CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division hosted the Radio Telephone Operators Academy on Camp Buehring, Kuwait, April 21-25.
The week-long course allowed Soldiers who are normally around radio equipment, but are professionally trained in other areas the opportunity to learn the general parts of a radio, the duties of an RTO and how to properly maintain and communicate with the equipment.
“They taught us mainly the basics,” said Pfc. Travis Houston, a native of San Antonio, Texas and a cavalry scout assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “If we have a problem, we don’t have to go get them, (radio maintenance personnel) we can actually try and fix it ourselves.”
The training is geared towards making the everyday user more knowledgeable and able to complete tasks without having to seek outside assistance.
“We get Soldiers from all over the brigade,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Roe, radio operator maintainer, Company B, 2nd STB. “Soldiers are around radios and it is really turning them into an asset for the RTO. We give them a little bit of knowledge, and they are going back to their platoons and squads to operate better.”
The Soldiers who received the training knew the class was worthwhile.
“I feel comfortable with the knowledge now,” said Houston. “I feel like I could teach a class to my platoon today or tomorrow, that’s how confident I feel about it. I believe they would get a good grasp on what I’m teaching them.”
Throughout the week, the Soldiers learned about multiple models of radios that work on different levels of frequencies, even though they may never actually use them.
“It is important to know those models because you never know when you will come across them,” said Roe, a native of Birmingham, Ala. “Here in the 4th Infantry Division, we don’t really use the (high frequency) radios, but say they go to the 101st Airborne Division, 10th Special Forces Group or 75th Ranger Regiment, they are going to come across that radio and have that basic foundation. It sets them up for success later in their careers.”
And why did the signal company feel it was important to pass along their knowledge of communications equipment?
“They see what goes into making it work,” said Roe. “I always felt if a Soldier knows how something works and how to it, then they will actually perform better.”
With the deployment starting to draw down, this will be the last RTO Academy while forward deployed. Company B plans to restart the program once back stateside.