311th Signal Command (Theater) Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — With 2013 came new challenges, opportunities and faces for the 311th Signal Command.
A change of responsibility ceremony, Jan. 25, heralded Command Sgt. Maj. Travis L. Cherry as the senior enlisted leader of Signaleers in the Pacific.
As the designated signal command for the Pacific theater, the dynamic teams continued to achieve milestones for the Army signal community, provided a wide spectrum of signal support operations, helped strengthen ties with partner nations throughout the region and paved the way for new friendships.
“As our nation’s defense focus shifts to the Pacific, it will be the 311th that will provide the example of communications readiness for the rest of the Army,” said Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson, commander, Signal Center of Excellence.
LaWarren made his remarks during his regimental address for the senior communicator’s forum as part of Signal Regimental Week, the command’s annual weeklong event that brought more than 800 Signalers together to share best practices and commemorate the 153rd birthday of the Army’s Signal Corps.
In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Soldiers of Company A, 307th Expeditionary Sig. Bn., provided signal support to three regional commands in 19 locations throughout Afghanistan. During their nine-month deployment, December 2012-September 2013, they supported network operations, satellite communications, signal systems integration, troubleshooting and help desk operations, which included solving division-level end user problems.
While staying vigilant to their core mission of maintaining and defending the Pacific LandWar Net to provide a robust and secure network for warfighters in the Pacific, Soldiers of the 311th also provided signal support and tactical satellite communication platforms for U.S. Pacific Command’s Theater Security Cooperation Program joint military exercises Cobra Gold in Thailand; Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian in South Korea; Balikatan in the Philippines; and Yama Sakura and Keen Edge in Japan.
In Hawaii, Soldiers provided signal support for the fourth iteration of Operation Pacific Response, a joint disaster training exercise at Bellows Air Force Station.
A highlight of organizational transformation and network integration in 2013 was the merging of our Theater Network Operations and Security Centers and Regional Computer Emergency Response Teams together to become a Regional Cyber Center, a single unit tasked with the authority to operate, maintain and defend the Army’s cyber realm within the Pacific theater.
The 311th SC(T) supported the U.S. Army-Pacific communications team’s Information Assurance and Cyber Security Awareness week, Oct. 15-18, followed by a Cyber Security stand down, Oct. 25. Soldiers and civilians at all echelons conducted training to address identified weaknesses in cyber security awareness and to gain a better understanding of current threats to cyber security in the Pacific.
“In the evolving environment, we have to work to empower the cyber security team, and it is a team effort consisting of multiple layers of defense,” said Maj. Gen. James Walton, USARPAC communications, and commander, 311th SC(T), during a cyber security panel discussion, the keynote event of the awareness week.
Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander, USARPAC, also emphasized the importance of keeping the network secure all the way to the end user’s desktop.
“Every day,” Brooks said, “the enemy is operating in our cyber environment, probing and infiltrating our perimeter.”
Several 311th units received awards for outstanding performance in 2013. The 516th Signal Brigade and units assigned won multiple Department of the Army awards on various levels for excellence in supply, maintenance, communications support facilities, deployment and equal opportunity.
The command’s proudest achievements can be attributed to its excellent leadership and the outstanding support from a diverse team of operators across the Pacific theater. The professionalism and achievements of these leaders was recognized by the Federal Executive Board with several Excellence in Federal Government awards.
A unified team of Soldiers and civilians, the 311th SC(T) looks forward to future challenges and milestones to conquer, exercises to support and new partnerships in the years ahead.
Consistent with the tradition of the regiment, they will continue to build a more secure, robust, capable, cost effective and survivable network, to provide the best signal support and customer service possible.