VILSECK, Germany –
Army noncommissioned officers coach, train and mentor Soldiers. But for a small number of NCOs who now serve as Logistics Assistance Representatives – the coaching, training and mentoring doesn’t end after they take off their NCO stripes.
Erik Martin and John Cruz, Communications-Electronics Command LARs assigned to the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Army Field Support Battalion Germany, recently trained Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment on high frequency systems and antenna theory at AFSBn Germany’s Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Lab in Vilseck.
The training at the C5ISR lab was beyond line of sight communications training using tactical radios to send data and voice in a point-to-point configuration, said Jason Clelland, the CECOM senior technical representative for AFSBn Germany, 405th AFSB. As opposed to setting up a full network suite or paying for satellite time, learning how to use these tactical radios to meet mission requirements saves the unit and the government money.
“These radios have the ability to transmit anywhere – from a minimum of five miles up to 20,000 miles – depending on the configuration of the system,” said Clelland. “In man pack configuration, which means it can be easily carried, Soldiers can send data and voice 500 to 1,000 miles based on how the antennae is set up.”
The training provided the Soldiers from the Joint Multinational Readiness Center’s opposing forces, or OPFOR, with a better understanding of where to put their antennas and how to properly use the radio systems, said Clelland.
These OPFOR Soldiers from 1st Bn., 4th Inf. Regt. are communicating with forces from the U.S., NATO and allied partner nations during bilateral exercises and training events at multiple locations and countries, Clelland said.
With this additional training, they now have a better understanding of the capabilities of these systems – which will help them during future missions – to include the upcoming Combined Resolve exercise scheduled to take place early next year.
Logistics Assistance Representatives are Army civilians serving in C5ISR labs, motor pools, hangars and maintenance shops around the world. Highly trained, they bring more than two dozen specialty skills to Army equipment readiness requirements. They are all part of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s global network of Army Field Support Brigades and are linked to every echelon of the Army in the field. The 405th AFSB has several LARs with multiple specialties assigned across Europe.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.