WIESBADEN, Germany -- Nearly 50 Signal warrant officers from across the European theater participated in a daylong Signal Warrant Officer Professional Development event Feb. 28, 2018 in Landstuhl.
The Signal WOPD was organized by the U.S. Army Signal Activity - Kaiserslautern, 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion, 2nd Theater Signal Brigade and held in the Charlie Company, 53rd Signal Battalion conference room.
Units represented at the Signal WOPD included U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Europe, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Africa, the NATO Communications and Information Agency and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, among others. The Signal WOPD also included Ordnance and Military Intelligence warrant officers whose jobs include signal and communications for their units.
"We're bringing all these entities together in one place to talk about current processes and the trends and issues that they are seeing out there so that the warrant officer force here in Europe and Africa can be as up to date, current and knowledgeable on how to be able to get services, get the mission done and provide good quality service delivery," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Muralles, the USASA-K officer in charge of Global Operations and one of the Signal WOPD organizers.
The Signal WOPD included several professional and technical information briefings, a tour of the Enterprise SATCOM Gateway - Landstuhl facility, and a social event. Briefing topics included warrant officer career management and development, an overview of the process for requesting satellite communications support in Europe, how to provision circuits, an introduction to the Global Agile Integrated Transport architecture, and more.
"We're hosting this right before the exercise cycle kicks off so that we can address some of the gaps that have been seen from previous exercises," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Tommy Archie, the 2nd Theater Signal Brigade senior technical advisor.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Andrew Llanos, the U.S. Army Europe G-6 senior technical advisor, said while the technical briefings are important, it's only half of the equation.
"The other half is building relationships. There's something you can't get on the other end of a telephone or on a (video teleconference) that you get when you're face to face, and that's what this allows us to do is come together face to face and build relationships," Llanos said.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Sean Palmer, assigned to the U.S. Army Africa G-6 section, said he was looking to gain new information and contacts that he could take back and share with his unit.
"I hope to interface with the other 255Ns on a personal and professional level," said Palmer, a military occupational specialty 255N Network Management Technician.
Organizers said they plan to make the Signal WOPD a recurring event, possibly quarterly and to rotate to different units and locations in the theater.
"By doing this every quarter, we're going to be able to stay ahead of the curve and have all the Signal warrant officers in the (area of responsibility) to be on the same page, and to build camaraderie," Muralles said.
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.