Military


58th Signal Battalion
"Team 58"

On 17 October 2012, it was reported that 58th Signal Battalion had been inactivated at Fort Buckner, Okinawa as part of a consolidation of signal assets in Japan. Its subordinate 333rd and 349th Signal Companies were placed under the command of the 78th Signal Battalion based at Camp Zama, Japan.

The mission of the 58th Signal Battalion is to provide global satellite communications reach back capability and provide information systems support for the Warfighter, Unified Combatant Commanders, and National Agencies, enabling joint and combined battle command; provide access to and defend the Okinawa LandWarNet; and provide joint theater communications and electronics maintenance and supply.

Prior to this, the 58th Signal Battalion's mission was to plan, operate and maintain DCS- and DSCS-Okinawa, providing strategic command, control, communications and computers (C4) for 30,000-member joint community; operate and maintain deployable satellite restoral terminal; and provide Information Mission Area (IMA) support to US Army-Okinawa.

The 58th Signal Battalion traced its lineage to the days shortly following the close of World War II. After the battle for the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, in 1947, the 8111th Army Service Unit was activated. Part of the mission for this unit was the performance of signal functions.

In 1957, the 8111th was redesignated the US Army Signal Group, Ryukyu Islands. In 1964, the US Army Strategic Communications Command (STRATCOM) was activated. For the next 8 years, signal activities on Okinawa fell under the STRATCOM name. From 1965 to 1966, the unit remained a STRATCOM facility, and underwent 2 name changes. First it was STRATCOM Station-Okinawa and then changed STRATCOM Signal Group-Okinawa.

In 1970, a major addition to the unit was activated. The Area Maintenance and Supply Facility (AMSF) concept was implemented on Okinawa. The unit provided maintenance and supply support to the electronics and signal units on island, and eventually its mission was expanded to cover the entire Pacific region. In November 1973, the US Army Communications Command (USACC) was formulated. As a result the unit subsequently became USACC Signal Support Agency South.

During the next 7 years, the signal unit on Okinawa changed its name 4 more times. In 1976, it was called USACC-Japan Signal Activity South. In 1977, it became the 71st Signal Battalion (Provisional). In 1978, it was redesignated back to the USACC-Japan Signal Activity South. In 1979, the basis for the 58th Signal Battalion was formed. The AMSF and a new unit, the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) Detachment, became subordinate units of the Signal Activity South. A headquarters detachment and operations company were formed, providing the battalion with 4 subordinate elements.

In 1980, this entity became the USAA-Japan Signal Battalion. In 1982, the Battalion grew again when the Tactical Satellite Detachment was added. In May 1984, the unit became part of US Army Information Systems Command (USAISC), as part of the redesignation of the US Army Communication Command as that organization. The Command remained headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The US Army Computer Systems Command, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and the US Army Audiovisual Center in the Pentagon became subordinate elements of USAISC. The Army staff at Headquarters, Department of the Army was also reorganized to fully integrate the information functions of automation, administration, communication and command and control under the Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management, which provided direction and leadership at the Department of the Army level. The reorganization was necessary to achieve proper oversight, disciplined acquisition and to improve the quality, flow and processing of information.

In August 1984, subcommands of USAISC were redesignated. At that time, USARJ Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Communication-Electronics was redesignated as the USARJ Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Information Management. In 1985, the INSCOM Detachment was inactivated and the AMSF became a separate, subordinate element of the US Army Informations System Command-Japan, at Camp Zama, Japan. In April 1985, the USARJ information mission, consisting of audiovisual and automation functions, was transferred to USAISC-J. On 1 November 1985, the Signal Battalion was restructured and provisionally reorganized into 2 separate subcommands, the USAISC-J Signal Battalion and the USAISC-J Area Maintenance and Supply Facility-Pacific.

Effective 1 October 1986, Headquarters, USAISC approved a provisional implementation plan for the transfer of AMSF-PAC Detachment, Korea to the 1st Signal Brigade, Korea. The reorganization of IMA functions and resources continued during FY86, culminating in the finalization of 4 additional MOUs, including setting the stage for the formal activation of the 58th Signal Battalion.

The 58th Signal Battalion was located on Fort Buckner, a sub-post of the Marine Corps' Camp Foster. The 58th Signal Battalion provided all Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) transmissions links on and off Okinawa, as well as all inter-base communication links. The mission of the 58th Signal Battalion was critical in inter-base, tactical and strategic Command, Control, Communications and Computer (C4) network support of joint Pacific warfighters. The 58th Signal Battalion also provided all Army direct and general support electronic maintenance support for the Pacific theater. The 58th Signal Battalion operated all joint DoD military inter-base communications, as well as all Army intra-base communications.

The 58th Signal Battalion's Defense Support Communications Satellite (DSCS) facility at Fort Buckner was a critical DSCS station. Its earth stations and Strategic to Tactical Entry Point (STEP) facilities provided support to 4 Commanders-in-Chief (CINCs): Commander-in-Chief Pacific Command, Commander-in-Chief US Forces Korea, Commander-in-Chief Europe Command and Commander-in-Chief Central Command, as well as other national agencies.

The Battalion operated, maintained, and deployed under Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) control, a Contingency Satellite Earth Terminal. The 58th Signal Battalion also operated an area maintenance support facility and warehouse, which provided communications electronics supply and maintenance to the entire western Pacific.




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