69th Signal Battalion
The mission of the 69th Signal Battalion is to install, operate, and maintain communications infrastructure, information systems and services that extend the GIG to enable AJIM Forces. Specific tasks include: Providing trained and ready forces; providing regional COMSEC support; providing strategic communication support to US Army Europe (USAREUR) exercises; planning, managing, and providing C4 services within the Battalion's area of responsibility; commanding and controlling regional networks through NETOPS; and ensuring force well being.
The 69th Signal Battalion was first constituted on 13 August 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 69th Signal Battalion. It was activated on 15 December 1942 at Camp McCain, Mississippi. On 19 July 1944, the unit landed on Utah Beach and joined the XX Corps of Lieutenant General George S. Patton's Third US Army, as the Corps Signal Battalion. Throughout the year, they were forced to fight as infantry, but the Battalion still accomplished its mission of providing the Corps Headquarters with communication support. After the end of the Second World War, the Battalion was inactivated on 20 April 1945 in Austria. In total the Battalion participated in 5 campaigns during the Second World War: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe.
The Battalion was allotted on 11 March 1955 to the Regular Army and activated at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. In 1965, the Battalion prepared for its operational commitment in Vietnam, and departed the United States on board the USN Upshur. The unit landed off Tau, Vietnam in November 1965. The unit was initially tasked with operating all local communications in the Saigon-Long Binh area, including support for the Headquarters, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam and the Headquarters, US Army Vietnam. The Battalion was inactivated on 1 March 1970 in Vietnam only to be reactivated there as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 69th Signal Battalion, on 17 March 1972. After returning from Vietnam, the Battalion was inactivated on 13 November 1972 at Oakland, California. During the conflict, the Battalion participated in 13 campaigns: Defense, Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/Counteroffensive, Summer-Fall 1969, Winter-Spring 1970, Consolidation II, and Cease-Fire.
The Battalion was reactivated on 1 June 1974, as part of a reorganization and redesignation of the US Army Communication Command, Europe. The 68th Signal Battalion was concurrently inactivated and reflagged. The 69th Signal Battalion became part of the 2nd Signal Group (subsequently redesignated as the 2nd Signal Brigade).
On 1 September 1993, the 69th Signal Battalion was reorganized as a sustaining base signal battalion supporting all of Bavaria. On 17 June 1994, the Battalion's headquarters was relocated from Nuernburg to Wuerzburg, Germany. The Battalion provides Installation Signal and Information Management support to the 1st Infantry Division, 7th Army Training Command (including the Combat Maneuver Training Center located in Hohenfels), and the 98th and 100th Area Support Groups, along with their 6 base support battalions.
Between 1996 and 1998, the Battalion's military and civilian personnel provided direct, as well as indirect support to approximately 33 percent of the United States Army Europe (USAREUR). This constituted over 53,000 military, civilian, and family members stretched across 20,000 square miles of Central Europe. The 3rd Infantry Division moved to CONUS and was backfilled by the 1st Infantry Division during this period, and the Battalion continued to provide the warfighting units with outstanding automation and telecommunications support.
During period between 1998 and 2000, the 69th Signal Battalion deployed both military and civilian personnel to Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels in support of the complex USAREUR and V Corps Warfighter Exercises. In addition, the Battalion was again called upon to provide end user data support during the Balkans Economic Summit in July and August 1999. This was part of provided security for the summit, which was attended by heads of state from over 40 countries.
As part of continuing restructuring of US forces in Europe, it was announced on 1 March 2013 that the 69th Signal Battalion would be inactivated during 2016.
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