Communications…. A key to success

By Stacy Floden, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

A Soldier programs a radio during tactical communication training in Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 8, 2019. The four-day training familiarized the Soldiers with radios and the setup of field antennae. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Stacy Floden)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Tactical communications is information of any kind, especially orders and military intelligence, that is conveyed from one command, person or place to another upon a battlefield, particularly during combat.

The Kentucky National Guard along with the J6 Wireless Shop has put an emphasis on tactical communications and has ramped up specialized training for squad leaders, section chiefs and platoon sergeants.

“We’ve seen a need for more training in the field for Soldiers with communications,” said Chief David Barker, Kentucky National Guard wireless manager. “We have now conducted three training classes showing Soldiers how to use the radio and set up an antennae.”

Soldiers build an antennae to complete the loop on communication from their field location back to their command post in Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 8, 2019. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Stacy Floden)

The first three days training is in the classroom learning how to program the radios, set up an antennae and hooking it up to the radios and making sure they know how to talk to one another. The last day of training the Soldiers are sent out to different locations across the state in an attempt to communicate back to base.

“There are so many other training requirements expected of the Soldier, this is just one,’ said Barker. “This is a chance for them to refresh their skills, to understand how to use the equipment when it is really needed. You think it is simple, but if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Making sure the Soldier understands the correct radio to be used in the correct applications and understanding the different types of antennae’s is key to the success of communicating.

“At the end of the day, we are all Soldiers, and one of the most basic skills is to be able to shoot, move and communicate,” said Sgt. Brian Bingham, Kentucky National Guard telecommunications systems specialist. “If you cannot communicate, then you are not able to have the situational awareness of where your personnel are.”

Loading, operating and maintaining tactical communications equipment is an essential Soldier skill to perform at any level. J6 is making sure the Guard is ready quickly and the communications equipment needed is in working condition.

“I want to see them confident their equipment is capable of doing the things that they need it to do and it works,” stated Bingham. “We want to help every Soldier understand how it works so when they need to communicate they will be able to.”