Signal supports MAF, Khaan Quest 2013 in Mongolia

| September 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Spencer Tilove (center), Co. B, 307th ESB, 516th Sig. Bde., 311th SC(T), instructs exercise participants on how to install RJ45 connectors on Category 5 cables during a class at Khaan Quest 2013. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carolyn Hogan, U.S. Army-Pacific)

Sgt. Spencer Tilove (center), Co. B, 307th ESB, 516th Sig. Bde., 311th SC(T), instructs exercise participants on how to install RJ45 connectors on Category 5 cables during a class at Khaan Quest 2013. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carolyn Hogan, U.S. Army-Pacific)

Multinational event sees 307th ESB secure comms for Peace Support Operations

1st Lt. John Maham and 2nd Lt. Chloe Canavan
307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 311th Signal Command (Theater)

FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia — With routers and plenty of networking cable in hand, three Soldiers from the 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, arrived here to support Khaan Quest 2013 (KQ13), a multinational collaboration of more than a thousand military officers from nine nations.

The Signal Soldiers arrived early to help set up vital communications for this 10th iteration of KQ13, a Peace Support Operations exercise hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF). U.S. Marine Forces-Pacific co-sponsored this year’s exercise in August.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregory MacDonald, automations technician, along with Sgt. Spencer Tilove and Sgt. Ramon Rodriguez Garcia, both of Company B, 307th ESB, and U.S. Army-Pacific’s Master Sgt. Carolyn Hogan, spent about two weeks in Mongolia providing crucial communications support to the command post exercise (CPX) and conducting bilateral training for MAF.

“We supported command teams at the battalion and brigade level by providing Active Directory, SharePoint, Adobe Connect, CISCO Call Manager, Microsoft Exchange services and Help Desk support,” said Rodriguez Garcia.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregory MacDonald (seated, right), automations technician, 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, 311th Sig. Command (Theater), coaches exercise participants on verifying network services and using a share portal during a class of Khaan Quest 2013, here, Aug. 5-15. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carolyn Hogan, U.S. Army-Pacific)

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gregory MacDonald (seated, right), automations technician, 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, 311th Sig. Command (Theater), coaches exercise participants on verifying network services and using a share portal during a class of Khaan Quest 2013, here, Aug. 5-15. (Photo by Master Sgt. Carolyn Hogan, U.S. Army-Pacific)

Joined by five Soldiers from the 1st Bn., 207th Aviation Regiment communications team, Alaska Army National Guard, the 307th ESB contingent significantly strengthened the Mongolian-led exercise by fielding more than 200 trouble tickets.

Together, the communications team was responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of a CPX network, supporting more than 110 subscribers with 78 central processing units, 48 field phones and 13 voice-over-Internet protocol phones. They were also responsible for laying more than 3,500 feet of category 5 cable.

The exercise provided opportunities to build military-to-military relationships through training, team-building and collaborative problem solving. Also, this year the scenario involved troops facing civil unrest in a fictional country, followed by an earthquake. MAF took the reins, controlling the exercise, while U.S. forces provided support through coaching and mentoring.

To test their ability to solve complex security tasks while saving lives and preventing disruptions to military operations, participants engaged in intense team-building, staff training, and computer and communications systems instruction, while exchanging experiences on troop evaluations.

USARPAC and 307th ESB Soldiers worked directly with military personnel from Mongolia, the U.S., Australia, China, Germany, South Korea, Tajikistan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The goal of the exercise was to save lives and prevent disruption to military operations. The nine countries involved in the exercise presented an opportunity to meet individuals from different places around the world. The potential for a broadened, global perspective was not wasted on the Soldiers, according to MacDonald.

“Both the U.S. and Mongolian soldiers benefited from the intense staff training and computer and communication systems instruction,” MacDonald said. “There were so many nations represented this year at KQ13, some as participants, others as observers. I’ve never been any place else where I had the opportunity to interact with officers from countries that are not our typical allies, like China and Vietnam. Khaan Quest provides a unique opportunity unlike any other exercise that I’ve been on.”

Aside from providing invaluable peacekeeping operations tactics, the multinational exercise provided an opportunity for Mongolia to showcase its strategic ties to the U.S. and NATO.

“We’re looking forward to participating in this exercise again next year,” MacDonald said.

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, News, Training

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