By Spc. Jessica ToddJune 14, 2019
FORT CHAFFEE, Ark. - Oklahoma Army National Guard Soldiers from the 205th Signal Support Company (SSC), 271st Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, supported the communication efforts of training exercise Western Strike at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Tuesday.
Soldiers from the 205th SSC supported the mission by retransmitting signals from one radio tower to another. When radios are unable to communicate directly because they are too far apart, the signal needs to be retransmitted.
"Anytime there is a graphical interference, something like a mountain, trees or buildings, you have to get higher than that interference," said Cpl. Brady Todd, a signal support systems specialist with the 205th SSC. "Essentially, if point A is unable to talk to point C, then we set up a point B in between."
Because of the efforts of the 205th SSC Soldiers, the mission was able to continue without interruption by ensuring units were able to talk to one another which was essential for mission success. This happens through signal retransmission or "re-trans".
"Our re-trans supports other elements of the 45th [Field Artillery Brigade], notably the 158th Field Artillery Regiment, the 271st Brigade Support Battalion and Headquarters Battery," said Todd. "We work hard to keep their operations running smoothly while also maintaining a strong security posture."
Soldiers worked around the clock to troubleshoot any signal interruptions in order to keep retransmission equipment functional throughout Western Strike.
"These Soldiers have really taught me a lot about radios, retransmitting radio signals and more," said Cadet Grace Tompkins with the 205th SSC. "I am proud to be a part of this supporting unit because it is really important to the overall mission."
As a cadet with the University of Oklahoma, Tompkins acted as the platoon leader of the Company's 1st platoon. Tompkins, along with Todd, the non-commissioned officer-in-charge, were responsible for operations on the hill where their retransmission efforts occurred.
The 45th FAB is participating in Western Strike as part of the unit's annual training. The Soldiers train year-round, then use their gained knowledge and experience to perform their jobs at annual training.