A handful of cables connect two nations

by Spc. Mark Pettit
1st Signal Brigade

USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – U.S. and Korean Army signal soldiers conducted interoperability cross-training on each other’s equipment at USAG Humphreys Nov. 13-16, improving communications between the two Alliance partners.

Using only a satellite transportable terminal, four line of sight networking cases and three interface managers, Soldiers from Alpha Company, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade connected their equipment to a 101st Signal Regiment, Republic of Korea Army high capacity line of sight (HCLOS) shelter.

“As an alliance, we must be able to communicate with each other,” said Lt. Col. James C. Sullivan, commander of 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion.

Interconnection, or physical linking of carrier networks, between the two Signal units is performed with just a few Ethernet cables. These cables connect each unit’s enclaves of Unclassified and Classified line of sight cases. This configuration allows the interface manager to accept the other side’s connection.

During the training, 304th ESB communication soldiers observed as their ROK Army counterparts powered and prepped their equipment for operation. When the equipment was operational, the partner units connected their equipment together and watched as the U.S. and ROK Army networks communicated with each other.

“It is a great experience to be working alongside our ROK counterparts,” said Pfc. Yusef Webb, an Information Technology Specialist assigned to 304th ESB. “It grants both us and them an opportunity to see how both sides run similar equipment.”

The ability to interconnect US and ROK communications equipment facilitates information sharing and improves tactical communication capabilities between the alliance partners. Interoperability training not only connects ROK and U.S. Army tactical networks together, it also connects the soldiers socially, allowing them to build last friendships.

The results from the interoperability training shows when it comes to tactical network communications, the Communicators of 304th ESB and 101st Signal Regiment are living examples of the USFK motto "katchi kapshida," or "We Go Together."

“This training provides not only the soldiers of the 304th, but also the ROK Army, a chance to get together and operate as a team,” said Sullivan.

The 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion is a theater-level echelon above corps (EAC) tactical signal unit, forward deployed in the Republic of Korea. The unit's mission provides tactical communications support to United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea, Eighth Army, and non-DOD U.S. Government organizations within the Korean peninsula. The battalion is currently located at USAG Humphreys 45 miles south of Seoul. Serving proudly in the Republic of Korea since the start of the Korean War in 1950, the unit served in all ten campaigns of the war and received three Meritorious Unit Commendations. The battalion's motto is "Pret, Toujours Pret!" or "Ready, Always Ready!"



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