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78th Signal Battalion

The mission of the 78th Signal Battalion is to provide and defend the I Corps (Forward) and US Army Japan (USARJ) LandWarNet as part of US Army Pacific's (USARPAC) Theater Information Grid, enabling Battle Command and Information Superiority. The Battalion's mission essential task list includes: Commanding, controling, and providing trained and ready operational-base and expeditionary forces; providing regional NETOPS and network services; installing, operating, maintaining, and protecting regional information systems; and ensuring the well-being of the force.

Previously, the 78th Signal Battalion's mission was to provide C4 services to USARJ/9TH Theater Army Area Command, 17th Area Support Group, and other specified units within the area of operation.

The history and lineage of the 78th Signal Battalion was intertwined with that of the US Army Signal Corps in Japan, dating back to the end of World War II. However, the 78th Signal Battalion was first constituted on 26 August 1942 in the Army of the United States as the 318th Coast Artillery Barrage Balloon Battalion and was activated on 10 December 1942 at Camp Tyson, Tennessee. It was reorganized and redesignated on 1 August 1943 as the 318th Antiaircraft Balloon Battalion, Low Altitude and again on 25 September 1943 as the 318th Antiaircraft Balloon Battalion, Very Low Altitude.

It was converted, reorganized, and redesignated on 17 April 1944 as the 78th Signal Light Construction Battalion. It was again reorganized and redesignated on 1 September 1944 as the 78th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion. During the Second World War, the Battalion was credited with participation only in the Luzon campaign. Sent to Japan for occupation duty, the Battalion was inactivated there on 31 August 1946.

As for the activities of the US Army Signal Corps in Japan, in August 1945, the 232nd Signal Operations Company had been deployed to Yokohama and the 4035th Signal Support Seaborne Communications Detachment was deployed to Tokyo. Jointly, they comprised the 1st US Army Communications Center with general headquarters in the Daiichi Building, Tokyo. Shortly afterward, other small signal elements in Japan were absorbed and the 71st Signal Service Battalion was activated. The unit was assigned the mission of operating the long lines communicaiton system in the Far East. Post, camp, and station communication responsibilities were given to the Japan Signal Service Battalion, which was formed just prior to the 71st Signal Service Battalion activation.

In 1958, the 71st Signal Service Battalion and the Japan Signal Service Battalion were combined to form the US Army Communications Agency, which 2 years later assumed the responsibility for the signal supply elements of the US Army General Depot, Sagami. In 1963, the depot mission was transferred to the US Army Depot, Japan. At the same time, the Army Communications Agency was redesignated the US Army Signal Command. In 1964, the Signal Command transferred the long haul communications mission, including tape rely, transmitter, receiver, microwave, and troop sites to the US Air Force.

The 78th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion was redesignated on 20 July 1966 as the 78th Signal Battalion, allotted to the Regular Army, and activated at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. In November 1966, the US Army Signal Command was redesigned the US Army Strategic Communication Signal Group (USASTRATCOM), Japan.

The 78th Signal Battalion was inactivated on 31 January 1971 at Fort Lewis, Washington In 1973, USASTRATCOM became the US Army Communications Command, Japan. Eleven years later, due to a US Army reorganization, the name was changed to US Army Information Systems Command, Japan. Signal activities on the island of Honshu became the Signal Activity North (SAN). At that time, the SAN Commander became dual-hatted with the additional responsibility as the Director of Information Management (DOIM) for the United States Army Japan's subordinate command on Honshu.

The reorganization of the SAN under the Information Mission Area (IMA) concept continued through the 1980's. The audiovisual IMA was transferred to the SAN on 1 April 1985. During 1986, the USARJ Television Studio and the Closed Circuit Television Cable and Public Address System became part of the SAN. The Administrative Services Division, Consolidated Data Processing Center, and Information Center came under the operational control of the SAN in February 1988. With the transfer of the last organizations, all 5 IMAs became the responsibility of the SAN.

On 30 June 1989, the SAN was reorganized as the 1141st Signal Battalion with 2 units, a Base Operations Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. A year later, the 1141st Signal Battalion and a sister battalion, the 1140th Signal Battalion on Okinawa, came under the command of the newly organized 1104th Signal Brigade in Japan. The 1104th was inactivated on 30 September 1991 and command of the battalions transferred to the 1106th Signal Brigade in Hawaii. Operational control of the 1141st Signal Battalion remained with the Commander, USARJ/IX Corps.

As part of a continuing reorganization of US Army Information Systems Command, driven by the Army drawdown, the 1141st Signal Battalion was reflagged as the 78th Signal Battalion on 16 October 1992. Concurrently, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 78th Signal Battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 78th Signal Battalion, and activated in Japan. The Base Operations Company became the separate 287th Signal Company. The 1106th Signal Brigade was reflagged as the 516th Signal Brigade at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The 516th Signal Brigade was part of the Army Signal Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The 78th Signal Battalion was placed under the command of that unit.

Operational control remained with the Commander, USARJ/IX Corps, which subsequently became USARJ/9th Theater Army Area Command. The 78th Signal Battalion provided responsive command, control, communications and computer (C4) services. It performed all Directorate of Information Management (DOIM) functions. It also planned and managed the C4 architecture that supported USARJ and what became the 9th Theater Support Command (previously the 9th Theater Army Area Command) and the 17th Area Support Group. USARJ/9th Theater Support Command subsequently became USARJ/I Corps (Forward) and the 78th Signal Battalion remained under the operational control of that unit.

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.

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Page last modified: 17-10-2012 15:00:59 ZULU