CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –
U.S. Army Reserve and New York Army National Guard Soldiers participate in the Signal Soldier Exchange Program at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
“Our goal with this program is to facilitate opportunities that will expand the expertise of our team, strengthen our customer-first approach, and develop our Soldiers as leaders for the next generation of signalers,” said Maj. Gerald Pasquier, G6 assistant chief of staff with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Operational Command Post.
Pasquier credits Sgt. Maj. Todd Eipperle, 1st TSC OCP G6 sergeant major, for initiating the exchange program, “Sgt. Maj. Eipperle contacted all the signal units on Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring to explore opportunities for Soldiers to receive a wide range of signal experiences. His efforts have helped to shape the next generation of Signal Soldiers.”
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, Spc. Cheyenne Myrie and Spc. Luc Rodman with the 143d Expeditionary Sustainment Command stepped away from their daily responsibilities as helpdesk administrators to join the 187th Signal Company, a New York Army National Guard unit, to train and operate live tactical signal equipment. Systems included the Command Post Node, the Joint Network Node, the Satellite Transportable Terminal, and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System.
“We were able to perform hands-on exercises with the equipment and participate in live troubleshooting with faulty equipment,” said Rodman. “This training allowed us an opportunity to utilize our military occupational specialty skills that are rarely exercised and provided insight into operations at a company level in a tactical environment.”
The training included the start-up and stopping procedures, operation in a training and tactical environment, and user-level maintenance and preventative maintenance checks and services.
“To me, this training emphasized the importance of knowing how to operate tactical equipment and understanding what each piece of equipment does for us to communicate,” said Myrie. “The Soldiers we shadowed did an amazing job answering every question and made our educational experience enjoyable.”
Professional development opportunities through unit exchanges in a deployed environment allow Soldiers to learn new skills through on-the-job training and enhance their understanding of how organizations at different levels work collectively.
“As a Soldier in a signal company that primarily handles only tactical communication, I got to see a side of the Signal Corps that we don’t operate in,” said Sgt. Shavan Reid, S6 noncommissioned officer with the 186th SIG CO. “While working with the G6, I was re-imaging computers and troubleshooting helpdesk tickets. I was amazed to see that only 10-15 tickets were considered a light day, and working three echelons above my company was an interesting learning experience.”
The leadership, training, and experience gained through military service are second-to-none. The Signal Soldier Exchange Program is one of many training opportunities for Soldiers to enhance their technical and tactical system skills.