Sol­diers in Afghanistan Keep Brigade Con­nect­ed

By Army Spc. Bran­don Sande­fur
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

Sol­diers with the 1st Infantry Division’s Spe­cial Troops Bat­tal­ion, 3rd Brigade Com­bat Team, make sure Task Force Duke has all appro­pri­ate lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion up and run­ning so the mis­sion can move for­ward.

“We main­tain the phone and Inter­net con­nec­tions for Jalal­abad Air­field, which is the cen­tral hub for the brigade,” said Army Sgt. Alexan­der Engle­hart from Temec­u­la, Calif. “We con­trol all of the phones here in Jalal­abad as far as pro­gram­ming them, mak­ing sure the phone book is up-to-date and things like that. We pret­ty much do every­thing relat­ed to the phones, oth­er than cables.”

Phones and Inter­net are not the sol­diers’ only respon­si­bil­i­ties. They also main­tain satel­lites and radios. They make sure satel­lite sys­tems are installed, repaired and main­tained cor­rect­ly. They ensure the satel­lite link is strong while con­stant­ly mon­i­tor­ing their “dis­tant end” in Kuwait to make sure the brigade’s “Com­mand Post of the Future” is on the same set­tings.

CPOF of the brigade relies on phones and satel­lites to relay mes­sages and get infor­ma­tion so they rely on us to com­mu­ni­cate to the high­er head­quar­ters and com­mand,” said Sgt. Joce­lyn Ver­a­tio from Man­i­fee, Calif. Afghanistan’s moun­tains lim­it radio use, he added, so phones and satel­lites often are a bet­ter way to com­mu­ni­cate effec­tive­ly.

Spe­cial Troops Bat­tal­ion sol­diers also go out to the line units to work with the sol­diers there. They install and main­tain line-of-sight radios. They also main­tain traf­fic ter­mi­nals to give com­pa­ny-lev­el com­man­ders Inter­net and phone capa­bil­i­ties to link up with high­er head­quar­ters, a capa­bil­i­ty they did not have before, Vara­tio said.

(Army Spc. Bran­don Sande­fur serves in the 1st Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Com­bat Team Pub­lic Affairs Office.)

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)