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    Soldiers Provide Communications Support in Haiti

    Soldiers Provide Communications Support in Haiti

    Courtesy Photo | Pfc. Paul Garland, currently assigned to the Joint Forces Special Operation Component...... read more read more

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI

    03.01.2010

    Courtesy Story

    Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs   

    By Navy Lt. Arlo Abrahamson
    Special to American Forces Press Service

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Soldiers assigned to the communications directorate for the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command have played a critical role in supporting civil affairs and other humanitarian operations conducted by U.S. special operations forces here during Operation Unified Response.

    Special operations forces served as the commander's eyes on the ground during the early days of the rescue and recovery phases of relief operations in the wake of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Jan. 12. These tasks rely heavily on vital links between forward elements and operational commanders, a support capability that Signal Corps soldiers bring to an operation.

    "There's a lot of coordination and streamlining that goes into our job, because we have to work across a variety of networks and satellite feeds," said Army Staff Sgt. Kelly Williams, a communications team leader. "We have to ensure the end user, our people in the field, have the signal capabilities they need to accomplish their assigned tasks."

    To remain mission capable, Williams said, computer networks must continue to run efficiently, and tactical, radio and satellite communications equipment must be managed and maintained.

    "There's a lot of security protocols and other procedures we must follow to run efficient networks," Williams said, "but we try to make that as transparent as possible for our users."

    But as Army Staff Sgt. Wayne Potts explained, there's also a hands-on portion of their mission.

    "The civil affairs teams bring communications equipment with them to the field, but we show them how to get the most out of this equipment," Potts said. "We want to make sure they have the right capabilities when they get to where they are going so they can concentrate on the overall mission we have here in Haiti."

    That mission, humanitarian operations, is one these Soldiers know they have enhanced with the skills they bring to the operation.

    "We feel good knowing we played a part in the overall success of our mission," said Army Sgt. Derek Auguste. "Communications are vital to any operation - everyone has to talk and coordinate with each other. We feel like we created an environment where that could be successful."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.01.2010
    Date Posted: 03.01.2010 11:12
    Story ID: 45996
    Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HT 

    Web Views: 267
    Downloads: 238

    PUBLIC DOMAIN