Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

A Clear Signal

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

A Clear Signal

Article excerpt

If there is one Army unit that's ready to do what it's called on to do, it's the 319th Signal Battalion here.

The unit is one of three Tri-Service Tactical Communications System battalions in the U.S. Army Reserve. It provides theater armies or joint task forces with echelons above corps communications systems.

The battalion's first full-time commander, Lt. Col. Bob Koester inherited a battalion that was long on work ethic but needed a real shot in the arm.

To do this, Koester empowered all members of the battalion to own a piece of the process. The privates are among the most important members of the unit.

"We have a lot of very smart operators in this unit. They know the TRI-TAC/DGM (digital group multiplexer) system, but also draw from their civilian skills to make the battalion work in the modern digital information age," said Maj. Thomas Cole likes what he sees, mainly because of the effort each member of the battalion expends to ensure that the unit remains competitive.

"I believe in this unit. Having been assigned to all three USAT TRITAC battalions, I am totally convinced that it is the best USAR TRI-TAC unit in the force structure today," Cole said. SFC Manuel Mendez, a wire and cable platoon sergeant assigned to Company A, has been with the battalion for some Company A, has been with the battalion for some years. He knows that his soldiers can get the mission accomplished no matter how tough the conditions.

In fact, during the Wild Boar '97 exercise, Mendez's soldiers could be seen scattered throughout the training area, laying miles of cable.

"We had soldiers working around the clock to ensure that the base cluster some four miles away was linked into the ALOC (advance logistics operations center)," Mendez said.

When the soldiers arrive for training, they can look forward to working with some of the most sophisticated communications equipment in the Army. …

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