(6) The third area signal node terminates LOS multichannel systems from each brigade
support area extension node, the Div Rear CP, DISCOM, DIVARTY, air defense battalion, aviation
brigade, and nodes one and two. The area nodes are all interconnected and alternate routing is achieved
throughout the network.
(7) The most critical time during operations is when a supported unit moves. Maneuver units
cannot afford to lose communications, especially during periods of transition. A communications
network must have reliable alternate routing and systems control (SYSCON) to provide the continuity
needed for C2 functions. Because the area signal nodes are interconnected, the Div TAC and Div Main
CP can take turns moving as the other retains control of division operations.
g. System Management.
(1) The division communications system is a complex structure. Unless there is close
coordination among all key leaders, it will be difficult, at best, to establish and maintain quality
communications. The division signal battalion commander, who wears a second hat as the division
signal officer (DSO), works closely with the assistant division signal officer (ADSO) who is stationed at
(2) Signal requirements are given to the battalion, and the planning process begins. The
signal battalion S3 and operations staff function as the SYSCON, or communications systems control
element. They design the systems and prepare the OPLAN. The communications systems must be
standardized (e.g., channel assignment) so soldiers become familiar with a uniform manner of
establishing communications. This standardization of procedures reinforces the signal soldier's
familiarity with the many systems and circuits he is responsible for. The SYSCON oversees control of
all signal site operations in the entire battalion, monitoring systems outages, giving rerouting
instructions, and coordinating maintenance requirements. The signal sites take instructions from
SYSCON, but technically control the systems and circuits at their locations. Multichannel operators,
patch pan operators, and field wiremen work together to troubleshoot, isolate, and correct problems.
(3) An extract from FM 11-50 at Appendix B describes the heavy, light, air assault, and
airborne divisions. Although these divisions have different signal support requirements, many
similarities exist. Read chapters 3 through 6 of the FM 11-50 extract, noting carefully the signal
battalions' multichannel networks and the doctrinal equipment employment.
(4) The extract from TC 24-24 at Appendix B lists Army tactical communications equipment
common to each of the division signal battalions. Review these pieces of signal equipment. After
reading the noted extracts at Appendix B, return to this section.