GRAFENWOEHR, Germany (February 24, 2011) - More than 60 Soldiers with 2nd Signal Brigade are conducting a Full Spectrum joint exercise, Operation Deuce Lightning Feb. 1 to Mar. 4, working outside their normal strategic day-to-day work.
"The purpose of this exercise is to assess the Brigade's ability to provide a robust, flexible and reliable network, with the brigade headquarters acting as the core of the Joint Cyber Control Center," said Col. Mitchell L. Kilgo, commander, 2nd Signal Brigade.
2nd Signal Brigade created a JCCC, bringing in Airmen from 1st Communications Squadron and German Soldiers from 282nd German Army Signal Battalion.
"There's been a lot of discussion as to how we go ahead and fit the right people into the right place," said Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Weller, information systems technician with 2nd Signal Brigade. "On Power Point it looked like we're simply going to take this strategic brigade and plop them over to tactical - it's much more complicated than that. "
The command is documenting all the steps it takes to plan the movement, sustain the operations and continue to run the mission back at home while they are forward, essentially working two jobs at the same time.
According to Weller, in many cases it is more than that, because "we don't have a lot of personnel to fill all of the positions out here. The Soldiers out here are amazing. They never let you down and give you more than what you are capable of."
In fact, 2nd Signal Brigade received many visitors who said that their Soldiers are producing more than expected.
"When we complete the exercise, we will have assessed and identified existing gaps in performing operational and expeditionary communications in support of customers from a forward deployed location," Kilgo said.
This exercise is right in line with the vision of all Signal Soldiers becoming Full Spectrum Soldiers, essentially having the capability to work strategic and tactical communications.
"One of the most important organizational constructs that we are doing today is recognizing that the mission of the battalion or brigade headquarters is to be able to provide the capability for a large base of more than 20,000 people and, at the same time, extending that capability to the maneuver force," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith, Jr., commander, 5th Signal Command. "It is the ability to support any kind of operation required of the war fighter.
"These Full Spectrum battalions and brigades can run a base like Wiesbaden Army Airfield when they are not deployed and at the same time prepare themselves to run a base in Afghanistan with the same kind of skill sets and mindsets. By doing this, I believe we change the brain of the Signal leader," Brig. Gen. Smith said.
5th Signal Command is asking the Signal leaders to do the same job of a Brigade Combat Team leader who can be accountable for the Full Spectrum of the fight, 14 to 16 times during the course of the day where he shifts from a support to civil authority to stability operations to full combat to defense.
"We're showing that we are that much closer to fulfilling that (Full Spectrum) idea," Weller said.