Lt. Col. Frank Snyder
Commander, 30th Signal Battalion
516th Signal Brigade, 311th Signal Command
Unit will provide sole support for entire Pacific theater of operations
As of June 1, the 30th Sig. Bn. became the sole provider of information technology services to tenant units in Hawaii, regardless of where those units are deployed.
The new mission means more frequent deployments for the 30th Sig. Bn. in order to provide signal support in the Pacific region.
This milestone marks the first time that a single signal battalion has been charged with a mission that spans the tactical and strategic realms of the Pacific region, the most geographically dispersed theater of operations in the world.
While there was no ceremony to mark the event, excitement runs high among the Soldiers of the 30th Sig. Bn. over the significance of this enormous responsibility.
“It really is awesome, as we continue to engineer a true network enterprise. Our customers will have a single clearinghouse to ensure the quality provision of the IT services they need,” said Col. Dana Tankins, commander, 516th Sig. Bde.
“There’s an accompanying change in mind-set, as well,” Tankins said. “With one unit overseeing both of these tactical and strategic missions, we no longer simply link customers back into the network from remote locations around the world, but rather we extend the network enterprise out to our customers.”
Traditionally, the 30th Sig. Bn. served strictly as a strategic signal asset charged with providing sustaining base IT services to units such as U.S. Army-Pacific, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 25th Infantry Division, 311th Signal Command (Theater), and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.
The recent deployment of the 307th Integrated Theater Signal Battalion headquarters element to Afghanistan has changed that.
Since relocating from Korea to Hawaii a little more than three years ago, the 307th ITSB has provided the expeditionary, tactical IT services that USARPAC units require. Now that half of the 307th is deployed, however, that responsibility falls to the 30th Sig. Bn.
The 30th received the attachment of Company C, 307th Sig. Bn., June 1. The company will remain attached to the 30th during the yearlong deployment of its parent headquarters element.
Co. C is a joint network node-equipped, or JNN, company, which now provides more capability to forward-deployed warfighters than an entire ITSB previously did.
“We’re excited to field JNN, join the 30th Sig. Bn. team, and to be a part of the emerging strategic-tactical hybrid construct,” said Capt. Zachery Leonard, commander, Co. C. “This formation will be cutting edge.”
The 30th Sig. Bn. is now the sole provider and point of service for all Army communication services in the Pacific.
To prepare for this task, the 30th Sig. Bn.’s Headquarters and Headquarters and B companies completed their transformation to modular expeditionary signal battalion units in May.
The transformation helped pave the way for Alpha and Charlie companies’ transformation, which will be complete in September.
“This (combination of 30th and 307th Soldiers) will no doubt further the 30th Sig. Bn.’s reputation for top-shelf customer service, as we’ll now provide it from desktop to foxhole,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Verne Washington Sr., 30th Sig. Bn., who previously served as the 307th Sig. Bn. operations sergeant major.
“Having served in both units, I can tell you that I’ve never seen so much capability combined under one headquarters,” Washington said.
The 30th Sig. Bn. began providing more expeditionary services during Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand and Exercise Key Resolve in Korea, earlier this year.
During Cobra Gold, the customer service center located at the information systems facility at Schofield Barracks received and processed trouble tickets from Thailand, proving that centralized support to the entire theater was possible.
The battalion deployed Jorge Bonilla, an Army civilian and networking subject matter expert, to Thailand to support USARPAC customers from their deployed locations.
Relating what has now become an unofficial motto for the 30th Sig. Bn., Bonilla said, “Now, just like the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the 30th Sig. Bn. truly goes where you go.”