By 2nd Lt. Kyle J. GeorgeOctober 7, 2019
Two teams from A Co, 50th Expeditionary Signal Battalion-Enhanced were tasked to support operation Justified Accord from July 9th to July 30th 2019. This mission provided many challenges and great experiences for the Soldiers that participated.
The exercise took place in Ethiopia, Africa where the two teams were located nearly 200 miles apart with different missions while on site. Team 5011 led by SGT Allen helped USARAF in the Addis Ababa, the Capitol of Ethiopia, providing help desk operations while team 5015 led by SGT Morris was co-located with the 101st Airborne Division in a remote town supplying NIPR and SIPR capabilities to 4th Engineers Battalion.
SGT Allen's team worked out of a government building in Addis Ababa helping partner nations get access to different software utilized during the mission. They created accounts, produced certificates, and even gave classes to these supporting nations on familiarity and operability of coalition equipment that was supplied by USARAF.
SPC Parker of team 5011 said "It was a great experience, we met people from all over the world. I felt like we were playing in integral role in providing countries what they needed to have successful communications during the mission".
SGT Morris's team 5015 worked in an outdoors environment and brought the new ESB-E SATCOM equipment to provide NIPR and SIPR capabilities. At the Field Training Exercise (FTX) site they worked directly with US Army units to support the 4th Engineer Battalion TOC on the training area. As the team and their equipment arrived to the FTX site they managed to set up promptly pulling services in just over an hour. After setting up, they worked with communicators from the supported unit to configure their organic WIN-T equipment and gave classes on entering configurations to pull services over SATCOM.
SPC Martinez with 5015 said "The site was a little rough, a ton of mosquitos, but it was good being able to train other 25 series Soldiers. We were all getting good training out there". The team provided redundant and reliable communications throughout the two weeks of training. SGT Morris the Team Chief said "SATCOM was working well, it posed a challenge when we did have to call the RHN because there wasn't phone service. We quickly fixed that problem by utilizing an Iridium phone we had received". The team was able to adapt to different obstacles being in a foreign country and provided exceptional services.
After three weeks of hard work, the A Co, 50th ESB-E teams returned to Fort Bragg to start recovery. They were able to bring back knowledge from their involvement in Ethiopia to help prepare teams to train there in the future. 4th Engineers and USARAF were astounded by the work ethic and technical understanding of the Soldiers. The teams executed their assigned tasks flawlessly. Overall, Justified Accord was a success and a great experience for the teams and all the Soldiers involved.