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    Hellfighters Complete Communications Exercise (COMMEX)

    Hellfighters Complete Communications Exercise (COMMEX)

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Sebastian Rothwyn | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Teon Desir, an information technology specialist and Sgt. Michael...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Sebastian Rothwyn 

    369th Sustainment Brigade

    The heat was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit but the only thing cooking outside was the connection between the Joint Battle Command - Platform, or JBC-P, and a satellite network.

    U.S. Army communications, signal and information technology subject matter experts in the S6 section of the 369th Sustainment Brigade conduct a communications exercise, or COMMEX, to validate the brigade's communications equipment in preparation for an upcoming warfighter exercise.

    These modern communications systems provide commanders and their Soldiers with up-to-date joint satellite imagery for mapping routes, locating obstacles, determining the position of opposition forces and provide a clearer and more accurate picture of the battlefield.

    The operators, a driver and vehicle commander, wait in their vehicle for a few minutes while one of the JBC-P systems can confirm the sending and receipt of messages. The process of sending and receiving using specific protocols over the network is sometimes referred to as "cooking".

    "We will verify and troubleshoot, if necessary, but the operators mount the system in their vehicles, we set up the communication system for validation, then the operators take the vehicle out and let the system cook," said Sgt. Julian Arana, a multichannel transmission systems operator-maintainer with the brigade. "After a few minutes of cooking, we can generally confirm the system has been validated."

    Before COMMEX begins, the operators bring their vehicle to the motor pool, where they can install, load, run cable or any other work that needs to be done to prepare the vehicle for the COMMEX. Coordination between the operators, mechanics and the S6 is key to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness by having all hands available for the exercise.

    The vehicle crew ensures that deficiencies are annotated, and mechanics are on hand to assist with any support required above the operators' level.

    S6 Soldiers pre-load the communications systems with software, protocols and frequencies depending on the type of system. Some vehicles have single channel ground and airborne radio systems, or SINCGARS, while others have JBC-Ps. Some vehicles have both systems for a variety of reasons such as security, or as part of a communications plan, depending on the nature of the mission.

    "We pre-load the systems because we must be prepared for anything," said Staff Sgt. Teon Desir, an information technology specialist with the brigade. "No one actually knows what to expect so we ensure that the systems are ready."

    Communications security, or COMSEC, is a major part of ensuring secure transmission between vehicles and tactical operations centers. Messages must be delivered using methods that allow the intended receiver to understand, while also rendering the message useless if intercepted.

    In only a few days, the operators, mechanics and signal SMEs were able to validate more than 50 vehicles with a third of those vehicles having more than one system.

    Sustainment brigades and their S6 sections support the warfighter with the expertise to enable a clear and accurate depiction of the battlefield and the successful validation of communications equipment from the COMMEX proves that fog of war may simply be a thing of the past.



    Date Taken: 05.16.2023
    Date Posted: 05.17.2023 15:28
    Story ID: 444963
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW
    Hometown: NEW YORK, NY, US

    Web Views: 244
    Downloads: 1