News: 304th ESB supports medical exercise during Key Resolve 14 Exercise
Story by Capt. Kurt Van Slooten
NORTH STAR RANGE, South Korea – The soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, made the trek from USAG Humphreys to North Star Range, near Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, to provide communications support to 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 65th Medical Brigade, on Feb. 24, 2014.
Second Lt. Justin J. Suh, platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, said his team brought their Satellite Transportable Terminal and Command Post Node to provide for the communication needs for the 168th MMB personnel they were supporting.
Capt. Daniel S. Tierney, chief information officer for the 168th MMB, described the support 2nd Platoon are providing as the network backbone, which he said allows his team to have secure digital communications back to their higher headquarters, provides them situational awareness and allows them to request resources and logistic support as needed.
“Having digital communications is the proper way of providing a common operating picture, and we would be at a severe disadvantage without the support their team is providing,” said Tierney.
Tierney explained the function of the 168th MMB during the exercise was to serve as Task Force Wilson, providing Role 2 medical support to the 210th Fires Brigade. This enabled 210th Fires Brigade to conduct the Dragon Lift culminating exercise, in which patients are evacuated through the medical continuum of care - Battlefield (Role I) provided on sight by 210th soldiers, through Task Force Wilson (Role 2) to the Combat Support Hospital (Role III).
Suh said he appreciated the training his soldiers were able to do while supporting Task Force Wilson.
“This is my first mission,” said Suh. “I’m learning a lot. Sgt. Carlos, the team chief, he is new as well. It is his first mission with his new team and we have high expectations for him, but he is doing really well.”
Sgt. 1st Class Jamie P. Skinner, platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon, also said that supporting at a remote location as the signal element is good for his soldiers.
“It gives them an opportunity to shine by themselves separate from the rest of the unit,” said Skinner. “So, I think it’s a good experience for them.”
And 2nd Platoon’s soldiers did shine, earning impact awards from the 168th MMB during their time at North Star Range.
“The CPN team's professionalism and hard work in establishing secure voice, data, and video communication was critical to the successful execution of Task Force Wilson and Dragon Lift,” said Tierney. “It allowed the 168th MMB to exercise mission command and effectively provide and coordinate support for Warrior Care.”
With their support, Tierney said his team was able to conduct effective medical operations, medical regulation, patient tracking, medical logistical support, blood tracking, and disease surveillance, all of which are critical to his team’s success.
Sgt. Ramiro Carlos, Pfc. John Hoyne, Spc. Broderick Jackson, Pfc. Domingo Lugo and Pvt. Lewis Owens were recognized with Army Achievement Medals and Cpl. Sung-min Kim received a certificate of achievement for their outstanding customer service and technical expertise as members of the Command Post Node for Task Force Wilson exercise, which ended on Feb. 28, 2014.
The 1st Signal Brigade enables joint and combined command, control, communications, computers, and information management operations throughout Korea to support United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, and Eighth Army's ability to lead, direct and maneuver available forces during armistice, crisis, or war.