373rd CSSB provides network support for drawdown
Story and photos by Sgt. Michael Carden
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
VICTORY BASE COMPLEX, Iraq — As U.S. forces draw down in Iraq, units remaining in theater are consolidating to major locations.
Soldiers with the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) are supporting that effort and the drawdown as a whole by providing networking support, wiring new buildings with communications infrastructure.
“We ran all the Internet and communication equipment for the offices,” said Spc. Bryan Cole, an information management specialist with the 373rd CSSB and an Orlando, Fla., native. “That way our (personnel section) could move in here, opening up the old offices for other units to come in.”
The responsible drawdown is reducing the number of troops in Iraq to 50,000, down from the 170,000 present during the height of the surge in 2007.
With many smaller bases closing during the process, units that are not redeploying to the United States need somewhere to go.
By consolidating the widespread elements of the 373rd CSSB into one area, the buildings previously being used can now be handed over to units moving from locations such as Forward Operating Base Cedar and Contingency Operating Base Q-West, Iraq.
The future home of the 373rd CSSB personnel section consists of five offices, all requiring Internet and phone connections. The task required 1,200 feet of network cables.
Cole said he and other Soldiers were required to re-route the entire communications plan for the battalion to ensure all connections were up and running.
While time consuming and labor intensive, the work was vital for the battalion to be able to accomplish its mission.
“Everybody needs communications,” Cole said. “Everything we do as a sustainment support battalion needs communications.”
The 373rd CSSB has units all across Iraq, with subordinate units responsible for missions ranging from maintenance operations to truck yards handling multiple supply convoys per day.
With the drawdown in sight, the 373rd CSSB continues to the retrograding and reallocating of equipment from Iraq.
Communications offices, such as that of the 373rd CSSB’s communications section, provide the units with the infrastructure and communications tools necessary to successfully complete that mission.
Sgt. Abundio Trevino, a network technician with the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a San Antonio native, checks the connectivity of newly installed network plugs June 23 at Victory Base Complex, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Carden)