Signal battalion recognized for outstanding support
The 1st NATO Signal Battalion was presented with a campaign pennant January 25 for its outstanding support to NATO operations. The pennant is one of only five awarded by General James L. Jones, the former Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) upon his retirement from that post.
The battalion, located in Maastricht, the Netherlands, is one of two deployable units within the NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency (NCSA). There are four CF members serving in the battalion, including the RSM, Chief Warrant Officer Greg Power.
“It’s an absolutely wonderful day for the battalion,” said CWO Power. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of all the soldiers within the battalion who are the main driving force behind the presentation of the campaign pennant today,” he added.
SACEUR created the campaign pennant in 2000 to recognize subordinate formations that have achieved a high degree of operational success.
The battalion was recognized for its support to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan during the past two years by providing essential support to the operational communications systems in ISAF.
“The 1st NATO Signal Battalion has continually demonstrated excellence in supporting NATO’s operations, particularly in Afghanistan, which is our top priority,” said Lieutenant-General Ulrich Wolf, director of NCSA. “Wherever NATO deploys on operations or exercises, NCSA is there providing secure and non-secure computer, telephone and video-teleconference services required for mission success. It’s an honour for me to present the battalion its campaign pennant,” he said.
When NATO’s role expanded in Afghanistan to include the entire country, the CIS role expanded as well. The battalion installed 30 km of cabling, and delivered and configured nearly 600 workstations to support over 20 000 users in three regional commands—all in just two months. At the same time, the battalion had to maintain its readiness to provide CIS support to the NATO Response Force (NRF) in the event it had to deploy.
“It’s a very unique situation to be in, to be fortunate enough to work along our NATO comrades on day-to-day operations as well as in ISAF, said CWO Power. “At the end of the day, it’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Without the work that the members of the battalion have done in the last two years, ISAF, indeed NATO, would not be where they are today.”
NCSA comprises a central headquarters staff co-located with Allied Command Operations at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium; two deployable NATO Signal Battalions, each with four deployable communication modules, comparable in size and mandate to signals companies; ten Sectors that support the 10 major headquarters in NATO; and the NATO Communication and Information Systems (CIS) School in Latina, Italy.
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