Signal Battalion on Oahu set for Afghanistan
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Approximately 200 Soldiers assigned to the 307th Integrated Theater Signal Battalion (ITSB)’s Headquarters, Headquarters Company (HHC) and Bravo Company, are deploying to Afghanistan for one year to provide signal support as part of the Operation Enduring Freedom surge.
This is the 307th's first deployment into combat since the Vietnam War.
The 307th HHC and Bravo Companies will be recognized at 10 a.m. Monday May 24th, in a deployment ceremony at the Building 300 Parade Field, on the Helemano Military Reservation (HMR) in Wahiawa.
Keynote speakers are scheduled to include Brig. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, Commander of the 311th Signal Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Williams, of the United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command and 9th Signal Command.
Distinguished guests in attendance will include Hawaii State Senator Norman Sakamoto, and Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas M. Rienze, the Army’s oldest Signal officer.
To provide vital support to the Families of their deployed Soldiers, the 307th established a robust Rear Detachment of Soldiers to help facilitate communication, and has completed a fully-furnished Yellow Ribbon Room at HMR. Here, the spouses and children of the 307th will have a place to gather and visit while their Soldiers are away, and will even be able to visit with their loved ones across the miles, via video teleconferences. Immediately following the deployment ceremony, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Yellow Ribbon Room in Building 300. Media are invited to attend.
The remarkable part of the 307th’s deployment story is the unusually short period of time that the unit had to prepare for deployment, and how these Soldiers achieved their readiness goals while still fulfilling their peacetime missions.
The 307th was notified in February that they would deploy HHC and Bravo Companies in June as part of the surge for Afghanistan. Furthermore, they were directed to deploy as an Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), which is typically an eighteen-month process. They had approximately 90 training days to transform from their current designation of ITSB to ESB and earn validation as a mission ready force.
The Soldiers of HHC and Bravo Companies readied their equipment, fielded and certified on their new Joint Network Node (JNN) satellite communication systems, and successfully validated as Fully Operationally Capable (FOC) for deployment as an ESB in the allotted 90 training days. Consequently, they will deploy five months before the battalion’s new designation as an ESB officially takes effect.
While accomplishing this difficult task, they also supported two USARPAC Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP) exercises, in the Philippines and Korea, to help improve relations with coalition nations throughout the Pacific region.
In addition to their transformation from ITSB to ESB, their validation of deployment readiness, and support of two major exercises, the Soldiers of the 307th also moved all of their Hawaii-stationed units from Wheeler Air Force Base to HMR during the past several months.
The battalion is commanded by Lt. Col. Jacqueline D. Brown and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson. The 307th is one of five battalions in the 516th Sig. Bde., of Ft. Shafter, of the 311th Signal Command, also headquartered at Ft. Shafter.
Although the 307th’s Headquarters element is deploying to the Middle East, the battalion is still responsible for providing command, control, communications, computers, and information management (C4IM) support to three theaters of operation, as part of their peacetime mission. To accomplish this task, Alpha Company, 307th will be attached to the 59th Signal Battalion in Alaska, and Charlie Company, 307th will be attached to the 30th Signal Battalion in Hawaii.