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the

Pershing Cable
56th Field Artillery Brigade
November 1m_
Vol. 13, No. 11

Silence during 'THUNDER'

Exercise 'CERTAIN THUNDER.' that is . . Private


( 'Zachery Stephens, Security Platoon, Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 4th
In fantry waits among the
trees for the signal to
move out on a reconnaissance mission during exercise 'CERTAIN THUNDER.'. For more photos,
see pages four and five.
(Photo by SP5 Hutton) .

Page 6

Per\hing Cable

November 1977

26th Signal heads for Heilbronn


By SP4 John Ann Floyd, Anistant Editor

"What we have here is a failure to communicate." drawled Paul


Newman In I famous 1960's movie, "Cool Hand Luke." If there's one thing
a unit like Pershing can't afford, It's such a failure.
Battles have been won or lost on the strength of their communications.
Three separate components - 26th Signal, Commo platoon and Communl
cations and Electronics IC& El work to insure that the channels of Communications remain open all the time.
To do this requires a high degree of professi onal Ism and a lot of training
In the field. Cooperation between various sections Is also necessary.

'

~ f

26th Departing
The 26th Signal Detachment, which has supported Pershing since t971,
wlll be leaving soon. They were sent here to assist Commo and to provide
additional equipment which was not authorized to this unit.
When the detachment arrived here In Schwlbisch GmOnd In 1971, they
occupied a permanent site at 1'4ornberg and lived out of pup tents.
However, Pershing's requirements grew, and 26th's commitments grew
with it. From an initial two rigs, the detachment's equipment holdings
have built up to over 13 vans of different types. The unit has grown steadily
since 1971, although It had a big jump in growth In 1975-76.
Since then, the 26th Signal Detachment and Pershing commo have
worked together to solve problems, and along the way have learned from
each other.
.
sergeant Leroy Harper, Team Chief of Terminal Rig, 26th Signal, said,
"We try to help In any way we can. For example, we suggested that phone
lines, Instead of being strung on the ground, should be hung In the air. This
cuts down on maintenance problems."
"But, on the other hand, I think in communication for the field we have
learned a lot. It's a two-way street."
One of the advantages 26th Signal has brought to Pershing Is a communl
cations system called Tactical Automatic Digital Switch (TADS> and tac. tical Automatic Switching Service (TASS). These systems allow
commanders to send either a voice or teletype message anywhere around
the world. These phones, which tie Into a world-wide system, cdn establish
contact in seconds. If one of the relay stations along the way Isn't working,
this system can re-route the message to another receiver.

Problem, solved
At first there were a few problems between the detachment and brigade
because "The brigade did not understand our type of communication,"
SGT Harper said. "Our communication Is line-of-site. For this, we needed
a more choice location - like the top of a hill. We couldn't operate from a
valley."
But as commanders became more acquainted with 26th's equipment requirements, these problems disappeared. Other problems that the detachment has are problems faced by all detachments. Their parent unit, the
26th Battalion, Is 52 miles away in Hellbronn. "We are isolated and split
from our company," said Sergeant First Class Levene A. Cargill, NCOIC.
"If our people have problems, we have to send them to Heilbronn. In
effect, "SGT Cargill adds, "We are one of the forgotten stepchildren."

High morale
Despite difficulties. "Morale Is high here because professionalism Is at a
high standard," said SGT Harper, "People take pride in their unit. Our Job
here is signal, period. We do what signal is supposed to do - communi
cate. People here get a feel of what signal is all about."
Many problems cal'I be corrected only under field conditions. That
means the 26th Signal must participate In brigade exercises (which come
before all other commitments), battalion exercises. their own CPXs, and
USA RE UR "crashouts." On the average, the unit spends about 100 days In
the field per year.
"Crashouts," which can be called anytime, are readiness checks for the
unit. From the time the alert is called, the detachment has six hours to collect their people, put the systems in, and get all their circuits logged. .
"In a way, people are forced to train," SGT Harper said, "They learn to
take pride in what they do." He advises sol dlers to "Learn your MOS to the
highest degree possible. And don't let a couple of "chewing outs" ruin your
attitude."

HEIDELBERG -

What can
and cannot

go

Whlle st

tloned In Germany, you may have

developed a taste for a local wine or


beer that you know you can't buy in
the U.S. So you've decided to take
some of the brew back with you
when you DE ROS.
Customs officials say federal law
permits ser vice members returning from extended overseas tours to
impor.t one quart of a foreign-made
alcohoflc beverage free of duty and

SGT Leroy Harper relaxes wltft a sodo In front of tfte 26th Signal
fn:lnsmifler receiYWr ani.,,na.
SGT Harper believes that the 26th Signal Detachment "has the most
highly trained personnel In their MOS in the 26th Battalion."
He believes this high standard of training comes about because of their
commitment to 56th Brigade and thel r constant field tralnl nq.

'Esprit de corps' good

SFC Cargill has only praise of his NCOs and enlisted personnel. i I can
depend on them - that's the biggest thing," he said. "We're a pretty self.
sufficient unit. These people aren't only skilled in radio operation, but also
In all-around maintenance. The 'esprit de corps' is real good."
Both NCOs said that their people did not mind all the field training. SP4
Arline McFadden pointed out that their type of work was good only for the
field." In garrison we work in the motor pool or pull maintenance."
SP4 Susan Nevitt seemed to speak for thf' majority of people when she
said, "I don't mind going .. although I would rather not."
SFC Cargill said, "I've been working with communications since \ , 1.
andeverytime I gotothefield, I learn something new."

tax. You may .also Import three


quarts of alcoholic drink of
origin duty free.
: ,t1
These four quarts, hd'tffV}!r,
cannot be shipped in your hold bag
gage or household goods. But you
may hand<arry them aboard a
MAC flight or one chartered by
MAC.
Or you could ship several bottles
commercially and pay federal
Import duties and I RS taxes on

us

them. If you do, you should also


check state laws. Your home state
may not,allo~ imports of alcohol,
a~ if Ii 'does.,lt may have its own
permit fees and rules.
To find out all the rules connected
with the importation of wine or
other alcoholic beverages, your
best bet Is to call your local 42nd
MP Group (Customs) unit. In the
stuttgart area 12726) 873 and in
~ r g (2581) 7742-6642

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