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Times of change--also times of opportunity.

To the members of the Signal Regiment:

Thanks to all the Signal Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, warrants, officers and civilians who are deployed, or have recently returned, for your efforts and performance as part of our Army in the Global War on Terrorism and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The feedback and comments I've received from commanders, senior leaders and others are that the Regiment is getting the job done with diligence, initiative, dedication and professionalism. For those of you preparing to deploy, build on those successes and stay focused on moving forward. Thanks for the work you are doing every day to accomplish your missions in support of our nation.

I want to take some time with this edition to talk to the changes we are making in our training to match the requirements of transformation. My comments in the last edition focused on the changes within the Signal Regiment as we move to the Unit of Action/ Unit of Employment structure. First, I need to update some terms--as of this writing, the maneuver UAs will be known as Brigade Combat Teams and the Support UAs will be called Support Brigades--no change yet on the terms "UEx" or "UEy." With the inactivation of the divisional Signal battalions, the U Ex G6s will have network operations responsibility for units task organized under the UEx at any given time. This puts a tremendous responsibility on the UEx G6. These changes are well under way. The 123rd Signal Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division cased its colors at the end of June and by the time you read this, the 501st of the 101st will have done so as part of this transition. The structure at the next higher level, the UEy, is under development. The Signal Center is engaged with Training and Doctrine Command and the Army on the UEy structure and how the Signal Regiment will support command and control and other functions at that level.

We are changing training to support these changes in organization and the Army's Operations Tempo. At all levels we are taking lessons learned from OEF and OIF and using these to better prepare our Soldiers and leaders. Our NCO Academy, Captains Career and Warrant Advanced Courses are benefiting from students who are returning to the schoolhouse with tremendous amounts of experience from recent operations. We are seeing new second lieutenants and warrant officer ones with significant recent experience as NCOs. What a great asset these experienced leaders are to our Army and the Regiment!

Our focus on Lifelong Learning continues and we will work to provide more exportable training materials from the schoolhouse. We continue to refine our Assignment Oriented Training approach in Advanced Individual Training with the intent of providing Soldiers that are better trained for their assigned missions and accomplishing this on a shorter timeline. We are increasing the level of router training for 31Fs and we are upgrading our 31P labs to increase training on Promina multiplexers, Internet Protocol switches, and other new equipment. We have added training on the Demand Assigned Multiple Access mode of operations for our 31Cs and we are working to procure an upgraded simulator to expand our capability to provide this training in other signal courses. After a struggle for resources we are on a path to upgrade our TSC-85s and 93s to the D models for our 31S course. The 31U course has mainstreamed Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below, Blue Force Tracking and the Digital Tactical Operations Center. We expect to be fielded limited quantities of the Joint Tactical Radio System in fiscal year 2005.

As part of a larger review of the NCO Education System directed by the Combined Arms Center Commander we reviewed all of our NCO courses to ensure we are training the right subjects and only what NCOs will need. We are changing our programs of instruction to include recent lessons learned and training on Joint Network Node components to keep training relevant and provide what our NCOs will need. We are preparing for the transformation of today's BNCOC and ANCOC into a new set of tiered leadership courses that will comprise our NCO education system.

Our officer training programs will change significantly over the next two years. We are planning the implementation of the Basic Officer Leader Course and working the details of the third phase of BOLC that will be conducted here at the Signal Center. I think BOLC will pay huge benefits for the Army in terms of imbuing every officer with the tenets of the Warrior Ethos through a shared, combat leader focused experience. We will build on that in the final phase of BOLC and give Signal officers the technical, network planning, and network operations skills they will need. At the captain level, the final CAS3 course graduated on May 19. The branch schools have already picked up responsibility for selected CAS3 learning objectives and we are redesigning our Signal Captains Career Course. Ourfuture SCCC will support Force Stabilization and Unit manning, and focus on two things--company command and $6 under the UA/UE structure. Some details of the course concept, such as a possible one week combined arms exercise, are still in the planning stage.

Times of change are times of opportunity. The next few years will have a tremendous long term impact on the Army. The right systems, the right structure, and the right training will enable the Regiment to do what needs to be done. Thanks for your efforts to get it right!

What does the Regiment think?

Acronym QuickScan

AIT--Advanced Individual Training

ANCOC--Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course

AOT--Assignment Oriented Training

BFT--Blue Force Tracking

BNCOC--Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course

BOLC--Basic Officer Leader Course

DAMA--Demand Assigned Multiple Access

FBCB2--Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below

FY--fiscal year

IP--Internet Protocol

JNN--Joint Network Node

JTRS--Joint Tactical Radio System

NETOPS--network operations

OEF--Operation Enduring Freedom

OIF--Operation Iraqi Freedom

OPTEMPO--Operations Tempo

SCCC--Signal Captains Career Course

TRADOC--Training and Doctrine Command

UA--Unit of Action

UE--Unit of Employment
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Title Annotation:Chief of Signal's Comments
Author:Hicks, Janet A.
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
Previous Article:Commentary: the American Soldier--one year into OIF.
Next Article:Spiraling towards new network capabilities.

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