Kentucky Guard “Techies” train on new communication systems

Sgt. Nick Anglin, a member of the 138th Signal Company, prepares the Command Post Node (CPN), which handles both the Siprnet and the Niprnet, for transmittal on February 6th 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michelle Waters, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2010) – Soldiers assigned to the Kentucky National Guard’s 138th Signal Company trained with the new Warfighter Information Network Tactical system at the Lexington Armory, Feb. 6.

Comprised of satellites, self-contained generators, computers and other high-tech equipment, the $2 million WIN-T system is coined as the Army’s “on-the-move, high-speed, high-capacity backbone communications network,” according to General Dynamics, the company that makes the WIN-T.

“It’s so new that we don’t even have an SOP for it,” said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Chamberlin, executive officer of the 138th Signal Company. “We’re basically paving the way with this system.”

The WIN-T provides Soldiers in the field with communications capabilities anywhere in the world. On the battlefield, troops can use the system to link with the Global Information Grid to relay and receive information from higher headquarters.

It allows for internet access, providing Soldiers the ability to send and receive voice, data, video and images across a multi-node, or networked force – all in real time.

“Before the WIN-T, we were still heavily relying on SINCGARS, so it’s a giant leap to be able go from tactical radio traffic to sending emails out in the field. It’s truly very exciting” Chamberlin said.

In the Commonwealth, Soldiers can rapidly mobilize and utilize the equipment during emergencies and disasters similar to the Ice Storm of 2009. Relying on generators and satellites, the system can provide communications when power and grids are down.

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