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APPENDIX A
Signal Personnel in Brigade, Division Artillery, and Maneuver Battalions

Responsibilities

Signal personnel responsibilities in brigade, division artillery, and maneuver battalions include, but are not limited to--

a. The signal officers at brigade and battalion--

  • Advise the commander and staff officers on all signal support matters.

  • Plan, manage, and direct all aspects of the unit communications systems.

  • Exercise staff supervision over the communications activities of subordinate and attached units.

  • Plan and supervise the integration of the unit communications and automation systems into the systems of lower, adjacent, and higher headquarters.

  • Supervise the installation and operation of tactical communications and automation facilities.

  • Coordinate requirements for visual information, records management, and printing and publications.

  • Supervise the unit maintenance of unit signal support equipment.

  • Monitor the status of unit and subordinate unit signal support equipment in support maintenance.

  • Prepare and write the signal annex of unit operations orders, operations plans, and the command SOP.

  • Serve as the COMSEC officers for the unit COMSEC account.

  • Supervise the unit COMSEC custodian.

  • Serve as the primary Terminal Area Security Officer in the unit.

  • Issue and account for security equipment, key lists, codes, ciphers, and authentication systems IAW current regulations.

  • Maintain, issue, and account for the unit SOI IAW current regulations.

  • Prepare, update, and present unit training programs pertaining to all aspects of communications and automation, including COMSEC, electronic security, technical signal training for all unit personnel, and an extensive cross-training program.

  • Ensure signal training is part of all aspects of unit training exercises.

  • Determine, with the unit S3 and headquarters company commander, the exact location of the unit CP and support area.

  • Ensure that areas selected afford the maximum in communications potential and the minimum in potential Threat interference through EW.

  • Exercise complete OPCON of the unit communications platoon and section and command the platoon by TOE or when no assistant staff officer is assigned.

  • Plan and supervise communications support for moving the CP, to include an attack CP as required.

  • Assist in preparing EW plans and annexes.

  • Advise the commander and staff on the technical aspects of EW.

  • Monitor communications and automation personnel in the command.

  • Take action when necessary to fill personnel vacancies.

  • Recommend duty assignments for newly assigned communications and automation personnel.

  • Coordinate reassignment of personnel in the command to fill vacancies.

  • Advise the commander and staff on signal support systems and equipment affected by nuclear and chemical weapons and required protective measures.

  • Advise the logistics officer on distribution of signal support equipment and supplies and the allocation of shortage items.

  • Coordinate with the civil affairs officer to use civilian communications and automation facilities or to prevent the facilities from interfering with the military communications system.

  • Advise the civil affairs officer on the rehabilitation and operation of local communications and automation facilities.

  • Advise the civil affairs officer on international communications and automation treaties and agreements on signal and frequency allocation and use.

  • Develop plans using, but not dependent upon, host nation capabilities.

  • Develop a chain of reporting procedures throughout the unit for relaying MIJI reports.

b. The communications platoon leader (assistant signal officer)--

  • Commands the communications platoon.

  • Assists the unit signal officer in all signal duties.

  • Assumes signal responsibility to the commander in the signal officer's absence.

  • Supervises installation, operation, and maintenance of unit communications equipment with the communications chief under the direction of the signal officer.

  • Serves as an alternate COMSEC custodian for the unit account with artillery units.

  • Plans and conducts training of the communications platoon.

  • Serves as the headquarters company or battery XO as an additional duty.

c. The communications chief--

  • Serves as the communications platoon sergeant.

  • Is the principal enlisted assistant to the unit signal officer.

  • Supervises, through NCO team chiefs, installation of the unit's communications and day-to-day operation and maintenance of signal equipment.

  • Coordinates all communications within the CP.

  • Keeps informed on all communications aspects of the tactical operation.

  • Assists the unit signal officer in developing and implementing the communications and automation training program and the SOPs.

  • Serves as an alternate COMSEC custodian for the unit account.

  • Performs other duties as assigned by the unit signal officer.

d. The wire section chief--

  • Assists the signal officer and communications chief in planning wire systems.

  • Surveys wire routes.

  • Supervises the installation, operation, and maintenance of all wire lines and equipment installed by the wire section.

  • Supervises and coordinates unit maintenance of wire equipment in the unit.

  • Prepares local telephone traffic diagrams and directories.

  • Prepares line route maps.

  • Trains wire section personnel and switchboard operators.

  • Assists the signal officer in his automation role.

e. The wire team chief--

  • Acts as section chief when no section chief is assigned.

  • Alters planned wire routes to facilitate installation and reports changes to section chief.

  • Assists in the preparation of line route maps.

  • Installs and maintains wire lines.

  • Trains or assists in training wire section personnel.

f. The senior switchboard operator--

  • Supervises installation, operation, and maintenance of the unit switchboard.

  • Assists in preparing the local telephone traffic diagrams and directories.

  • Trains switchboard operators.

  • Assists the signal officer in his automation role.

g. Combat signalers--

  • Install wire lines in IAW directions of senior wiremen.

  • Perform duties as switchboard operator.

  • Perform duties as messenger.

h. The radio section chief--

  • Recommends location of radio and antenna sites to signal officer.

  • Organizes the radio system at the CP.

  • Supervises and coordinates organizational maintenance of unit radio equipment.

  • Trains members of radio section.

  • Supervises training and operations of radio operators assigned to staff sections.

  • Assists the signal officer in his automation role.

Staff Interrelationships

Signal relationships in a headquarters depend on the commander's recognition of communications and the signal officer's strength or weakness as an important part of the commander's staff. The signal officer's technical ability and decisiveness in dealing with other staff officers, particularly the S3 and the HHC commander, determine the ease with which this officer manages the unit's signal assets and implements the battalion signal training program.

a. The S3 officer has staff supervision over communications and automation activities of the unit in combat. However, the signal officer is directly responsible to the commander for these activities. Therefore, the signal officer should work for and be rated by the brigade/battalion executive officer. This responsibility does not necessarily go through the S3, especially at brigade level. The unit commander will dictate this role in words, not by actions. The commander may desire to work strictly with the S3 or may coordinate with and instruct the signal officer directly. If the commander chooses to deal directly with the signal officer, then this officer must keep the S3 informed of the commander's requirements. Communication between the signal officer and the commander can cause problems if the S3 is not informed.

b. The communications platoon is the largest single platoon in the headquarters company. It should not be considered a ready source of manpower to the HHC commander over and above minimum taskings. Technically, the communications platoon, the communications chief, and the communications platoon leader (where assigned) are commanded by the HHC commander. However, these people must be under the signal officer's OPCON. More duties and taskings could interfere with the primary mission of providing signal support. The signal officer must impress the HHC commander with the need to coordinate signal personnel on non-signal missions. However, the signal officer must also recognize the HHC commander's needs to support the headquarters.

c. Signal personnel must cooperate to keep communications and automation working. The brigade signal officer must assist the battalion signal officer. This signal officer must assist the company communications chiefs. The exchange of ideas, techniques, and methods is critical in providing the commander with reliable and responsive systems.



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