SECKENHEIM, Germany -- As the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy, prepared for its current deploy to Afghanistan, the 3rd Battalion of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade ensured the 173rd's vital radio equipment was set for theater operations.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Alexander, the non-commissioned officer in charge for the radio and communications security shop of the 3rd Battalion, which is located at Camp Darby, Italy, assisted with the undertaking. He was accompanied by Franceso Brizzi and Alessandro Scotti, two local national employees with the 3rd Battalion.

"Each radio transmitter must be connected to a set to run a series of interactive tests," said Sgt. 1st Class Bart Ranger, 3rd Battalion NCOIC. "Each interactive test takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Once the analysis is finished, if the radio transmitter shows any fault, a technician must follow a flow chart to determine which component in the radio is faulty. Then the radio must be repaired."

"Given the importance of reliable communications to the successful completion of missions in theater," Ranger said, "the work we do in this arena is imperative to properly preparing deploying units for upcoming challenges."

(Jennifer L. King is the 405th Army Field Support Brigade Public Affairs Officer)