By Staff Sgt. Michael J. Taylor, 21st TSC Public AffairsMarch 28, 2012
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command's information, signal and communications staff section apply their technical and tactical knowledge and skill in support of exercise Unified Endeavor in Grafenwoehr, Germany March 18 through April 6.
Unified Endeavor is a semi-annual series of exercises that was developed in 1995 as a way to train commanders with new, computer simulation technology. The UE exercise is a 3-phase program that culminates with a simulation driven computer-aided exercise. The phases consist of academic training (how to develop a plan), development of the operations plan and execution of the operations order.
For the 21st TSC's information, signal and communication Soldiers, supporting this exercise involves hundreds of man hours, miles of cable, hundreds of computers, modems, switches, monitors, power supply cords, printers and more.
"We support between 100 and 200 people for this exercise," said Staff Sgt. Kenwaun Prince, the helpdesk and networking noncommissioned officer in charge for the 21st TSC, and a native of Birmingham, Ala. "We have approximately 15,000 yards of cable, 150 computers 120 Voice-over-Internet Protocol phones, another 25 regular telephones, 15 switches and two routers."
"We can do whatever is needed in order for the 21st TSC to be able to communicate," said Prince. "Whether you need to go on yahoo and talk to your spouse in the rear or if you need to get on the secure internet protocol router and complete the mission or get on Centrex and talk to people in Afghanistan or call defense switched network back to the states, whatever you need we can do it all."
In order to accomplish such a big task, the 21st TSC communications section brought 11 Soldiers to handle the job. The team left for Grafenwoehr six days ahead of the set up crew and 12 days ahead of the main body. They work 12 hour days and stay ready to execute 24 hour operations if needed. They were the first to arrive and will be the last to leave at the completion of the exercise.
"I like the challenge, I like the learning, I'm always trying to learn something new, whether it's installing cable and doing cable work or whether it's on the computer side learning my counterpart's mission," said Spc. Brandon Cordova, a cable systems installer and repair specialist for the 21st TSC, and a native of Haswell, Colo.
"I feel good about this mission and I am glad that I can play a part in helping to train Soldiers and prepare them for operations in Afghanistan," said Cordova. "Exercise Unified Endeavor allows me to sharpen my skills and also help others, so it's a win, win situation for everyone."