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NEWS | Dec. 20, 2021

Courses at Tobyhanna, Pa., offer hands-on, high-tech training for Soldiers

By Sgt. Starla Lewis 80th Training Command

Army Reserve instructors from 102nd Training Division, 80th Training Command, completed three Military Occupational Specialty-Transition courses at the High Tech-Regional Training Site here Nov. 24, 2021.

Twenty-two Soldiers, 11 in each class, graduated from the 25Q (Multichannel Transmission Systems Operator-Maintainer), and 25U (Signal Support Systems Specialist) MOS-T courses and earned the MOS of their new field.

At the end of six weeks of training, Soldiers in the 25Q and 25U courses performed culminating events that allowed them to use all the skills they learned in the classroom and through practical exercises.

The culminating event “copies exactly what the unit would do if they were to do a jump TOC [tactical operations center],” said Sgt. 1st Class William Kopf, the instructor for the 25Q course. “It is one of the ways a downtrace unit can provide services or reach back to the DOD [Department of Defense].”

The Soldiers in the 25Q class set up a high capacity line-of-sight radio, and satellites at two sites miles apart to provide network service from one end to the next.
Spc. Nicholas Watson was an infantry Soldier for seven years before going to the 25Q reclassification training. He chose this MOS because he felt it would help him with his civilian career.

“I work as a contractor for the Navy right now, so I am trying to further my career without going to college, said Watson. I am going to try and use this as a stepping stone he said.

Watson feels like the course being set up based on the Open Systems Interconnection model allowed for an easy transition from infantry to signal.

Spc. Taylor Velez, has been in the signal field for the last five years of her career as a 25U. She came to Tobyhanna to become a 25Q because it would give her an opportunity to be promoted to sergeant.

“I knew I wanted to become an NCO, so I applied for different 25-series slots,” Velez said. “So, now I am in the 433rd Signal Company, and I had to re-class in order to get my promotion.”

Velez has a love/hate relationship with technology. The love part is “that little piece of serotonin, and dopamine that goes through you whenever you get something to work is so euphoric,” said Velez. The hate part is because it doesn’t always work the way she wants it to.

The Soldiers had to do continuous tests on their lines and adjust their satellites to make sure they were at the same height to get a signal through.

But in the end, they were able to set up a conference call with Maj. Eric Littlejohn, the commandant of HT-RTS Tobyhanna, only using their network signal.

The culminating event for the 25U was similar, but they used radios.

Staff Sgt. Jimmy Griffin, the 25U instructor, demonstrated setting up two 08254 antennas and a retransmission vehicle about two miles between each antenna. “We have them on different radio frequencies to make sure they can speak to one another,” said Griffin.

Once their radio communications were properly set and configured, they were able to use proper radio etiquette to speak to each other from two separate locations miles apart.
HT-RTS Tobyhanna is also responsible for conducting the 25S (Satellite Communication Systems Operator-Maintainer) MOS-T Course.