Vertical adjustment: Maintenance mission lifts Soldiers to new heights
By Sgt. Doug Roles, 56th SBCT PAOJune 22, 2009
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers who work at the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team headquarters, here, likely no longer take notice of the towering antennas around their buildings. One piece of the communications equipment drew a lot of attention though, June 4, when two Soldiers rode a crane-operated platform to the top of the nearly 50-feet high antenna to perform routine maintenance.
The spectacle of two Soldiers perched well above rooftop level had passersby stopping for a look-see throughout the day.
"We were conducting antennae maintenance on the towers, for the FM [communications]," said Sgt. Shauna Banks of Philadelphia. "We also ran new cable."
Banks, a signal systems specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 56th SBCT, coordinated the maintenance project for the brigade's "commo" section. She said temporary connections to other antennas had to be made so the company did not lose FM communications while maintenance was conducted.
"Typically this kind of maintenance is done every four months in country," Banks said, "so we'll only do it once during our tour."
The 56th is now at the mid-point of its deployment. The brigade arrived in Iraq in late January and will be deployed through late summer.
The aerial work is surely a deployment "highlight" for Spc. Kyle Adamski, of Duryea, Pa. and Spc. Shawna Teer, of Dallas, Pa., two commo section Soldiers who completed the maintenance at the top of the antenna while another team worked at ground level. Teer said she and Adamski didn't mind working at eye level with the local doves and pigeons.
"It was fun. I like heights," said Teer. "We replaced the feed cones on the antennas. He [Adamski] didn't mind the height. He was all over it. "