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335th Theater Signal Command: 'First In--Last Out'.

"First In--Last Out" is a familiar saying for today's Signal Soldiers and there was nothing different during the Roving Sands 2005 Joint Interoperability Exercise conducted in and around Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. RS05 was part of Joint Red Flag, a much larger U.S. Joint Forces Command training exercise integrating Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and multinational command and control nodes, plus associated air defense artillery systems focusing on theater air defense and joint tactical air operations.

Soldiers from the 335th Theater Signal Command along with Soldiers and Civilian contractors from G6 U.S. Forces Command deployed weeks before the actual exercise to establish the Ground Communications Control Center. As part of the USJFCOM exercise the GCCC was responsible for engineering and establishing a wide area communications network to support RS05 and interface component, allied, and joint forces voice, data and C4I requirements.

RS05 focused on Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense and the Joint Tactical Air Operations, and units participating in the exercise played in both FTX and simulation, but for Signal Soldiers there was no simulation. Communications had to work and be reliable 24x7 to support both real world and simulation requirements.

Signal Soldiers from the 86th Signal Battalion of the 11th Signal Brigade (Fort Huachuca, Ariz.), 842nd Signal Company(TROPO Lt.; Milton, Fla.) of the 359th Signal Brigade (Fort Gordon, Ga.), along with Soldiers from the 286th Signal Company, 11th ADA Brigade and 124th Signal Company, 4th Infantry Division, installed, operated, and maintained the joint backbone transmission network, consisting of super high frequency tactical satellite, TROPO and line-of-sight, commercial fiber/Asynchronus Transfer Mode network and the Joint Training Experimentation Network. The JTEN was used for classified exercise data and voice over Internet Protocol traffic and was connected via commercial fiber/ATM connections. The Joint Circuit Switch Network consisted of single shelter switches AN/ TTC-56, Node Centers AN/TTC47, and REDCOM IGX switches. A joint Promina backbone network was also used to provide the multiplexing of user services.

The GCCC Theater Network Operations and Security Center provided the communications command and control and reporting procedures for the Army echelons above corps/echelon corps and below signal units. The TNOSC remotely monitored all the major nodes and transmission systems in the GCCC information grid on a 24x7 basis. Modeled after the 335th Theater Signal Command (Forward) TNOSC, at Camp Doha, Kuwait, the GCCC TNOSC provided the G6 theater level situational awareness of transmission, switching, voice, video, and data services in support of the Warfighter. Headed by an officer-in-charge and a noncommissioned-officer-in-charge (see SGM Henderson's article on the next page) the TNOSC consisted of subject matter experts in transmission, data, switching, and satellite communications. Air Force liaisons from the 251st Combat Communications Group and the Marine Air Control Squadron 23 supported the GCCC for control and reporting of U.S. Air Force forces and U.S. Marine forces communications.

Though limited in their scope the GCCC TNOSC communicated on a daily and as-needed basis with the U.S. Air Force's Air Communications Control Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The ACCC controlled U.S. Air Force communications assets supporting Joint Red Flag. Strategic communication issues and concerns were handled at their level before reporting up to the next higher unit. Both the GCCC and ACCC reported communications statuses directly to the Joint Communications Control Center at Hurlburt Air Field, Fla.

As the virtual battle for Frontierland continued in simulation Signal Soldiers trained on their individual and collective tasks, maintained their equipment, and prepared for their redeployment. As the word to "ENDEX" was given by the Joint Exercise Control Group Signal Soldiers continued to provide communications until the last Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman were safely redeployed to home stations. While after-action-reviews were being reviewed and awards were being issued Signal Soldiers quietly pulled up their grounding rods, policed up their last bit of wire and prepared for their long trip home knowing the battle was won, the mission complete and they were the last ones to redeploy home.

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MAJ Riedy is the 335th TSC G3 assistant operations officer, East Point, Ga.
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Title Annotation:Roving Sands 2005 Joint Interoperability Exercise
Author:Riedy, Randy K.
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:690
Previous Article:Roving Sands involves five nations, new capabilities.
Next Article:359th Signal Brigade makes it happen at RS05.
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