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NCOs without joes: What it's like to serve in the Army's new adviser …

But in 2017, for the first time, the service announced that it would stand up an all-volunteer brigade[1] for noncommissioned officers and post-command officers to spend two or three years training and deploying[2] for that mission only.

The Army offered a handful of cash and administrative incentives, but for many, the chance to share and sharpen their skills — and deploy — was motivation enough.

“My personal interest and loves are culture and language,” Capt. Christopher Hawkins, the executive officer of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, told Army Times on Jan. 18. “The way this was pitched is, this is a way to marry that tactical experience with language and culture, to a bigger extent than you would in a typical deployment.”

The plan resembled a handful of forebears, like the Security Force Advisory and Assistance Teams and the Military Transition Teams of earlier years, temporary solutions that gave many soldiers a taste of combat advising as a job.

“This is the type of mission that I do believe in, I’ve enjoyed it in the past,” said C Company commander Maj. Jason Moncuse. “And you can actually see changes, and that’s what I like about it.”

And a solid organizational structure means that his higher-ups are invested in the work that he’s doing, because it’s their main objective as well.

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“The way it was before, you were just kind of an isolated team. What I like about this concept is, now you have higher echelons to report to,” Moncuse added. “In the past, you would just go out, you would do your thing, you would send a report — you didn’t really have interaction with higher, you didn’t have that support network to reach out to.”

The hope is SFABs[4] will give the Army a chance to make a lasting impact on developing militaries while conserving its readiness for its own brigade combat teams, who have been sending their headquarters elements downrange for the advising mission while the rest of the formation kicked around back home.

“The struggle then was maintaining continuity,” B Company, 3rd Battalion commander Capt. Justin Shaw said of his previous combat deployment. “We’d go out once a week, maybe very two weeks. So it was hard to establish that rapport from persistent advising.”

Others wanted to come back and finish what they’d started all those years ago in Afghanistan and Iraq, a time punctuated by pain and loss.

“It wasn’t all for nothing,” said Capt. Daniel Jansen, an engineer construction team leader. “Part of the SFAB, in my mind, and the reason that I wanted to go here was to contribute to that unfinished business.”

Capt. Kristopher Farrar, an infantryman assigned to the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, advises his simulated partner on maneuvering through the wood line to reach their objective during a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, La. (Sgt. Arjenis Nunez/Army)

Capt. Kristopher Farrar, an infantryman assigned to the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, advises his simulated partner on maneuvering through the wood line to reach their objective during a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, La. (Sgt. Arjenis Nunez/Army)

Capt. Kristopher Farrar, an infantryman assigned to the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, advises his simulated partner on maneuvering through the wood line to reach their objective during a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, La. (Sgt. Arjenis Nunez/Army)

The right stuff

Members of the SFAB are required to have completed the key leadership positions for their ranks, which means that everyone has already been a battalion commander, a company commander, a team or a squad leader.

For many, the next tick on their career timeline would have been an instructor job or related broadening opportunity.

And for them, joining the SFAB was a way to stay in the fight.

“Once your platoon sergeant time is over, they’re not really in a hurry to send you back out to be a platoon sergeant, because there are other people who need it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Mayzik, C Company, 3rd Battalion team NCO-in-charge.

“I could go back out, be with soldiers, be in the field, do all the fun stuff that I signed up to do,” he added.

For some younger NCOs, it was time to branch out.

“It was a point in time in my career when I was ready to move into something new and this was it,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Senn, a cavalry scout and adviser. “This is one of the only opportunities to broaden yourself and still be a deploying part of the Army.”

For others, working in a smaller, more elite unit has already sharpened their skills.

“We get to go to a lot of courses that are not normally open to us,” said combat medic Staff Sgt. Jarrid Lovenburg, who completed the Tactical Combat Medical Care course. “Unless you’re an actual treatment NCO working at Role 1 [like a battalion aid station] or higher, you normally don’t get to go to that.”

Like any brigade combat team, members of the SFAB are predominantly male. Women have only been allowed to serve in infantry and cavalry units — two of the biggest sources of SFAB soldiers — since 2016.

But in addition to small teams of 11Bs and 19Ds, the SFAB also has the full complement of gender-integrated support staff, from medical to personnel to supply.

Spc. John Ellis, an explosive ordnance specialist with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, helps an Afghan National Army role player learn to deactivate an improvised explosive device during a simulated scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. (Pfc. Zoe Garbarino/Army)

Spc. John Ellis, an explosive ordnance specialist with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, helps an Afghan National Army role player learn to deactivate an improvised explosive device during a simulated scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. (Pfc. Zoe Garbarino/Army)

Spc. John Ellis, an explosive ordnance specialist with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, helps an Afghan National Army role player learn to deactivate an improvised explosive device during a simulated scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. (Pfc. Zoe Garbarino/Army)

To fill some of these positions, the Army reached down into its records to find the best people in their skill areas to bring to Afghanistan.

One of them is Sgt. Diego Gantivar, a wheeled vehicle mechanic who has never been in combat, but had 20 years as a civilian mechanic before he enlisted.

Earlier in 2017, his sergeant major called him in to tell him he’d come up on a list of good candidates for combat advising.

“I probably consider myself one of the most qualified mechanics in the United States Army,” he said.

He’ll be tasked with teaching Afghan troops to repair and maintain their vehicles, starting with problem one: An unreliable supply chain.

“When I went to selection, they already had notified me that was one of their problems,” he said. “On my CAT team, our clerk, he’s usually the one that gets the part in your regular motor pool. With him and I, we’re going to try to find, where’s that missed connection? Why are they not getting their parts?”

Sweeping, hauling, stacking

Everyone in the SFAB is an E-5 and above. Thanks to the Army’s promotion incentive, specialists who sign up are awarded full promotion points and an automatic bump once they finish the Military Training Adviser Academy at Fort Benning, Georgia.

This has its good and bad points, members told Army Times.

“In this type of unit, it doesn’t matter — officer, enlisted, NCO — everybody is a high-quality individual,” Moncuse said. “No one needs extra attention.”

This is rare in any formation, let alone combat arms. Multiple leaders expressed delight in commanding a unit where you tell a subordinate to do something once, and it’s done.

Having a brigade full of above-average PT performers, who have experience tying up every loose end before a deployment, brings down the time the units have to spend on administrative noise.

“That has given us maximum time to focus on the mission at hand,” Moncuse said. “It allowed us to go from zero to where we are now in a matter of months.”

From a senior leader perspective, there are positives and negatives, 3rd Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ian Palmer told Army Times.

“The advantages are that the overall maturity of the organization is a lot higher,” he said. “There are things that you don’t have to say to an organization like this — they automatically know.”

The downside, Palmer said, is that you don’t get the same mentoring relationship that leaders have with their junior soldiers.

There’s also a noticeable lack of readily available labor.

You see it everywhere at FOB Warrior, where the teams plan events and eat two hot meals together every day.

After breakfast, a sergeant first class folds chairs and puts them up on tables.

“And if you want to see two captains, a sergeant first class and a sergeant sweeping the motor pool — I’ve carried more tough boxes in the last six months than I imagined I would in my entire life,” Hawkins said.

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116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conducts signal gunnery, makes information more lethal

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center. During the two-day field exercise portion, Soldiers practiced setting up and jumping their equipment five times, including two at night. (Photo Credit: Capt. Robert Taylor) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]

BOISE, Idaho – The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team signal Soldiers conducted signal gunnery Feb. 6-11 on Gowen Field and in the Orchard Combat Training Center.

The training, planned and executed by the brigade’s communication section, was designed to train the brigade’s signal Soldiers in a training environment on their communication platforms prior to a year of heavy field training.

“Information is a weapon the brigade yields,” said CW3 Jerred Edgar, the brigade’s network defense chief. “We’re training Soldiers on their mission command weapons systems. We’re making information more lethal.”

Approximately 60 signal Soldiers from five signal military occupational specialties in each of the brigade’s seven battalions participated in the exercise. The training audience was sergeants and below working at the crew level.

Soldiers were intentionally assigned to crews with Soldiers from other units to allow signal Soldiers to get to know their counterparts across the battalion as well as share their experiences with Soldiers they don’t typically work with.

“Everyone does the same job,” said Sgt. Seth Gaskins, a signal support system specialist in C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “But everyone does it differently.”

Edgar began planning the training more than a year ago to accommodate the brigade’s training schedule. He developed the concept of “signal gunnery” after not being able to find any doctrine regarding crew-level training in the Army to mirror training line units are familiar with.

“We wanted to create a process that trains crews in a manner similar to tank gunnery to create shared understanding with commanders,” Edgar said. “There must be mutual understanding with commanders because they can think, ‘this is like tank gunnery for my signal Soldiers.'”

Edgar said the biggest challenges for signal Soldiers is being spread out across four states without ever being the focus of specific signal training. Signal Soldiers are expected to show up and perform their tasks without delay, he said.

The six-day training event gave Soldiers the chance to train on their assigned equipment and practice setting it up quickly. During the two-day field exercise, crews each jumped to five locations, including two at night.

“It’s good to be in a learning environment,” Gaskins said. “There’s not the pressure of failing our unit. We can just focus on improving the brigade, both as individuals and as a whole.”

The brigade plans to conduct similar training next year.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

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“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

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“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems.