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261st Signal Brigade

Elements of U.S. Army National Guard units from Delaware, New York, and South Carolina trained with their active duty counterparts as well as the Navy, Marines and Air Force in a joint global communications exercise called Grecian Firebolt 95. The exercise is designed to transmit large volumes of voice, data and visual messages in joint operations giving major commanders ready access to information for battlefield command and control. The Delaware Army Guard's 261st Signal Command provided operational control of the Army elements. Joining Delaware in Grecian Firebolt 95 were the 187th Signal Brigade, Brooklyn, N.Y., and the 228th Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, S.C. The exercise, which began June 10, linked systems in Asia, Europe, and North and Central America as well as 16 states from Alaska to Florida.

Signal soldiers savor an expression that defines what their corps does for the entire Army: "You can talk about us, but you can't talk without us." June's global Army signal training exercise, Grecian Firebolt 2001, helped determine just how well the moving parts -- the active, Guard and Reserve troops -- enable the Army to talk during this age of mobile communications. It was the biggest peacetime communications exercise in the world. More than 4,000 people, including civilians and members of the Air National Guard, took part in the annual event during June's final two weeks. Two hundred twenty-one citizen-soldiers from the South Carolina brigade participated at Fort Story and Fort Eustis in southeastern Virginia. Another 80 from the Delaware Army Guard's 261st Signal Brigade made up a command and control element for as many as 390 troops at Fort Dix, NJ.

During GF01, the 261st will also help provide a communications network "backbone" to support several concurrent proficiency-training exercises involving medical, transportation, personnel aWith operations sites located at Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Devens, Mass., and Orange Ct., the 261st Brigade's more than 400 soldiers provided operations that have been paramount to success of east coast operations during GF01.

During the January MUTA, elements of the 261st Signal Brigade and its subordinate battalions (198th and 280th) assembled at the Training and Training Technology Battle Lab (T3BL) at Ft. Dix, NJ, to conduct a Simulation Exercise (SIMEX) which would prepare them to deploy overseas in support of a war-time mission.

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