136th Signal Battalion
The 136th Signal Battalion is the Mobile-Subscriber-Equipment (MSE) Signal Battalion of the 49th Armored Division, Texas Army National Guard. Its units are located in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Mexia, TX.
On 01 May 2004, the 49th Armored Division was officially inactivated and the 36th Brigade of the 49th Armored Division was redesignated the 36th Infantry Division. Reflecting this change, the 249th Signal Battalion was reflagged as the 136th Signal Battalion.
The 249th Signal Battalion was originally organized and federally recognized on 1 November 1973 as the 49th Armored Division's signal battalion in the Texas Army National Guard.
The 249th Signal Battalion follows in the history and tradition of the following organizations:
- 239th Signal Operations Company, organized 17 July 1942 at Fort Lewis, WA, and inactivated at Camp Kilmer, NJ;
- 49th Armored Signal Company, organized and federally recognized 29 September 1947 at Dallas, TX, and later reorganized into HHC, 249th Signal Battalion.
The 249th Signal Battalion, organized 16 March 1959 and deactivated 14 January 1968. When deactivated in 1968, the lineage of the 249th Signal Battalion included participation credit for the Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead), Tunisia, Naples-Foggia (with arrowhead), Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsalce, Rome-Arno, Anzio and Central Europe campaigns of World War II, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer embroidered "European Theater".
The 249th Signal Battalion was reactivated on 1 November 1973, with new lineage, as part of the newly reactivated 49th Armored Division, Texas Army National Guard. The battalion was organized with Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Dallas, TX; Company A (Command Operations) in Austin, TX; Company B (Forward Communications) in San Antonio, Texas; Company C (-) (Support Operations) in Dallas, TX; and Detachment 1, Company C in Fort Worth, TX. Reorganizations and redesignations between 1 June 1974 and 30 September 1989 produced the present organization: HHC and CO B (Area SIG) in Dallas, TX, CO A (Area SIG) in Ft. Worth, TX, and CO C (SIG Spt) in Mexia, TX.
Units and individuals of the 249th Signal Battalion have played distinguished roles in Reforger, Bold Cactus, Golden Saber and other major U. S. Army exercises.
In December, 1989 at Fort Hood, TX, the 249th Signal Battalion became the first Army National Guard division signal battalion to be fielded with Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE), the latest family of digital communications equipment used throughout the corps.
In 1999, the Battalion upgraded the entire family of FM radios to the new and improved Single Channel Air to Ground Radio Systems (SINCGARs).
The unit deployed as part of SFOR 7 to Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the first Guard Signal unit to be part of the SFOR, and thus the first National Guard Signal Battalion to provide command and control (C2) communications for Task Force Eagle.
Just before the 1999 holiday season, 249th Signal Battalion spent 38 days at Fort Polk, LA, on a mission-rehearsal exercise to prepare for the Bosnia deployment, according to Hartman. The MRE marked the first time 249th Signal Battalion had integrated with (Tactical-Satellite) TACSAT, and they upgraded and tested their small extension nodes. The Guard Signal unit also did theater-specific training, such as dealing with civilians on the battlefield, or probing the minefields the Guard soldiers will find in Bosnia.
Just after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, about half a dozen 249th Signal Battalion soldiers deployed with 3d Signal Brigade in the III Corps Road Runner 2000 exercise at Fort Hood, TX.
The 249th Signal Battalion received its mobilization order February 5 for its six- to 12-month rotation in Bosnia for SFOR 7. The Guard unit spent a week to 10 days in-processing at Fort Hood, then the battalion's main body deployed Feb. 12-13. The 249th Signal Battalion took responsibility for the communication systems on February 22, with the transfer-of-authority completed by March 1. There, the unit integrated Task Force Lightning, which has provided Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) voice and data network for MND (N), Retransmission (RETRANS) sites and reachback capability to United States Army Europe (USAREUR), 5th Sig Bde, 7th Sig Command.
The 249th Signal Battalion deployed Forward Operating Base (FOB) TACSAT teams to MND North, multinational base camps at different times to provide secure voice and digital communications while Sprint systems were shut down. Tactical communication sites were established at the First Peacekeeping Airborne Russian Bde (1PSRAB) at Camp Ugljevik, the Nordic-Polish battle group at Camp Doboj and the Turkish Battalion Task Force in Zenica.
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