By Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominque SheltonDecember 17, 2018
CHITOSE, Japan -- Whether on a hill, in a dale, or on a dusty trail, battlefield communications are essential to every service member no matter their location. Be it the individual service member in the field to the pilot flying the jet, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely is extremely important during times of conflict.
Not doing so could be the difference between life or death.
As communication technologies advance and the tools used to intercept these technologies grow more elaborate, the need for proper battlefield-communications techniques becomes evermore important
Established units have specific processes already in place to meet their communications needs, however, when it comes to deploying units to locations lacking an established communication framework, many call upon outside agencies to supplement these needs.
One team commanders call on to do this is the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), part of Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC),which falls under the U.S. Transportation Command and provides mission-specific, joint capabilities to combatant commanders needed to facilitate accelerated establishment of joint force headquarters, fulfill Global Response Force execution and bridge joint operational requirements.
"What sets us apart here at the JCSE, is that we provide an essential skill set that allows commands to work efficiently and effectively until they are able to bring up their own capabilities in order to sustain themselves," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Jonathan L. Kelly, 1st Joint Communications Squadron Team Chief.
Comprised of both an active and reserve components - of three active duty squadrons, two Air-National Guard squadrons and one Army reserve squadron - the JCSE enables both tactical and strategic communications. This is done by providing rapidly deployable, scalable, en-route and early-entry communications capabilities across the full gamut of operations enabling increased action of the joint force in support of the 10 combatant commands, special operations commands and other agencies, as directed.
"We are the embodiment of the total force and for this reason our units routinely exercise and deploy together, making for an effective team capable of meeting a wide range of mission-critical demands and tasks," said Kelly.
At the heart of the unit's core competency is its communications support for contingency operations. Using the latest technologies, JCSE is a tactical unit with the ability to operate at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. In addition, the element has the skill sets needed to support broader Joint Task Force operations ranging anywhere from 40 to 1500 network users.
"Here at the JCSE, we use the latest technologies in order to meet today's operational requirements while also keeping up with the units' wide-range mission requirements," said Kelly. "We ensure our members are well trained communicators ready to deploy at any given moment."
Today, the element has service members deployed to locations all around the world, covering a wide range of missions, including a team currently deployed to Higashi-Chitose, Japan, supporting exercise Yama Sakura 75.
Yama Sakura is an annual bilateral exercise involving the U.S. Military and the JGSDF with the purpose of enhancing U.S. and Japanese combat readiness and interoperability while strengthening relationships and demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Just as in other exercises, the JCSE team at Yama Sakura, used their expertise to provide the real world capability for both NIPR and SIPR communications requirements, to support simulated battlefield communications.