Communications key to Thunder success

dwa

Story and photos by Sgt. Dale Elliott, 75th Troop Command Unit Public Affairs/Historian Representative

Chief Warrant Officers David Barker and Harold Brandenburg maintain the communications network during the 2011 Thunder Over Louisville.

Louisville, Ky. (April 27, 2011) – Behind the scenes at one of the biggest aviation shows in the nation, a small and unassuming team of Kentucky National Guard Soldiers quietly make sure everything goes smoothly.

In addition to C-130 Hercules crews wowing the crowds and Soldiers running traffic control points, Chief Warrant Officers David Barker and Harold Brandenburg are in the Kentucky National Guard command vehicle, monitoring communications and keeping everyone talking “loud and clear.”

“Our mission is to provide communications support to the command staff for operational control and situation awareness during Thunder,” said Barker.  “The Kentucky National Guard provides security and traffic control for support to our civilian partners.  This support is critical to the success of the event and safety of the civilians that attend this event.”

“The command vehicle provides all the IT requirements as you would have operating from your office desk,” said Brandenburg.  “All of this is provided through a broadband satellite network. We also have radio communications internal with the National Guard elements and external (interoperability) with our civilian partners.”

The Kentucky National Guard command vehicle is just one of the tools used in supporting civic events like Thunder Over Louisville.

But it’s not just the tools that get the job done.  It takes highly trained and motivated Soldiers like Brandenburg to make things happen.  A former member of the US Air Force as well as the Kentucky Air Guard, he’s got 27 years in uniform and a lifetime of technological experience.  He now wears the Army uniform as he monitors the communications networks in the command vehicle.

“You have to be dedicated to the mission,” said Brandenburg.  “Whether it’s Thunder or an ice storm or a flood, we have to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice.  It’s a tough job, but it’s worthwhile.  I really do love it!”

###

About kentuckyguard