By Staff Sgt. Antwaun J. ParrishJune 18, 2012
FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- Lucky to be comfortably doing their job inside of air-conditioned trailers, the signal Soldiers were actively setting up communication equipment being used to support training held in the dry, hot environment of the Mojave Desert.
Private 1st Class Zachary Hunsberger and Private Zachary Price are assigned to 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Both Soldiers work as signal support systems specialists and are preparing to go on their first deployment.
The unit's home base is Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., but Price and Hunsberger recently mobilized to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in preparation for their upcoming deployment this fall.
"I'm excited to go support the unit's mission to the best of my abilities," said Hunsberger, a native of Allentown, Pa.
"I have been setting up antennas, which will allow further range communication," said Price, a native of Hudson, Mich. "I'm just ready to do the training and get prepped for deployment."
As the Soldiers sat in the trailers synching their communications equipment, it may have looked as if they were trying to avoid the blowing whirls of sand across the area. But they were busy doing their prescribed tasks in support of their unit's training mission here.
Communication keeps all the moving parts of the training mission linked, as units will be spread throughout several operating bases in the desert. For new Soldiers, such as Hunsberger and Price, it's important that they are as proficient as possible in order to keep up with the high operating tempo at NTC and, most importantly, while deployed.
"We have done several field training exercises at YTC (Yakima Training Center)," Price said. "I feel that my unit has properly trained me to perform downrange."
Both Soldiers have personal goals they plan to accomplish during their time downrange, to include saving more money. Price plans on helping his little brother and Hunsberger plans on paying off his debts.
"I plan on buying my brother a car for his birthday when he turns 16," Price said. "He participates in a lot of sports, so I want him to have his own transportation."
Although both Soldiers have personal goals they want to achieve, they don't forget that their unit's mission is their priority when downrange.