is in charge of providing all communications for the 425th on Forward Operating Base Kalsu, not to mention setting up and monitoring communications for nearby bases.
The signal maintenance section specializes in the repair of broken equipment like radios, printers, and computers. Sgt. Joseph Savant, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the signal maintenance section, said the section is on top of its game.
"We are doing an excellent job with turn-around," Savant said. "If something is broken, we take a look at it and most of the time can fix it on the spot."
For those problems that need more maintenance, the parts are sent on a convoy with the signal company to a nearby base where they can be fixed.
The signal company stood up when the 425th was just forming at Fort Richardson, Alaska. As more and more paratroopers arrived to the unit, companies within the battalion were starting to form and train in their areas of expertise.
For Company C, that training included setting up and learning the Joint Network Node, High Capacity Line of Sight antennas and troubleshooting electronic equipment.
The Joint Network Node Operations section (JNN) ensures communications are being provided for the brigade. The section monitors the network and allows communications to flow within Kalsu as well as on other bases.
Capt. Wendy Bresnyan, the company commander, said her paratroopers are on the right track and are proficient in their jobs.
"This company is like a finely-oiled machine," she said. "We have great NCO's who take care of Soldiers, and Soldiers who are willing to learn and excel."