BOLESLAWIEC, Poland -- U.S. Soldiers assigned to the South Carolina National Guard have arrived in Poland for a nine-month deployment to provide additional tactical and strategic signal capabilities supporting U.S. Army Europe and the Atlantic Resolve mission.
Soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, South Carolina National Guard are busy inventorying equipment and setting up their company headquarters in Boleslawiec, before conducting network validation and moving out to provide communications and network support to Atlantic Resolve missions.
The company is augmenting the 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 2nd Theater Signal Brigade, the only permanently assigned expeditionary signal battalion in Europe, allowing them much needed time for rest, training and equipment maintenance.
"We're here to provide tactical and strategic communications, assistance and assemblages for Atlantic Resolve and all the exercises that fall under that," said U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Taylor, commander of B Co., 151st ESB.
In addition to providing tactical communications support, the company will also provide strategic communications assistance, including network administration, desktop support and cabling, for U.S. Army units in Poland.
Taylor said working in a forward environment with active duty and Army Reserve units, as well as allied and partner nations, provides huge opportunities for training and for gaining tactical experience.
"It helps our battalion and state have a signal company that is ready and competent for missions - it really provides one force, one fight," Taylor said. "It was a short-notice mission, so we proved that we could mobilize in a fast, efficient manner."
Sgt. Jamal Edmonds, a team chief assigned to B Co. 151st ESB, deployed to Europe last year to support Resolute Castle in Romania. For this deployment he said he was looking forward to the training and leader development opportunities unique to serving in Europe.
"This is my first time coming over as a (noncommissioned officer), so I'm really looking to build experience as far as training and leading Soldiers, and better myself in turn, and to come together as a team," Edmonds said.
"Europe is definitely empowering junior leaders to do things way outside their realm," Taylor said.
SCNG Soldiers assigned to the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Bde. have recently supported 2nd Theater Signal Bde. in Europe, including assisting during the transition to Microsoft Windows 10 in 2017 and supporting exercise Combined Resolve in 2016 in Hohenfels, Germany.
"The partnership that the brigade has formed with the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade from the South Carolina National Guard has proven to enhance the readiness and capabilities of both our formations through exchange of ideas, training opportunities, this deployment, and the experience the National Guard brings from their civilian jobs, many of which are in IT," said U.S. Army Col. Jeff Worthington, commander of 2nd Theater Signal Bde.
He said having the SCNG Soldiers here in Europe will not only improve the readiness of both units, but also provide a credible deterrence while assuring allies and partners of U.S. resolve.
"We are a total force Army - no one component can do what all three can do together, and we are demonstrating that every day here in the brigade and U.S. Army Europe," Worthington 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.