36th Signal Battalion
The 36th Signal Battalion's mission is to enable Command, Control, Computer, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) throughout the Area of Operations to support the Commander of the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/US Forces Korea and Eighth US Army's ability to lead, direct and maneuver available forces during armistice, crisis or war. Its Battalion Mission Essentials Task List includes: Conduct operations, enable command and control, protect the force, and preserve and sustain the force.
The 36th Signal Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment is located at Camp Walker, Taegu. The Battalion is composed of 3 companies. It is made up of United States Army soldiers, Korean Augmentees to the US Army, Department of the Army civilians and Korean Nationals. Prior to its inactivation in 2002, the 74th Signal Company was also assigned to the 36th Signal Battalion.
Prior to this, the Battalion operated and maintained Army strategic Defense Communications Systems, non-DCS base communications and information systems from the DMZ to the southern ports of Chinhae and Pusan in support of UNC/CFC/USFK/EUSA forces. The 36th Signal Battalion's subordinate units were Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 74th, 169th, 293rd and 501st Signal companies. These units managed isolated communications sites, fiber optic terminals, pulse code modulation and microwave terminals, technical control facilities and digital electronic switching earth terminal. They also managed telecommunications and, information centers, a consolidated information processing center, AM/FM TV transmission facilities and motor pools. Additionally, the Battalion had the Regional Director of Information Management responsibilities for the southern two-thirds of Korea.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment mission was to provide administrative and logistical support for the command group and staff of 36th Signal Battalion. It was responsible for the training, combat readiness and welfare of all assigned personnel. The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment operated a consolidated motor pool, serving 3 organic and 4 non-organic units. It also operated a consolidated mailroom, which serviced 3 organic units.
The 74th Signal Company, located in Pusan, was composed of US Army soldiers, DA civilians, KATUSAs and Korean Nationals. The company operated and maintained all Army fixed Defense Communications Systems, non-DCS and base communications in a part of the southern portion of Korea. This included Pusan, Changsan, Chinhae and Cheju Island. The Company was dispersed with 4 operational sites located at least 90 minutes away from the unit headquarters at Camp Hialeah. Three of these remote microwave sites, located on mountain tops, use dirt and gravel access roads. The major operational elements of the company are Hialeah and Chinhae Defense Communications Systems; Pulmosan, Brooklyn and Changsan Microwave relay sites; Pusan Telecommunications Center, Pusan DSN, Pusan Outside Plant, and Masan and Kimhae Fiber Optics repeater stations. Additionally, the unit provides area DOIM support. In 2002, following other reorganizations of US forces in Korea, the 74th Signal Company was inactivated and its responsibilities passed to other elements.
The 169th Signal Company, located in Taegu, was composed of US Army soldiers, DA civilians, KATUSAs and Korean Nationals. The Company's mission was to operate and maintain the Automatic Digital Network Switching Center serving US Forces Korea, a Telecommunications Center, the Consolidated Information Processing Center, Information Center South, Korean Intelligence Support System Communications Element and Yongsan Support Facility. The Automatic Digital Switch had trunk interconnectivity to Hawaii, Japan, Guam and CONUS. Ninety-five percent of all record traffic processed in Korea passes through this switch. The Consolidated Information Processing Center was one-of-a-kind facility in Korea. It housed the Electronic Mail Host and provided round-the-clock Standard Army Management Information Systems and executive software support for major support commands. The CIPC operated on a HITACHI EX27 mainframe computer with 64 MB of real memory, 8 GB of virtual memory and processing power of 8.5 million instructions per second. All STAMIS processing was done at this facility with output via high speed printers located in Taegu and Yongsan. The Information Center South provided integrated information, customer support and services with user training and displays. It also demonstrated and performed software clearing house services. After its creation in February 1988, Information Center South personnel trained more than 550 users on computers with the electronic mail class being the most popular. Classes were taught in English and Hangul.
The 293rd Signal Company was located at Waegwan and was composed of US Army soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, KATUSAs and Korean Nationals. The company was an operational, fixed signal company deployed in its combat configuration over an area of 6,000 square miles in the southern portion of Korea. Two of the microwave sites, located on remote mountain tops, were accessible only by extremely treacherous dirt and gravel roads. A third mountain top signal site, Salem, was accessible only by helicopter or a 2 to 3 hour walk up a very steep mountain path. Unique mission requirements included maintaining a portion of the Korean DCS Wideband Secure Voice system and operating a major satellite earth terminal facility in the Defense Communications Satellite System. Additionally, the Company had area DOIM responsibility for 20th Area Support Group. In June 2006, the 20th Area Support Group was inactivated, removing the need for this support. The Company also maintained and operated 2 FM radio stations in the Vanderbilt radio net; one of which has radio wire integration capability.
The 501st Signal Company was located in Pyongtaek. It was composed of 71 US Army soldiers, one DA Civilian, 6 KATUSAs and 39 Korean Nationals. The Company's area of responsibility encompassed 7,500 square miles of territory. The operational facilities were located as close as 2 miles to the nearest site on Camp Humphreys to 154 miles, the farthest site at Kunsan Air Base. The major elements of 501st Signal Company were the Bucket Microwave Site, Camp Humphreys Defense Switching Network, Camp Humphreys Fiber Optic Terminal, Highpoint Microwave Relay, Richmond Microwave Relay, Suwon Fiber Optic Terminal and 4 digital microwave sites; 3 of which are located along the DMZ. The 501st operated and maintained the central portions of the Defense Communications System and non-DCS facilities in Korea. It also operated and maintained 2 telephone exchanges and one telecommunications center. Additionally, the company had area DOIM responsibility for 23rd Area Support Group. In June 2006, the 20th Area Support Group was inactivated, removing the need for this support.
The 36th Signal Battalion was first constituted as the 36th Signal Construction Battalion on 25 May 1943 at Camp Crowder, Missouri. On 1 March 1944, it was redesignated as the 36th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion. During World War II, the Battalion participated in the Normandy Invasion and other campaigns in Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, the Rhineland, and Central Europe. Elements of the Battalion also participated in the Italian Campaigns and in the invasion of Southern France. One of the Battalion's most notable accomplishments during World War II was the construction of a 1,600 foot open-wire span over the Rhine River. The Battalion completed the project, one of the world's largest open wire spans, in 11 days. On 15 June 1946, the 36th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion was deactivated in Germany, after winning 5 campaign streamers.
The Battalion was reactivated and arrived in Vietnam on 6 November 1966. It was assigned to the 2nd Signal Support Group, maintaining its headquarters at Long Binh. During the conflict, the 36th Signal Battalion was involved in the Counter Offensive Phases II through VII, the 1968 Tet Counter Offensive, the 1969 Tet Counter Offensive, Summer-Fall Offensive1969, Winter-Spring Offensive 1970, Sanctuary Counter Offensive and Consolidation 1. On 26 August 1971, at Fort Lewis, Washington, the Battalion was again deactivated after it had won 12 campaign streamers and 2 Meritorious Unit Citations.
On 1 July 1974, the 36th Signal Battalion was reactivated once more as part of the 1st Signal Brigade (USAISC) in Korea. The Battalion's mission and responsibilities consisted of those previously assigned to the deactivated USAISC Communications Operations Facility and Long Lines Battalion-South. Both of these units were headquartered in Taegu, Korea.
In October 1984, the 36th Signal Battalion was redesignated under the United States Army Information Systems Command or 36th Signal Battalion (USAISC). Two of the Battalion's most notable achievements after its reactivation were the successful completion of the fiber optic cable system in Korea and the satellite facility at Camp Carroll. In December 1996, the 36th Signal Battalion was redesignated and placed under the control of the 1st Signal Brigade as part of the Army Signal Command (ASC).
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