By 2nd Lt. Grace Geiger

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRAH, Iraq - Ensuring that communications are maintained for troops on the ground is crucial to mission success.

At Contingency Operating Base Basrah, Iraq, soldiers of the 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, have remained vigilant in their work to ensure communications are fully functional at all times as forces draw down.

Hard work and preparation have made mitigating outages easier for the platoon and they increase their capabilities daily. Teamwork also is an essential part of the platoon's effort as well.

In preparation for the transition from military to State Department operations, the platoon worked closely with the brigade's communication shop and the Consulate Transition Team, located in Basrah, to ensure a smooth transition.

As units redeploy, the platoon will fill the gaps left on COB Basrah and expand services to the remaining units as required.

In addition to maintaining a Joint Network Node and a Satellite Transportable Terminal, Bravo Company is responsible for several point-to-point communication lines and fiber links throughout the province.

Several soldiers have completed missions taking them outside the base's perimeter wire and into the city of Basrah to troubleshoot systems at remote sites.

Several additional missions have been added to the duties of the platoon, such as the Command and Control Vehicle system, which provides commanders the capability to have all communications available inside a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle while it is moving. This allows for more efficient command and control on the battlefield, which is important as the use of hardened structure makes way to more expeditionary and mobile platforms during movement out of the country.

The platoon also provides morale support as several soldiers have been tasked with the mission of ensuring the Armed Forces Network is up and running at locations around Basrah. This allows all soldiers and civilians the ability to watch television as well as listen to the radio.

Even as the mission is winding down, the soldiers of 2nd Platoon continue to maintain their most basic soldier skills, all while making sure their main focus is on the network and providing the best services possible for redeploying units.

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