NEWS | Jan. 12, 2018

Signal Soldiers practice for emergency deployments

By Sgt. David Nye U.S. Army Central

Soldiers with the 115th Signal Battalion conducted an emergency deployment rehearsal exercise, or EDRE, Jan. 12, 2018, at Udairi Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait. 

The exercise, conducted with the support of the 1072nd Transportation Company, consisted of the battalion deploying signal equipment with UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and Army trucks from Camp Buehring to four sites at Udairi Range as a way to test and improve their ability to rapidly deploy in support of contingency or other operations.

“This mission and this set up is basically what our unit, as an expeditionary signal battalion, is set up to do,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Lopeman, a supply sergeant with Charlie Company, 115th Signal Bn. “We’re supposed to go out to a remote location, be able to provide communications at all levels for any assets that need them throughout the battlefield. And this is a really good chance for us to stretch our legs a little bit and really put some rubber to the road.”

While the unit often trains internally, conducting larger operations with other units like the 1072nd allows for more complexity to be built into the scenario. 

“Familiarization with being in an environment where there are a lot of moving parts and knowing where your left and right limits are so you complete your mission and don’t interfere with anyone else, I think that’s one of the main takeaways we’re going to have from this,” said Lopeman.

“With this mission, we had a Blackhawk bring out some of our equipment and personnel and other equipment was line-hauled out for the personnel to drive on further,” said Sgt. Bourne Grayson, a team chief in Bravo Company and Florence, Alabama, native. “It was a training simulation of real deployment for our unit.”

The unit was tasked with rapidly emplacing communication equipment that enabled radio, internet, and phone communications between the different sites on and around Camp Buehring.

“It’s important to have phones and internet in a tactical environment so that leaders can stay in touch with what’s going on on the battlefield,” said Grayson “It also allows soldiers the ability to communicate back home to their families.”

“We’re supposed to go out to a remote location, be able to provide communications at all levels for any assets that need them throughout the battlefield. And this is a really good chance for us to stretch our legs a little bit and really put some rubber to the road,” said Lopeman.