‘Devil’ Brigade Soldiers conduct proficiency certification training
Spc. Jacob Hipes, information technology specialist, and Sgt. Donald Whitehead, customer premise network team chief, both with STB, 1st ABCT, verify all guidelines are attached prior to erecting a 37-pound antenna during HCLOS certification training June 24 to July 12 at Fort Riley. Photo by: Staff Sgt. Bernhard Lashleyleidner, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Staff Sgt. Bernhard Lashleyleidner
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About 16 Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division conducted high-capacity line of sight, or HCLOS, proficiency certification training from June 24 to July 12 at Fort Riley.
"This training is an annual requirement and designed to ensure that the entire brigades' (communications and electronics teams); information technology specialists and multi-channel transmission systems operators are proficient enough to pass effective communication and data down range," said Sgt Eric Jacobson, Company B, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT.
The HCLOS shelters are wireless IP networking radios used to establish high-speed wireless data connects for combat operation over long distances.
"The HCLOS is the primary backup for the brigade's computers and phone network in a field or deployed environment," said Spc. Lance Camacho, information technology specialist, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st ABCT.
The first week of the training focused on data and basic signal flow from the command post node to the standardized tactical entry point. The second week was hands-on training. During that week, Soldiers learned how to set up antennas and masts, shoot azimuths to get the correct direction to set up the antenna in order to transmit data and troubleshooting a line-of-site link.
The certification week began with a review of all information covered throughout the course in the morning and the validation starting in the afternoon. Setting up the antenna correctly was specifically emphasized during the training.
Soldiers can fail the course if they do not set the antenna up correctly and lose the signal link, Jacobson said.
What made the certification process unique was it was scored "go" or "no go." There was a point scale assigned for the three graded criteria: pre-validation, written test and validation. Soldiers scoring above 70 percent received a "go."
The pre-validation and written test were 100 points each, and the validation was 350 points. Teams were graded on 35 different areas, and the top scores for each battalion team were averaged to recognize the best information technology specialists and multichannel transmission systems operators in the brigade.
"HCLOS shelters are not used that often and is a perishable skill," said Maj. Alexcie Herbert, the brigade's communications and electronics officer in charge. "That is why we want to ensure that all signal Soldiers in the companies and battalions maintain their proficiency."