LEST, Slovakia - For the average person, having access to communications via cellphone or computer is an essential part of daily life. For Army Soldiers in the field, it is critical to mission success.

To that end, Soldiers with the Indiana Army National Guard worked to ensure commanders have communications capabilities with troops in the field as part of Slovak Shield 2019, a multinational NATO war-fighting exercise in Slovakia.

"We established a high-frequency antenna setup," said Army Spc. Josh Southerland, a Seymour, Indiana, native and signal support systems specialist assigned to the 1st Squadron, 152 Cavalry Regiment, 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana Army National Guard. "It is meant to provide communications between the command site and the exercise site."

The AN/PRC-150 multiband radio commonly referred to as a Harris radio has unique capabilities.

Southerland said the AN/PRC-150 is capable of transmitting both voice and data over difficult terrain. Instead of requiring a line of sight to transmit information, the AN/PRC-150 can send signals off Earth's ionosphere. In other words, it reflects a signal off the atmosphere from one point on Earth's surface to another, including over mountains, trees and other terrains.
Soldiers with 1-152 CAV recognized the importance of establishing good communications.

"The mission would fail without comms," said Army Spc. Dillon Devore, a Seymour, Indiana, native and signal support systems specialist assigned to the 1-152 CAV, 76th ICBT, 38th ID, IN ARNG. "It's the only way we can talk to each other."

Slovakia's mountainous terrain provided new challenges for the Soldiers.

"It's hard because we can't set up easily," said Southerland. "We can't just call the person on the other side."

Despite that challenge, the Soldiers were able to establish communications between the training sites. After all, the Soldiers had one goal in mind when setting up the antenna.

"Good comms," said Devore.