News: Can you hear me now?
Story by 1st Lt. Kerri Brantley
FORT HOOD, Texas – Can you hear me now? Thanks to the experts in the communication section of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade, we will.
Maj. Ingrid Hawkins, the communications/IT officer and her team of tech-experts, are going though the validation process, here at Fort Hood, Texas to ensure that the 35th CAB will have successful infrastructure while conducting the mission ahead in Kuwait.
“We have simulated our Tactical Operations Center for brigade and battalions, to ensure the set-up is correct and proper upgrades are complete for everything with an IP [Internet Protocol] address from firewall to switches to laptops,” said Hawkins. This training and validation process will confirm the set-up process and identify and fix issues here, prior to getting into country.
The unit has been fielded with the War-fighter’s Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T), which is the Army's on-the-move, high-speed, high-capacity backbone communications network, linking war-fighters in tactical ground/air units and the U.S. Dept. of Defense worldwide network- centric information system.
If the Southwest Asia commercial network goes down, the WIN-T system has the capabilities to do: on-the-move networking over terrestrial and satellite links; voice-, video- and data-over-IP; self-healing network properties; satellite tracking and adaptive signal retrieval; network operations with real-time situational awareness; network security; secure cellular communications, and collaboration tools.
“We have this capability, we want to use it,” said Hawkins.
The communication section is critical to the success of the mission. They are the experts for communication instruction and protocol during operations, troubleshooting issues, and conduct preventative maintenance to all electronic systems.
“Our job [during validation] is to do all upgrades for all sections of the brigade, including the operators’ equipment,” said Master Sgt. Paul Lucito, the communication section non-commissioned-officer-in-charge. Majority of the section has not deployed before, so this training and validation process is critical to our success. My guys are high-tech and very smart, they can figure any problem out, he said.