Signal Company Restores Combat Communications

By Spc. Michael BradleApril 27, 2021

Spc. Nazir Johnson, an Information Technology Specialist with the 73rd Signal Company, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, moves phone equipment during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle)
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Nazir Johnson, an Information Technology Specialist with the 73rd Signal Company, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, moves phone equipment during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle) (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Bradle) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Ryan Gillard, a Satellite Communications Operator Maintainer with the 73rd Signal Company, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, ensures that his equipment is online during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle)
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Ryan Gillard, a Satellite Communications Operator Maintainer with the 73rd Signal Company, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, ensures that his equipment is online during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle) (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Bradle) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Javon Courtney, a Nodal Network System Operator-Maintainer with the 73rd Signal Company, Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, ensures that his equipment is online during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle)
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Javon Courtney, a Nodal Network System Operator-Maintainer with the 73rd Signal Company, Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, ensures that his equipment is online during a training exercise on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on April 22, 2021. This exercise validates signal soldiers on the brigade’s Joint Node Network after 3 years of inoperation. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Bradle) (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Bradle) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Soldiers of the Joint Network Node Platoon, 73rd Signal Company, Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, restored field communication to the entire 25th DSB after three years of inoperation. This restoration is part of a recent equipment and training validation held for the 73rd Sig. Co. on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on 22 April.

According to Sgt. Daniel Redburn, a satellite communications systems operator-maintainer and part of the 25th DSB Communications Shop, the Joint Network Node suffered from a fatal overheating issue in 2018, causing it to go offline permanently.

The next year, the JNN equipment was sent to an external source for a repair and reset, finally returning back to the 73rd Sig. Co. in spring 2021. Once back in the hands of the "Lightning Support" communicators, restoring field communications on the blank equipment became priority. A joint effort consistaing of the JNN platoon, 25th DSB Communications Shop, the 25th Inf. Div. Communications Shop, and external sources; the equipment was operational within weeks.

“It’s crucial for [the brigade] to be ready at all times,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ramiro Carlos, platoon sergeant for the JNN Platoon and noncommissioned officer in charge of the validation event.

While this training is normal for some, for Pvt. Demiya Staples, a cable systems Installer-maintainer and recent graduate of the U.S. Army Signal School at Fort Gordon, GA, this is an opportunity for better real world training while at her first duty station.

“This training gives us the opportunity for hands on [experience],” Staples said. “We get to experience this as though we were out in the field or on assignment. It’s a great time to learn.”

For Spc. Javon Courtney, a nodal network system operator-maintainer with 73rd Sig. Co., this is a testing opportunity after years of rebuilding the Joint Network Node for the brigade. This is also an opportunity to cross train soldiers like Staples on JNN equipment.

“It’s good for other soldiers to see this kind of training because we can have them efficient in it,” Courtney said. “In case one of our operators [has a Permanent Change of Station] and no one else knows. That little bit of training will help the soldiers get into it.”

With the equipment fully restored by 2020 and the validation event for the JNN platoon completed in 2021, voice, data, and satellite communications will become more effective and efficient for the division’s sustainment brigade.