By Spc. Justin Naylor, 2nd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.August 27, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- There are few things more important to successful military operations than the ability for troops at different locations to communicate.
To ensure that signal Soldiers from the various battalions that make up 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are able to successfully set up a High-Capacity Line-of-Sight (HCLOS) radio, enabling high speed communications between units on the battlefield, troopers from Company B, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, hosted a two week HCLOS course, here.
"We wanted to set up a two week training exercise where we could train members from all the battalions in the brigade on basically everything you can do with the HCLOS," said 1st Lt. Nate Knowlton, a Glocester, R.I., native and the officer in charge of the training. "They can come out here and go through the crawl, walk and run phases."
According to Knowlton, the HCLOS system pushes the most data at the highest rate of speed of any of the brigade's communication equipment; enabling quick and reliable communications between units.
The HCLOS training began with four days of intensive classroom sessions.
According to Sgt. Abel Leyva, from Fort Stockton, Texas, a communications specialist with 2nd STB, Soldiers spent this time reading over training manuals, learning about the subassembly of the HCLOS, and studying the functions of each piece of equipment.
Following this, Soldiers spent six days in the field assembling and disassembling the HCLOS, operating it and troubleshooting when issues arose.
"It's vital that Soldiers get the knowledge to do this here, before we deploy," said Leyva. "This is going to be some of the first equipment to get set up when we get downrange."
For many of the junior Soldiers, this training was one of the first times they have got to work with the HCLOS they will be taking with them in the field and on deployments.
"Some of this stuff I learned in [advanced individual training] and some not," said Pfc. Jeff Headman, a Minneapolis, Minn. native and a communications specialist with 2nd STB. "We are working with newer equipment here. A week in the field is very helpful to make sure you understand your job."
"I feel pretty confident that when I deploy I will know the system," he continued.
Instructors worked with Soldiers throughout the course, helping them understand each new step in the training.
"There were a lot of new privates out here and a lot of veterans teaching these guys how they're going to use this [HCLOS] when they get to theater," said Knowlton.
"The instructors helped [us] through every step," said Headman. "It's very good training."
After graduating from the training, Soldiers will take the knowledge gained here back to their units where they can teach it to their fellow communications troops.