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5th Signal Command
US Army, Europe

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.


Command History
Additions/Corrections
1966
1982
Org Charts

AC of S, Engr

2nd Sig Bde

4th Sig Gp

7th Sig Bde

22nd Sig Gp

106th Sig Gp

160th Sig Bde

516th Sig Gp

72nd Sig Bn

102nd Sig Bn

6981st CSC


STRATCOMEUR Patch

5th Signal Command Patch
CCC-E

TCCC

16th Avn Det


C&C Bn, STRATCOM-EUR

CEEIA-EUR

AMSF

Related Links




 
5th Signal Command in 2007
(PDF Format; 6.5 Mb)
 

 

Taukkunen Barracks, Worms, 1976 (George Lane)
 

Taukkunen Barracks, Worms, 1976 (George Lane)
 
Command History
1958 - 1977
(Source: History of the 5th Signal Command, 1958 - 1977. Prepared by the 5th Signal Command, 20 October 1978.)
Section I Historical Narrative: 1958 - 1964: History of US Army Signal Command, Europe and US Army Signal Brigade, Europe.
Section II Historical Narrative: 1964 - 1974: History of US Army Strategic Communications Command, Europe and US Army Communications Command, Europe.
Section III Historical Narrative: Fiscal Year 1975
Section IV Historical Narrative: Fiscal Year 1976
Section V Historical Narrative: Fiscal Year 1977


Section I

1958 - 1964
HISTORY OF
THE US ARMY SIGNAL COMMAND, EUROPE
THE US ARMY SIGNAL BRIGADE, EUROPE
The history of the first viable signal command in Europe began in 1958, when the US Army Signal Command, Europe, was formally organized under USAREUR General Order Number 81 (TD 77-7891), dated 20 March 1958. This organization was a result of efforts started in the early 1950's to consolidate all "technical service" units under their respective Regular Army branches (i.e., all signal units would fall under a "signal command," all engineer units would come under an "engineer command," etc.). Signal was one of 12 such technical services previously identified by USAREUR and further designated Class II subordinate commands to Headquarters, US Army, Europe. All 12 of these technical service commands were established with commanders who would serve concurrently as the chief of the respective USAREUR staff division having proponency or operational control over their command. (1) This automatically put the USAREUR Signal Officer, Brigadier General Wm. D. Hamlin, in the dual hat role of Chief, USAREUR Signal Division

(1) By June 1957, the 11 other technical service commands had abolished the dual hat concept. For reasons which are not clear, the signal "command" maintained the dual role arrangement (HQ, US Army, Europe, Annual Historical Report, 1 Jul 56-30 Jun 57, page 11).
(later called Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications-Electronics) and Commanding General, US Army Signal Command, Europe.

The command mission under the new formal organization was: "To implement plans, policies and procedures for the establishment, operations and maintenance of signal communications systems; to provide photographic and signal logistical support for USAREUR, CENTAG and, as directed, for NATO elements, US Navy and Air Force in Europe.
AUTHORIZED STRENGTH
TD
OFF
WO
EM
AGG
77-7891 (20 March 58)
9
1
5
15
The major subordinate elements of the US Army Signal Command, Europe, would be the 4th Signal Group, headquartered in Heidelberg, the 516th Signal Group which was activated in Karlsruhe, Germany, during the winter of 1954, and the 102nd Signal Battalion which was then headquartered in a rehabilitated German air raid bunker at Feudenheim, Germany.

On 21 January 1959, as the new command was developing their plans and organization to meet the mission requirements, the table of distribution was expanded appreciably:
AUTHORIZED STRENGTH
TD
OFF
WO
EM
CIV
AGG
77-7891 (21 Jan 59)
12
1
8
14
35
On 8 February 1960, Brigadier General R.J. Meyer replaced Brigadier General Wm. D. Hamlin as the USAREUR Signal Officer and Commanding General, US Army Signal Command, Europe.

Effective 9 June 1960, USAREUR General Order Number 260 reorganized and redesignated the US Army Signal Command, Europe, to Headquarters, US Army Signal Command, Europe. While this change was to lay the foundation for future manpower and expansion, the immediate effect was an actual loss of authorized strength, due to a table of distribution adjustment preceeding the reorganization.
AUTHORIZED STRENGTH
TD
OFF
WO
EM
AGG
73-3732 (9 Jun 60)
7
0
9
16
Later that year on 20 October 1960, General Bruce C. Clark would take over as the Commander in Chief, US Army, Europe. The "Signal Command" would be short lived under General Clark. The events that follow are best explained in Brigadier General Meyer's own words as written in a DF to the USAREUR Chief of Staff on 16 December 1960:

"During my briefing of the Commander in Chief, 19 November 1960, he expressed a dislike for the term "command" when referring to the United States Army Signal Command, Europe, and he reiterated this dislike at the 7th December Commanders Conference. Subsequently, I briefed you on the adequacy of the headquarters signal command staff and a recommended solution to the problem by the amalgamation of Headquarters, 4th Signal Group with the United States Army Signal Command, Europe. You approved this recommendation in principle and requested a plan be staffed with the Deputy Chiefs of Staff. This is the plan for the reorganization, and concurrences of the Deputy Chiefs of Staff are indicated:

"It is proposed to reorganize Headquarters, US Army Signal Command, Europe, and Headquarters, 4th Signal Group by merging into a headquarters adequately staffed within existing resources to provide a more efficient organization. This organization, to be known as the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe. Reassign all subordinate elements currently assigned to the US Army Signal Command, Europe. There are no permanent change of station implications in this plan.

"Major elements to be assigned to US Army Signal Brigade, Europe will be:
a. 516th Signal Group
b. 102nd Signal Battalion
c. US Army Signal Service Battalion
d. US Army Communications Agency, Europe
e. other small detachments presently assigned or attached to the US Army Signal Command or 4th Signal Group."
BG Meyer further explained in the DF, "The facilities available will provide the physical separation of the signal division from the signal brigade. In addition to improving the operations of the communication network, the separation of the-brigade activities from Signal Division, Headquarters, USAREUR, will eliminate the tendencies existing, by physical consolidation, of division staff officers getting into operations of the command."

USAREUR General Order Number 10, dated 25 January 1961, redesignated HQ, USA Signal Command, Europe, to Headquarters, US Army Signal Brigade, Europe. Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, US Army Signal Brigade, Europe (Provisional) was activated 1 February 1961, by US Army Signal Brigade, Europe, General Order Number 2, dated 1 February 1961.
AUTHORIZED STRENGTH
TD
OFF
WO
EM
TOTAL
(HQ, TD 73-3732)  
7
1
10
18
 
(HQ & HQ Det)  
24
2
110
135
   
TOTALS:
31
3
120
154
In another DF dated 1 February 1961, to the CINCUSAREUR, BG Meyer vrote:

"With the redesignation of the Signal Command, Europe, to the Signal Brigade, Europe, it appears logical to me to take one further step - that of separating the Brigade completely from Signal Division by naming a senior Signal Corps colonel as the Brigade Commander, and by my relinquishing this command and holding only the position of USAREUR Signal Officer."

On 1 February 1961, Colonel Gordon B. Cauble became the Commander of the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe, seemingly bringing to a close the last "Tech Service Command" and dual role staff/command concept. In his now single role as USAREUR Signal Officer, BG Meyer did maintain operational control of the brigade.

Up to this point, BG Meyer's writings had favored the separation of staff and command, and the minimizing of "Division Staff Officers getting into operational matters." His letter to the Signal Brigade Commander, dated 10 June 1961, gives more insight into the subject. In the letter BG Meyer directed:

"To more effectively accomplish our respective assigned missions, I desire that the following elements of your organization report directly to my office and perform duties under my supervision:
a. US Army Communications Agency, Europe (USACAE)
b. 16th Signal Detachment (Svc)
c. 32nd Signal Detachment (Svc)
d. 326th Signal Detachment (Intel)
e. US Army Signal Technical Information Team (USASTIF)
f. US Army Army Aviation Flight Information Detachment, Europe (USAAFIDE)
g. Army Flight Operating Facility (AFOF)
     
The provisions of this letter are effective 1 February 1961."

On 5 July 1961, BG H. McD. Brown succeeded BG Meyer as the USAREUR Signal Officer and COL Cauble who had been Acting USAREUR Signal Officer since 20 June 1961, resumed his duties as Commander, US Army Signal Brigade, Europe. BG Meyer would become the Commanding General of the US Army Signal Training Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

1. Org 1 March 1962 (KB)

2. Org 19 Aug 1963 (KB)

3. Org 19 Oct 1964 (KB)

The size of the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe, expanded considerably during the 1961-1963 time frame; however, it's command structure remained noticably stable. USAREUR General Order 309 dated 23 October 1963, delineates the composition of the brigade as follows:
Headquarters, US Army Signal Brigade, Europe
Headquarters Detachment, US Army Signal Brigade, Europe
US Army Aviation Flight Information Detachment, Europe
US Army Communications Agency, Europe
US Army Flight Operations Facility, Europe
16th Signal Detachment
326th Signal Detachment
4th Signal Group (plus augmentation)
US Army Major Relay Center, Saran
US Army Primary Signal Relay Center, Pirmasens
USAREUR Central Film and Equipment Exchange
USAREUR Classified Photographic Laboratory
USAREUR Signal Center
USAREUR Signal Pictorial Center
  102nd Signal Battalion
 
  4010th Labor Service Company
  21st Signal Company
  69th Signal Company (Photo), plus augmentation
22nd Signal Group (Cadre)
106th Signal Group
246th Signal Company
257th Signal Company (plus augmentation)
293rd Signal Company
516th Signal Group (plus augmentation)
17th Signal Battalion Company
"C", 69th Signal Battalion
201st Signal Company
229th Signal Company
4038th Labor Service Company
6981st Civilian Labor Group
  8563rd Civilian Labor Group
  8565th Civilian Labor Group
The 4th Signal Group in Heidelberg with its principle subordinate unit, the 102nd Signal Battalion, operated the microwave relay stations throughout France and Germany.

The 22nd Signal Group had been reactivated at Mannheim on 19 August 1963, per USAREUR General Order Number 213, as part of the phased programming of the European Tropo-Army (ETA) System. "Slim but eager," as of 28 February 1964, the group disposition and organization was as follows:
UNIT
LOCATION
OFF
WO
EM
 
Hq, Hq Co, 22nd Sig Gp
Mannheim, Ger.
13
5
65
 
Hq, Hq Det, 68th Sig Bn
Nellingen, Ger.
2
0
23
   
  Co A, 68th Sig Bn
Karlsruhe, Ger.
1
0
5
  Co B, 68th Sig Bn
Ulm, Ger.
1
0
3
  Co C, 68th Sig Bn
Giessen, Ger.
1
0
2
Hq, Hq Det, 447th Sig Bn
Hilden, Ger.
1
0
5
   
  Co A, 447th Sig Bn
Pruem, Ger.
1
0
4
  Co B, 447th Sig Bn
Hilden, Ger.
1
0
7
  Co C, 447th Sig Bn
Bremerhaven, Ger.
1
0
2
32nd Sig Det
Leghorn, Italy
0
0
4
   
                   
During the next seven months, the 22d Signal Group would take over 37 HF/SSB sites from civilian contractors and the initial tropo radio and mux equipment courses would begin at the group training facility.

The 106th Signal Group headquartered in Paris had the primary mission of supporting the Headquarters, US European Command (USEUCOM).

The 516th Signal Group, in Karlsruhe, consisted of tactical signal units and civilian labor service organizations.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, planning was underway to establish the US Army Strategic Communications Command, a major field command directly responsible to the Army Chief of Staff. STRATCOM would take over "some" of the functions of the Brigade.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
General Order Number 81, HQ, USAREUR, dated 20 Mar 58

Letter, Commander, 516th Signal Group to Commanding General, USASTRATCOM-Eur, dated 12 Jan 66, subject: Unit Crests and Histories

Table of Distribution Number 77-7891, Change 1, HQ, USAREUR, dated 21 Jan 59

General Order Number 260, HQ, USAREUR, dated 9 Jun 60

DF, SIG (USAREUR) to Chief of Staff (USAREUR), dated 16 Dec 60, subject: Establishment of the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe

General Order Number 10, HQ, USAREUR, dated 25 Jan 61

General Order Number 2, USA Signal Brigade, Europe, dated 1 Feb 61

DF, SIG O (USAREUR) to CINCUSAREUR, dated 1 Feb 61, subject: Designation of Commander, Signal Brigade

Letter, Signal Officer (USAREUR) to Commanding Officer, USA Signal Brigade, Europe, dated 10 Jun 61, subject: Exercise of Operation Control

General Order Number 309, HQ, USAREUR, dated 23 Oct 63

Summary of Battalion History, HQ, 102d Signal Battalion, dated 6 Dec 65

Supplement to History of the 22d Signal Group, dated 31 Dec 69

Section II

1964 - 1974
HISTORY OF
THE US ARMY STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMAND, EUROPE
THE US ARMY COMMUNICATIONS COMMAND, EUROPE
As a result of the rapid growth in electronic technology and communications capability, the need for a unified manager of these assets became apparent. In response to this need, the Department of Defense created the Defense Communications Agency to manage all global communications.

In turn, the Department of the Army determined the need for a major command to manage its portion of the Defense Communications System, and, in March 1964, the US Army Strategic Communications Command (STRATCOM) was formed with headquarters in Washington, D.C.

STRATC0M immediately turned its attention to Europe, and, on 1 July 1964, STRATCOM-Europe became the first subcommand of STRATCOM. Colonel I.R. Obenchain became the first Commanding Officer of the fledgling signal organization, headquartered at Neue Kaserne, in Schwetzingen.

Five elements from the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe, were transferred to form the new command of 2474 authorized military and civilian personnel. These included the 22nd and 106th Signal Groups, the 21st Signal Company, which support HQ, SETAF in Leghorn, and the Signal Relay Centers at Pirmasens, Germany, and Saran, France.

It didn't take long before STRATCOM-Europe extended its borders. A sister command, STRATCOM-MIDEAST, was briefly formed and then dissolved. As a result, STRATCOM-Europe inherited the HF/SSB stations in Ankara and Sinop, Turkey; Asmara, Ethiopia; and Teheran, Iran, on 1 November 1961.

By the end of its first year, STRATCOM-Europe was well established. The US Army's attention, however, was diverted away from Europe and toward an escalating war in Vietnam. Yet, even with the concerns in Southeast Asia, STRATCOM-Europe continued to receive the manpower and resources it needed to manage the Army's DCS communications on the European continent.

BG Walter G. Bess became STRATCOM-Europe's second commander on 1 October 1965, just in time to assume more of the USAREUR Signal Brigade responsibilities.

On 1 November, the 516th Signal Group was reorganized and joined STRATCOM-Europe's roster. The composition of the Group included the newly reorganized 72nd Signal Battalion, the 102nd Signal Battalion, the USAREUR Signal Center, the 16th Aviation Company, the 6981st Civilian Labor Service Group and the 4038th Polish Civilian Labor Service Company.

The 72nd Signal Battalion, in Karlsruhe, supported HQ, USAREUR with transportable communications. The 102nd Signal Battalion, in Sandhofen, managed the Army's portion of the European Microwave System. There were three microwave networks at that time: the USAREUR Northern System; the USAREUR Forward Area System; and the Joint Europoan Microwave System which connected the three service headquarters in Europe. The USAREUR Signal Center supported HQ, USAREUR with a telephone exchange, a radio station and a telecommunications center.

Also on 1 November, STRATCOM-Europe was given the US Army Command Issuing Office-Europe in Poitiers, France. Any USAREUR unit which required cryptographical material or equipment relied on this facility. In the same month, the STRATCOM-Europe Engineering Command was organized in Schwetzingen to engineer and install new communications systems. This function was previously handled by the US Army Communications Agency-Europe.

With these tremendous responsibilities placed upon STRATCOM-Europe, BG Bess was given still an additional mission. The STRATCOM-Europe commander was designated the Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications-Electronics, USAREUR. The decision to vest, in one individual, both command and staff responsibilities was based on an agreement between General O'Meara, Commander in Chief, US Army, Europe, and Major General Meyer, Commanding General, US Army Strategic Communications Command.

STRATCOM-Europe hardly had time to assess its recent acquisitions before 1966 arrived. This year proved to be a milestone for the command. On 9 March, the headquarters post was redesignated Kilbourne Kaserne, in honor of MG Charles E. Kilbourne, who, as a First Lieutenant, was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Philippine Insurrection of 1899. The day after the Kilbourne Kaserne ceremony, Signal Group Mediterranean was organized at Camp Darby, Italy. This new group encompassed the STRATCOM-Europe sites in Italy, Ethiopia, Iran and Turkey. Signal Group Mediterranean was reorganized in February 1968, due to command and control problems; and the sites outside Italy were returned under the STRATCOM-Europe headquarters. Three weeks later on 1 April 1966, STRATCOM-Europe became involved in the newest mode of telecommunications, Satellite Systems. An AN/MSC-46 satellite terminal was installed at Landstuhl, Germany. Pirmasens Signal Facility was tasked to provide operational support for the terminal which provided five voice and data channels to Fort Dix, New Jersey. STRATCOM-Europe acquired another satellite terminal located in Gura, Ethiopia, from the Satellite Communications Command in September of the same year. The link between Gura and Landstuhl was established when a second MSC-46 was installed at Landstuhl, and the site transferred to STRATCOM-Europe in December of 1967.

Due to increasing responsibilities and missions, the STRATCOM-Europe headquarters was expanding along with the rest of the command. Consequently, a Command and Control Battalion was organized on 10 March 1966. The Battalion's primary mission was to provide a specified support to the Headquarters, USASTRATCOM, and the Engineering Agency, USASTRATCOM-EUR.

1. Org early 1966 (KB)

2. Org Oct 1972 (KB)
3. Wideband System in Germany, 1967


After less than 10 months in command, BG Bess departed Europe on 20 July 1966, to become the Deputy Commander of STRATCOM at its new headquarters in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. As BG John E. Kelsey assumed command of STRATCOM-Europe, he saw tumultuous times ahead. The command was preparing to expand its area of responsibility and assume the final remnants of the USAREUR Signal Brigade functions. The world situation, however, added a few critical problems. The war Vietnam was deepening, and STRATCOM-Europe could no longer protect its manpower. Also, President DeGaulle intended to withdraw France from the NATO alliance and order all NATO troops to leave the country. On 25 August 1966, the 4th Signal Group joined STRATCOM-Europe. With the 4th Group came the responsibility of providing fixed plant telephone, teletype, radio and data communications support to USAREUR elements in Germany. The addition of the 4th Group represented a major turning point for STRATCOM-Europe. The mission of the command was transformed from a strictly DCS oriented one to a more general C-E type mission which provided communications support down to the individual subscriber.

The following day, 26 August, Headquarters, EUCOM announced its plans to move from France to Stuttgart, Germany; thus beginning the NATO-wide operation known as the French Relocation (FRELOC). The 106th Signal Group, which was to move with the headquarters, had to maintain communications both in

Paris and in Stuttgart during the entire move. The remainder of the NATO communications system was to be moved from France by 31 March 1967; the date set by the French government to have all NATO troops out of France.

All units and activities of STRATCOM-Europe were involved in the relocation, as those units already in Germany supported those relocating from France. The STRATCOM-Europe Engineering Command along with 120 additional personnel was given primary responsibility to engineer and install all relocated communications systems within Germany. The 22nd Signal Group supported the operation by keeping communications channels into France open until 16 March 1967. Through close cooperation with USAREUR and 7th Army C-E personnel, the command met the challenge and the unprecedented move was completed well in advance of the 31 March deadline.

In an effort to supply communications to the units and activities relocated from France, STRATCOM-Europe went into a major expansion program involving over 70 Class IV projects. These included expansion or construction of new radio sites by the 22nd Signal Group at Vaihingen, Zweibruecken, Pirmasens, Boeblingen, Donnersberg, Hohenstadt and Koenigstuhl. The 4th Signal Group installed and operated nearly 50 additional DCOs and communications centers. Finally, the Westward Extension Project, directed by the 22nd Signal Group was completed in order to extend the European Tropo-Army (ET-A) System from Germany to England.

The impact of the French relocation and the increase of personnel and communications requirements forced the four Signal Groups to revert from the rigid TO&E structures to the flexible, but sometimes burdensome, TDA concepts. The resulting name changes were slight: Signal Service Group 4, Signal Group 22, Signal Support Group 106 and Signal Support Group 516.

In November 1967, the STRATCOM-Europe Engineering Command became a STRATCOM-Europe staff section, headed by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems Project management. (Three years later, it would revert to a command again.)

By the close of 1967, the dust had settled from the relocation. The headquarters of USEUCOM, USAREUR, USNAVEUR and USAFE were finally tied into a unique voice system known as the European Command and Control Console System. Using the ET-A framework, ECCCS tied the four headquarters and various selected sites into a unified conference network which could establish theater-wide master conferences by allowing all users to be interconnected. The system was completed in 1972 when Headquarters, SETAF joined the net.

The fourth commander of STRATCOM-Europe, BG Thomas K. Trigg, assumed command on STRATCOM-Europe's 4th birthday, 1 July 1968.

By this time, the command was suffering from the shortage of personnel which was affecting the rest of USAREUR. Personnel resources were austere and turnover was continuous to support the Vietnam effort. STRATCOM-Europe took this opportunity to stabilize and concentrate on three new communications systems: AUTOVON (Automatic Voice Network); AUTODIN (Automatic Digital Network); and AUTOSEVOCOM (Automatic Secure Voice Communications).

The AUTODIN system was designed to replace the older and slower torn tape relay system. A Coltano, Italy, AUTODIN Switching Center (ASC) was opened 19 February 1969, near the site where Marconi pioneered radio communications. The Air Force also opened a station at Croughton, England. Using these ASCs and others in operation, messages could now be sent instantly around the command, or around the world. AUTOVON was the principle long haul unsecure voice communications network within the DCS, with AUTOSEVOCOM being its secure counterpart. In order to introduce these global systems to Europe, many problems were encountered in interfacing the 4-wire AUTOVON system with European dialing equipment. However, the command overcame these problems and, in June 1969, an 850 line switch was activated at Donnersberg. Late on 1 March 1970, a 250 line switch became operational at Coltano, Italy.

Colonel Charles R. Myer assumed command or STRATCOM-Europe on 24 November 1969. He was promoted to Brigadier General on New Year's Day 1970. By this time, the command had grown to 9,000 personnel spread over 2.5 million square miles.

The Army was changing. President Nixon intended to convert the Army into an all-volunteer force. This meant many changes for the soldiers, particularly in living conditions and working environment. STRATCOM-Europe was changing, too. Technical Control Facilities were installed at various microwave stations throughout the command. These facilities break down multiplexed signals into single voice channels, thus simplifying problem detection and correction.

Contemporaneously, the 72nd Signal Battalion completed its testing of the newest AUTODIN hardware, the Digital Subscriber Terminal Equipment or DSTE.

For the first time since the move from France, STRATCOM-Europe began to shuffle its assets. On 1 July 1970, Signal Support Group 516 was inactivated. Its two civilian labor service companies and the 102nd Signal Battalion were shifted to Signal Service Group 4, and the 72nd Signal Battalion became subordinate directly to STRATCOM-Europe headquarters.

Also on 1 July, the Area Maintenance Supply Facility opened shop in Neuostheim (they moved to Sullivan Barracks in Mannheim, Germany the following March). The AMSF provided repair and maintenance support for all fixed station facilities and some transportable communications systems.

On 10 December 1970, the Deputy Chief of Staff for System Project Management reverted to a command organization known as Communications Electronics Engineering and Installation Agency-Europe (CEEIA-EUR). CEEIA-EUR would engineer, install and test new equipment before it was turned over to STRATCOM-Europe. The new organization was immediately tasked with two major USAREUR-wide projects. These included an upgrade of the USAREUR Telephone System and an upgrade of Army Airfield communications. The latter project involved 41 airfields throughout Germany and England and was CEEIA-EUR's first encounter with airfield engineering.

In December 1971, one of the last USAREUR Signal Brigade activities still held by USAREUR Headquarters became part of STRATCOM-Europe. This new responsibility was the 69th Signal Company (Photo), which photographically recorded USAREUR unit activities in the field. With this acquisition, the only C-E functions left within USAREUR were those held by the DCSC-E staff.

By the time BG Myer left the command on 8 May 1972, STRATCOM-Europe had made significant achievements. The Vietnam war appeared to be phasing down and the Modern Volunteer Army was becoming a reality. However, racial unrest and drug problems plagued the European theater and proved to be a challenge to its leadership.

The Deputy Commander for BG Myer, Colonel Kenneth L. Shiflet, served as the STRATCOM-Europe commander for the next five weeks. On 24 May 1972, a terrorist bomb exploded in the parking lot of Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg. Two people were killed and the ECCCS Console Local Equipment (CLE) van for USAREUR Headquarters was destroyed. Also, 114 active microwave channels between Heidelberg and Donnersberg were disrupted. Signal Group 22 dispatched a team to assess the damage and restore the circuits at 7:40 P.M. that evening. By 3:40 A.M., the radio frequency path between Heidelberg and Donnersberg was repaired and the CLE was again fully operational.

Brigadier General Richard W. Swenson became the new commander on 22 June 1972. Ten days later, he gained responsibility for the communications center and the DCS VHF link in Daharan, Saudi Arabia. Six weeks later, on 28 August, a commercial satellite channel was opened from Tehran to CONUS.

When American involvement in Vietnam ended in early 1973, the distinguished 39th Signal Battalion came to STRATCOM-Europe. The 39th was the first signal battalion in Vietnam and the last one out. Its colors were flown by an officer escort from Saigon to Frankfurt. On 28 March 1973, the 39th Signal Battalion, replaced the 447th Signal Battalion which was deactivated. On 19 April 1973, a third AUTODIN ASC was activated in Augsburg to support the Department of Defense Intelligence Community in the area (the switch was deactivated two years later).

The Department of the Army, on 1 July 1973, gave STRATCOM a new mission: Air Traffic Control at all US Army Airfields. STRATCOM-Europe was faced with the problem of organizing ATC functions within Europe which at that time were performed by some 26 different organizations in USAREUR. To assist the Command in this task, the 14th Aviation Company (ATC) joined STRATCOM-Europe on 1 July 1973. By December 1974, all operational functions had been shifted from USAREUR, and the command had full responsibility for the Air Traffic Control facilities and navigational aids at 43 Army airfields throughout Europe.

STRATCOM-Europe ceased to exist on 1 October 1973. On that date, the US Army Strategic Communications Command was redesignated the US Army Communications Command, by order of the Army Chief of Staff, General Creighton W. Abrams. The term "strategic" no longer described a command whose responsibilities included non-DCS functions. The US Army Communications Command-Europe (USACC-EUR) was short-lived, however. During its nine month existence, it was preoccupied with the impending birth of the 5th Signal Command.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Letter, Commander, US Army Strategic Communications Command, Wash, D.C., dated 17 Jul 64, subject: Establishment of US Army Strategic Communications Command-Europe

History of the US Army Communications Command 1964-1976

Organizational Chart, USASTRATCOM-Eur/DCS Comm-EL, Sep 65 - Mar 66

Letter, Commander, 516th Signal Group to CG, USASTRATCOM-Eur, dated 12 Jan 66, subject: Unit Crests and Histories

Annual History, FY 1971, STRATCOM-Eur

Organizational Chart, USASTRATCOM-Eur, Oct 72

End of Tour Report, Commander, Signal Support Group 4, USACC-EUR, dated 11 Jan 74

The Echo, A Publication of STRATCOM-Eur/5th Signal Command, various issues from 18 Jun 69 to date

 
STRATCOM-EUR UNIT PATCHES - 1960s-70s

AVN Co



 
 
STRATCOM-EUR UNIT CRESTS - 1960s-70s

USAREUR Communications Command Network



 

Section III

1 July 1974 - 30 September 1975
HISTORY OF THE
5TH SIGNAL COMMAND
STRATCOM-Europe, from the time of its activation in 1964, was organized on a functional basis. Signal Group 22 had primary responsibility for communications links between major subscribers north of the Alps, while the Signal Service Group 4 controlled all DCOs and communications centers in the same area. The geographical separation of units under these two groups presented many command and control problems. As a result, a decision was made to reorganize the group responsibilities around geographical areas. Each signal group would have total responsibility for all communications facilities within its own area. One group would service the Southern portion of Germany while the other group would service Northern Germany, Belgium, Holland and England. It was also decided that signal units which were being phased out of Vietnam would be activated in Europe to asume the new missions created by the reorganization.

The 12th Signal Group (Provisional) was organized on 2 April 1974, as part of this reorganization. The group was formed in order to organize the smaller independent units within USACC-EUR into one organization for administrative and command and control purposes. This new group which replaced the USACC-EUR Support Battalion included the AMSF, the 69th Signal Company (Photo), the 6981st Civilian Labor Group, the Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center (formerly Command Issuing Office, Europe), the 14th ATC and the USACC-EUR Service Company.

On 1 July 1974, the proposed reorganization became reality. Not only was the command completely reorganized but it was given a new name, the 5th Signal Command. This change to a numerical designation was done in order to distinguish the command as an operational headquarters as opposed to a managerial headquarters. Nearly every subordinate unit in the command received a new name and mission. The 2nd Signal Group, formerly Signal Group 22, was given the responsibility for communications in Northern Germany, Belgium, Holland and England. Signal Support Group 4 was changed to the 160th Signal Group and was given all communications in Southern Germany. Signal Group 106 was deactivated and its responsibilitries for support of HQ EUCOM were taken over by part of the 52nd Signal Battalion which was part of the 160th Signal Group.

Along with the new name, the 5th Signal Command also received a new headquarters. In March 1974, USAREUR Headquarters had announced that the 5th Signal Command must move its headquarters from Schwetzingen to Taukkunen Barracks in Worms, Germany. The reason for the move was that a merger of staffs between USAREUR and the Theater Army Support Command (formerly the Comm Z) had created a requirement for more office space in the Heidelberg area. Therefore, Project Roundtable was begun in order to plan and organize the task of moving over 900 personnel, not including military dependents, to Worms. On 15 June, the move was begun and on 1 August, a ceremony was held at Taukkunen Barracks in which the 5th Signal Command officially took command of the Kaserne. It was not until mid-September, however, that the move was officially completed. This marked the first time in the history of the command that all headquarters staff elements, including CEEIA-EUR, were located at the same Kaserne.

Following the removal of US troops from Vietnam, the general trend in the Army was toward reducing personnel strength while at the same time increasing overall efficiency. In light of this trend, the Army implemented Project 16/78. This program is the Army's plan to add three combat divisions by 1978 using existing manpower resources. The additional personnel required for these new divisions are to be taken from non-combat units, and the 5th Signal Command was directed to reduce its overall personnel strength by 1978. To accomplish this reduction, three subordinate units are to be deactivated on 30 June 1975. These units include the 12th Signal Group, the 69th Photo Company, and the 534th Signal Company. The responsibilities of the 69th Photo Company will be transferred to USAREUR while those of the remaining two units will be retained within the command.

Another phase of the 16/78 Project was the amalgamation of the USAREUR DCSC-E staff with the 5th Signal Command headquarters. The purpose of this amalgamation was to streamline the C-E endeavor in Europe and eliminate duplication of effort between the two staffs. On 16 April 1975, a proposed amalgamation plan was approved by DA, and, on 21 April, the transfer of C-E functions to the 5th Signal Command Headquarters was started. By 23 May, the transfer was complete and the 5th Signal Command had sole responsibility for the overall communications and electronics functions in Europe.

As the command looks ahead, the future of the 5th Signal Command holds many challenging problems. Among these are additional personnel cuts required by Project 16/78. However, along with this decrease in personnel, no appropriate decrease in the command's overall mission is scheduled. Instead, new projects and missions are appearing almost daily. If the past is an indication of the future, the 5th Signal Command will meet these and other challenges in the same professional manner as they have since 1964, and continue to supply effective and responsive communications to the US Army in Europe.

Section IV

1 July 1975 - 30 September 1976
HISTORY OF THE
5TH SIGNAL COMMAND
AN OVERVIEW 1 JULY 1975 - 30 JUNE 1976
The history of the 5th Signal Command during FY 76 continued to record an ever increasing growth in the Command's support requirements for US Army Europe while simultaneously losing manpower assets as a result.of Project 16/78.

The new year was launched with numerous deactivations, inactivations and activations of subordinate units which necessitated further reorganizations and realignment of resources and lines of command and control. The expertise and professionalism of all assigned individuals were constantly in evidence as the problems caused by organizational turbulence were repeatedly anticipated enabling assigned tasks to be accomplished ahead of schedule.

Upon assumption of command, BG Joseph C. Racke initiated an indepth analysis to identify the priority of telecommunications requirements in the Command. This analysis caused the establishment of priorities for more than 600 on-going telecommunications projects. The end result was that the Command received their first overview of these projects in a consolidated, priority sequence printout.

In addition to the Command priority list, work was initiated on five major Command Objectives. First, to develop and implement a system to measure the Soldier's job satisfaction; second, to refine and up-date a plan for the wartime mission of command and determine the forces required to support the mission; third, to implement a program of education and orientation for all USAREUR commanders concerning the 5th Signal Command's capability; fourth, to.complete a survey of all test, measurement and diagnostic equipment (TMDE) in the Command and take the necessary action pertaining to the distribution of excess, and authority for acquisition and requisitioning of shortages; and fifth, to develop a management information system which identifies the status and priority of each CEMO/TELER project.

Mission requirements continued to grow at an ever increasing rate and frequently the Field Training Exercises, in which the Command participated, overlapped. Although these exercises provided excellent continuous MOS training, they also required aggressive management of resources to meet all mission requirements. The communications management and engineering of Project Creek Swap, one of the largest troop and unit relocations in Europe in recent years, again demonstrated the flexibility, competence and expertise of the 5th Signal Command. Approval of the plan for civilianization of the Area Maintenance and Supply Facility-Europe signified the Command had entered into the final phases of Project 16/78. The conversion of all United States operated Telecommunications Center (TCC) and the Data Processing Installations (DPI) in Europe to the Federal Standard Hollerith Punch Card Code denoted another major task completed and a key link in the world wide implementation of the system. The mission to improve the Communications System for USEUCOM HQ continued towards completion with the installation of a digital microwave system.

All members of the staff sectons in the Headquarters were constantly reviewing, analysing and directing the resources of the Command towards mission accomplishment. The magnitude of the workload required to accomplish these daily tasks was magnified by 30 special study groups for USAREUR, NATO and EUCOM that were in session simultaneously.

Although the winds of change have blown throughout FY 76, the 5th Signal Command pursued and met the many requirements placed upon it. Many of our major tasks have been completed but there are more that continue to call upon our proud heritage and expertise. We expect to be challenged in the future as we have been in the past. Our reaction to future challenges will, of course, be even more professional than before.

To provide greater understanding and to give an amplified and more detailed description of the 5th Signal Command's numerous accomplishments for FY 70, a year long month by month synopsis follows.
MONTH BY MONTH SYNOPSIS
1 JULY 1975 - 30 JUNE 1976

The month of July was a busy one for all 5th Signal Command units. In addition to all the major tasks brought about by ongoing reorganization and realignment, other missions had to be performed. The normal day to day, 24 hour operation of the 5th Signal Command continued to run smoothly while many additional tasks were completed.

Events began on 1 July 1975, with the deactivation of the 12th Signal Group and the reactivation of the 63d Signal Battaltion (SPT). The 63d Signal Battalion (SPT), with a history dating back to 1940, was once again adopted as an active Army unit. Constituted with subordinate units being the Signal Service Company, 69th Photo Company, Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center and 6981st Civilian Labor Group, the 63d was given the mission to support the 5th Signal Command and various USAREUR units. This reorganization caused the Area Maintenance Support Facility-Europe to come directly under the control of the 5th Signal Command; and the reorganization of the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) under a new MTO&E and TDA and also bringing the 14th under direct control of 5th Signal Command. Further streamling efforts were the deactivation of the 256th Signal Company and the closure of the 100 line ASC at Gablingen, Germany. Upon deactivation of the 256th, its remaining resourccs and its mission were absorbed by the 534th Signal Company in Augsburg, Germany. The deactivation of the 256th plus the closure of the Gablingen ASC were part of the overall effort by Department of the Army to reduce the number of support and service support manpower spaces and convert them to combat spaces. These deactivations were carried our as part of the 16/78 plan and resulted in manpower space reductions of 12 officer and 111 enlisted spaces. Staff offices of the 5th Signal Command also underwent a streamlining during July when the office of the Comptroller and the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development were consolidated to form one staff element, namely the Deputy Chief of Staff, Resources. The FCAO-EUR also underwent reorganization. Throughout this period of manpower reduction, additional mission requirements became the rule rather than the exception. The 5th Signal Command Voice Systems Division assumed the task of managing a replacement/upgrade program for over 100 NATO Common Funded Projects (NCF). Other staff sections involved in additional major tasks were USACEEIA and the 5th Signal Command DCSPI, working hand in hand on the Technical Control Improvement Program. Upgrade action was completed at eight 5th Signal Command sites as a result of these efforts. The TCIP continues and will run through FY 78. The Tactical Operations Division of the DCSOPS implemented the Peacetime Automated CEOI Program. Fifteen of USAREUR major commands received their peacetime automated CEOIs, have completed final testing and have fully implemented the program. The Aviation Office, 5th Signal Command implemented the AAF/AHP frequency plan upon approval of the frequencies by the FRG. This project also continues during the airfield upgrade program.

The DCSPA, 5th Signal Command, was also very busy with the conversion of the command to SIDPERS. The conversion of the 5th Signal Command was originally scheduled to be completed by June 1976. In order to better manage the command's personnel assets, the DCSPA received permission to convert well ahead of schedule. This conversion was accomplished in expert fashion far ahead of original completion date.

The subordinate units of the 5th Signal Command also picked up additional requirements during July 1975. The 440th Signal Battalion assumed control of a TAADS terminal at Darmstadt, FRG, and a MODE I DSTE was brought into service. This facility is under control of the 232d Signal Company. The 52d Signal Battalion assumed the responsibility for operation and maintenance of the DCO at Echterdingen, FRG, from the US Air Force and the 534th Signal Company, 69th Signal Battalion assumed the expanded responsibility upon deactivation of the 256th Signal Company. The 128th Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion activated a new detachment in support of EUCOM.

Even while the 5th Signal Command was meeting all these additional tasks, units of the command were undergoing major Modernization of US Facilities (MOUSF) projects. One of the best examples of MOUSF was completed at the Breitsol Radio Station operated by the 261st Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion. Representatives of the German government and various USAREUR military organizations attended the official completion ceremonies.

Although the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) was undergoing major structural changes, they managed to attain the highest goals in Air Traffic Control. The Coleman Tower at Mannheim, FRG, was named the Army's best Air Traffic Control Facility in USACC. It should be noted that the Colemen facility is also the busiest in Europe. In addition, SSG Steven A. Lewis of the 14th was named the best Air Traffic Controller of the year by USACC.

To further complicate the many complex efforts being undertaken to begin a new year, many 5th Signal Command units changed commanders during July 1975. The 39th Signal Battalion colors were passed to LTC Sidney F. Putman from LTC Hollis L. Roberts. The command was exchanged smoothly even while the 39th was undergoing internal structural reorganization. Also changing commanders during a period of realignment turbulence was the 160th Signal Group where the colors passed to COL Newton B. Morgan from COL Roy E. Shelby who assured duties as 5th Signal Command Chief of Staff.

Commands were also changed in the 102d Signal Battalion where LTC Calvin Swartz assumed command from LTC Justin A. Holmes and in the Saudi Arabia Detachment where CW3 Jack N. Kitchens received the colors from CW3 William E. Day.

The month of August found the 5th Signal Command undergoing still more changes and performing its 24 hour a day mission on a 'business as usual" basis.

On 1 August, the command saw the completion of Project Creek Swap with the 232d Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion, assuming its new PCS mission at Wiesbaden Air Base.

The month also brought the first application of secure digital communications in a fixed microwave facility when the 181st and 178th Signal Companies of the 43d Signal Battalion implemented the FKV project. The 73d Signal Battalion's 267th Signal Company accomplished the relocation of the Pirmasens Communications Center with no loss of customer service due to the help and cooperation of the 440th Signal Battalion who provided a mobile DSTE during the move.

USACC-Iran received a mobile DSTE to handle Government of Iran Logistics activities data traffic to and from CONUS depots. Customer service and message traffic handled by the Tehran Communications Center increased to 19 separate subscribers and over 17,000 messages per month while assuming a new CENTO mission.

This month also surfaced an effort to reduce and/or transfer to military paths as many leased trunks as the ETS grade of service would allow. Through this effort, coordinated by the 5th Signal Command Voice Systems Division, a yearly dollar savings of $72,958 will be recognized.

On the 11th of August, the 5th Signal Command got its 2d Commander when BG Joseph C. Racke accepted the colors from BG R.W. Swenson in ceremonies conducted at Taukkunen Barracks, Worms, Germany. Also assuming a command on 11 August was LTC John R. Jeter, who took command of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT). On 27 August in another change of command, LTC James E. Kammerdiener assumed command of the 52d Signal Battalion from LTC Gary L. Kosmider.

Other units of the 5th Signal Command remained on the job with the 72d Signal Battalion taking part in "Flintlock 75" and the 39th Signal Battalion undergoing their Annual General Inspection with an overall satisfaction rating.

The month of September brought fall and more continuous effort to the 5th Signal Command. "Reforger 75" shifted into high gear and found many command units deeply involved. The Tactical Operations Division, 5th Signal Command, was extremely busy coordinating the communications support while the 63d Signal Battalion operational elements were hard at work in the field. The 6981st Civilian Labor Group placed telephone poles, installed telephone cable and performed cable maintenance. The 69th Photo Company made video tape recordings, took over 1000 still pictures and took over 4000 feet of 16 mm motion pictures during the exercise. Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center fielding a Mobile Maintenance Contact Team which processed over 250 work orders/DX transactions during the exercise. The 72d Signal Battalion, although deeply involved in ''Reforger 75", also had a commitment for exercise "Elephant Tusk 75." The 69th Signal Battalion activated a mobile DSTE at Ansbach, Germany, on 15 September.

October was characterized by reorganizations and the late fall military exercises. The 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) was a primary member of a joint air-space management team in support of Reforger and Certain Trek. The unit was part of an integrated US Army/Air Force Combat Operations Force responsible for air defense early warning, air traffic control, tactical mission control and certain aspects of fire support coordination.

As part of Reforger, the 261st Signal Company coordinated communications between V Corps, the Air Force and allied military units. The company provided telephone support to include leased circuits from the DBP at the exercise headquarters at Kitzingen.

DCSOPS for the 5th Signal Command was a primary planner in the annual exercises involving area communications for Reforger and Certain Trek. Under personnel and equipment changes, a MTOE for the entire 72d Signal Battalion was submitted to DCSRESR of the command as part of a USAREUR requirement to upgrade equipment and reduce personnel changes in support of the 16 division concept. A manpower survey completed of HQ, 5th Signal Command, HQ, 63d Signal Battalion (SPT), Service Company, TCLSC and AMSF resulted in a loss of five officers, one warrant officer, 50 enlisted, 17 GS civilians, and 36 local national civilian positions. The 298th Signal Company turned over the Vogelweh DCO to the Air Force as part of Project Creek Swap. USACC announced that the mission of the AMSF would be contracted out of a civilian company.

The 5th Signal Command Bicentennial Commemorative Medal was designed and procured by the Public Affairs Office. The medal was presented during the Bicentennial year to outstanding enlisted personnel, officers and civilians.

HQ, 32d AADCOM moved from Kaiserslautern to Darmstadt. This move resulted in an Immediate TELER action to move the equipment for one AUTOVON mainline and one AUTOSEVOCOM mainline. Dial access to AUTOVON had been available at the Kaiserslautern location. An additional set of equipment for one AUTOVON mainline was installed for use by the Headquarters staff. Two Redlines were established from the Frankfurt switchboard. A TELER is being processed for key system at the Darmstadt location. Approximately 50 Class A and 50 Class C telephones for a total of approximately 250 instruments were installed at the Darmstadt location: New interior cabling was installed in the building occupied by the headquarters. The Tactical Alert Net terminal was moved to the Darmstadt location by long lines lease action.

The annual military exercises continued into November and a 35;000 BTU air conditioner in the switch area of the DCO at Bad Kreuznach was installed. "Exercise Able Archer 75" included extending limited circuitry between HQ, USAREUR and HQ, CENTAG. The 72d Signal Battalion, provided communications for part of "Operation Forked Lightning."

A narrowband subscriber terminal was installed at Oberursel and turned over to the 228th Signal Company. The Delmenhorst ECCCS site was activated and placed under the control of the 518th Signal Company.

A major project called PIPS-14, that was started in February 1975, was completed this month. The project resulted in the simultaneous conversion of all Army operated telecommunications centers and Data Processing Installations located in Europe to convert to the Federal Standard Hollerith punch card code. The change to the code required the modification to parts of the DSTE hardware, and a change in the software package for the IBM 360-20 and DPSs. Due to the thorough planning, the change encountered no problems when implemented worldwide.

The DCA sponsored effort to identify and eliminate major AUTOVON problem areas in Europe resulted in the command taking action to eliminate 33 operational and/or management problems that surfaced in an AUTOVON use survey. A series of presentations to include publication of an article about AUTOVON abuse were given by the command in order to reduce AUTOVON abuse. The highlight of the month was the annual European Signal Conference attended by over 200 Signal Officers. Among the guest speakers were General George Blanchard, Commander in Chief, US Army, Europe, and Seventh Army; MG Thomas M. Rienzi, Director, Telecommunications and Command and Control, Deputy Chief of Staff, operations, Department of the Army; and MG Charles R. Myer, Commandant, Army Signal School and Fort Gordon, Georgia.

As an early Christmas present for the 69th Signal Battalion, the unit moved on 12 December from Nellingen Barracks in Nellingen, Germany, to the Reese Kaserne in Augsburg, Germany. The 100 mile move involved the relocation of six officers, 27 enlisted personnel and 44 dependents. The move was made using only battalion assets to transport personnel and equipment.

Annual military exercises extended into December with a series of Theater Army Signal Exercises that involved every communications element in USAREUR. The 72d Signal Battalion also participated in operation "Cardinal Joker."

As part of an ongoing project, the Air Traffic Control Office was advised by USACC that an OMNI-Directional (RAILS/REILS) Lighting System would be made available for in-theater evaluation. The system was to be installed at Coleman Army Airfield in February 1976. The command developed and started distribution of the first issues of an automated telephone directory for Europe. Potential contractors were offered an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the operations of the AMSF prior to bidding on the contract. LTC David C. Ammons assumed command of the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) on 5 December.

January 1976 brought in the new year in fine fashion for the 5th Signal Command. The DCSOPS, 5th Signal Command, tasked DCSPI on 8 January to implement the acquisition of the Wiesbaden Air Base Dial Central Office in support of Brigade 76. This project was one of the largest undertaken by the command in FY 76. The implementation within the allocated 25 days attests to the resourcefulness and dedication of the Local National, military and DA civilians serving in the 5th Signal Command and CEEIA-EUR. The combined efforts of the CEEIA-EUR, DCSLOG, DCSRESR, DCSOPS, coordinated by DCSPI, allowed 5th Signal Command to accomplish this mission and support Brigade 76 with improved telephone communications.

The continuing efforts toward Project 16/78 provided the award of the AMSF mini contract to Aeronautic Ford. This is a continuing effort to reduce support military spaces in Europe. The new year also brought another change of command when LTC Robert S. Snead assumed command of the 69th Signal Battalion from LTC John H. O'Connor.

The month of February was marked by the turmoil of the new personnel accounting system (SIDPERS) as the effects of a new concept began to be felt throughout the command. The DCSPA had the situation well in hand and ensuing months saw a smoother than ever personnel system evolve.

Some of the results of the ongoing upgrade projects within the 5th Signal Command are beginning to be felt. The FKV digital microwave system was opened between Vaihingen, Stuttgart and Heidelberg. Another project, the installation of the Long Line Test Board in the Heidelberg DCO, was completed. Also begun was the installation of the 75,800 BTU air conditioner in the Pirmasens DCO.

February also found 5th Signal Command units involved in exercise "Wintex" as the 102d Signal Battalion provided communications support for units in their servicing area. The 232d Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion, assumed control of the Wiesbaden and Mainz-Kastel DCOs from the Air Force as part of Brigade 75/76.

The 5th Signal Command PIO implemented a program of Professional Writing within the command. Since implementation, articles from military and civilian members of the command have been received and printed in the command newspaper "The Echo" and other Army periodicals. In this view, subordinate units were tasked to appoint a Public Affairs/Public Information Officer and NCO to represent each unit in PAO/PIO and Command Information matters.

March 1976 brought the spring rains to the 5th Signal Command and found once again command units engaged in various spring exercises. The Tactical Operations Division, 5th Signal Command, participated in exercise "Caract Signal" along with the 72d Signal Battalion. The busy 72d also participated in "MU-76."

Project 16/78 efforts continued with a conference on the Maxi Contract for the AMSF. Potential contractors were offered an opportunity to acquaint themselves with AMSF operations prior to bidding on the contract.

5th Signal Command technical upgrade continued as the AN/FTC-31 switch, belonging to the 52d Signal Battalion, became the tandem switch for the European Wideband Network connecting London, Ramstein, Heidelberg and the Pentagon Secure Voice Switches. The 518th Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion, began testing the AN/TSQ-92 satellite terminals with three sites taking part in the ongoing test. Another first was scored for the 5th Signal Command by the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) when the FAA certified the AN/TSQ-71 Ground Control Approach Radar (GCA) at Hanau Army Airfield for precision and surveillance approaches. This was the first time in Europe a tactical piece of equipment was used for ground control approaches. During March, the 14th also underwent its Annual General Inspection and was awarded an overall rating of satisfactory. Several areas were singled out as commendable, those being ATC Operations Training, Maintenance and the Crime Prevention program.

The month also brought its share of moves and command changes. The 128th Signal Company moved from Shinnen Mine, Shinnen, Netherlands, to Emma Mine, Hoensbruck, Netherlands. Command changes were taking place at the TUSLOG Det 169, Sinop, Turkey, where CPT Kenneth J. Matus took the reins from CPT Joseph 14. Veitz, Jr, and at the 72d Signal Battalion where LTC Tom C. Spears assumed command from LTC William D. Sivert. Meanwhile, MAJ Henry D. Biggs assumed command of the Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center.

March found the SMA visiting the 2d Signal Group headquarters and touring the facilities to include sites and the Tech Training Facility.

Work was completed on the installation of the AUTODIN TADS teletype terminals at each of the ADA Group headquarters which provided worldwide access. The 32d AADCOM now receives support over-the-counter from the Darmstadt communications centers. This resulted in a significant decrease in equipment and manpower, and decrease in message handling times. The communications relocation was accomplished during February.

In April, new equipment installation continued to replace older, outdated gear and meet new mission requirements. The 52d Signal Battalion replaced a Mobile DSTE in Karlsruhe with a MODE I telecommunications terminal. The DSA at Echterdingen Airfield was closed and service was provided by the Kelly Barracks DCO and Robinson Barracks DSA.

The European Test Bed was installed by the 43d Signal Battalion to test the new tactical satellite communications system in Europe. This system is being tested as a replacement for tactical radio nets and will continue until December 1976.

In Zweibruecken, the 73d Signal Battalion installed a new IBM 3747 to support NATO forces in Luxembourg and a new IBM 360-20 to support the 4th Transportation Brigade.

The BAUD rate of the Zweibruecken TCC was increased from 2400 BAUD to 4800 BAUD. The. circuit upgrade included procurement of (1) CODEX MODEMS for both the TCC and the Pirmasens ASC, and (2) additional magnetic tape units to provide traffic segregation at the TCC. The 4800 BAUD connection was the first terminal connected to an overseas ASC at that BAUD rate and paradoxically it was connected to the world's busiest overseas ASC. Therefore, rehoming of approximately 20 Pirmasens customers was accomplished and an optimization of the ASC thruput was completed. Due to highly technical problems associated with the upgrade, precision coordination among DCA, HQ USACC, USAMMAE, DMIS-USAREUR and the 5th Signal Command was required. The coordinated effort, with appropriate command emphasis, obtained the required upgrade results.

In May, changes in organizations, missions and equipment continued. The 69th Photo Company was deactivated as a subordinate unit of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT). The mission and personnel were transferred to the 21st Support Command, USAREUR. A reduced number of personnel stayed in the Worms Military Community and continued to provide photographic support for the command in the immediate area.

The 39th Signal Battalion assumed a new mission at Chievres AFB, Belgium. The battalion moved a radio NCS to Chievres to compliment the HF/SSB facility there. The 532d Signal Company site at Buechel was turned over to the Air Force as part of the North/South of the Alps Realignment between USAREUR and USAFE. Also as part of this program, the 128th Signal Company transferred three sites to the Air Force. The sites were the Noervenich radio station in Germany, the Volkel radio station in the Netherlands and Kleine Brogel radio station in Belgium. The 581st Signal Company activated a Phase II site at Lahn/Soegel. The 72d Signal Battalion provided support for NATO exercises "Schwerer Lastwagen." The battalion provide a logistical radio teletype net to a German regiment and interfaced the German Long Haul Voice communications system thru a US tactical automated switching system (TASS).

Also in May, HHD, 39th Signal Battalion led by LTC Putman marched in the international Zeven Marches with other military units from Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom.

The logistics community within Europe has been seeking ways to improve the performance of the logistics system in total. The coordinating group is composed of functional staff elements of Logistics, C-E, ADP, MSD and QM areas. The coordinating group subsequently became a committee and received charter approval from DCINCUSAREUR on 1 May 1976. In consonance with the charter, the committee was established as a mechanism to (1) implement efforts to correct commissary supply problems, (2) initiate further study into problems concerned with all classes of supply and (3) maintain close liaison with USAREUR commands to insure positive resolution of identified problems which effect resupply requisition traffic. The committee meets every three weeks with locations changing between Heidelberg, Worms and Zweibruecken. Since its formation, the committee has identified supply and C-E problems and procedures which have affected requisition messages.

The command also began the installation of the SIDPERS Remote Printing Facilities (RPF). These facilities provided 132 character print for USAREUR SIDPERS customers that are not collocated with a DPI.

In June, the 52d Signal Battalion provided communications support for the non-combatant evacuation of Lebanon. The battalion's support stretched into July as the evacuations continued.

In addition to emergency missions like the one above, the 128th Signal Company installed a secure point-to-point teletype circuit between Burtonwood, England, and Caerwent, South Wales. The implementation plan for a flight operations center at Doebraberg, Germany, was approved by USACC and Seventh Army. As part of the civilianization of the Area Maintenance Supply Facility (AMSF), the Maxi-Contract was awarded to Federal Electric.

LTC Thomas R. Baxter assumed command of the 73d Signal Battalion on 14 June 1975, from LTC Donald B. Griggs.

The name of the 5th Signal Command Public Information Office was changed by DA to Public Affairs Office.

When the Gablingen ASC was closed in play 1975, DCA-EUR facilitated a rehoming of the Gablingen circuitry to the European ASCs, the majority was rehomed to Pirmasens. Those rehome actions, combined with increased data subscriber requirements, placed the Pirmasens ASC in an imbalanced condition. In March 1976, DCA-EUR, in coordination with this headquarters, proposed a redistribution of circuits by rehoming of AUTODIN circuitry from Pirmasens to the Coltano and Croughton ASCs. This headquarters and other interested agencies concurred in the rehome actons. The rehome of the circuits involved a net loss of 19 circuits from Pirmasens. Coltano gained ten of the 19 and Croughton gained the remaining nine. Estimated monthly traffic volume redistributed as a result of the rehome included -5.5 million line blocks for Pirmasens, +3.3 million lineblocks gain for Coltano and +2.2 million lineblocks gain for Croughton. Rehome actions commenced in May 1976, and were completed in late June 1976.


Section V

1 July 1976 - 30 September 1977
HISTORY OF THE
5TH SIGNAL COMMAND
AN OVERVIEW 1 JULY 1976 - 30 SEPTEMBER 1977
The history of the 5th Signal Command, during the "long year," 1 July 1976 to 30 September 1977, saw its assets more deeply involved than ever before in the continuous planning and implementation of overlapping tactical communications exercises, plus the assumption of additional fixed station missions and responsibilities, despite manpower losses over 470 personnel through unit deactivations and consolidations.

5th Signal Command was well represented by its Soldiers in varied events with other entrants from USAREUR, USACC, US Army and other international events by capturing such awards as the "General Douglas MacArthur Award" for leadership, "Career Counsellor of the Year", "US Army Air Traffic Controller of the Year", "Individual World Pistol Marksmanship Record" and the "International Air Traffic Controller of the Year Award." Other awards, which are too numerous to individually identify, range from chess champions to establishing weight lifting records.

The Command's top nine objectives for FY 77 were selected in November 1976, and were approved during the USACC Commander's Conference in December 1976. An overview of a accomplishments and status on our objectives are as follows:

1. The first objective was "to implement Phase I of Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970." This included the conduct of survey of each manned, fixed communications site using OSHA criteria. We have identified, prioritized, and arranged all sites to be surveyed in geographical areas to match those of each USAREUR major command and made formal requests to USAREUR's six major subordinate commands to have their OSHA surveyors conduct these surveys. Site surveys have been initiated and will continue into FY 78. A systematic command and staff approach was developed to fulfill the Command's safety and health requirements, i.e., by providing training, writing site inspection programs and analyzing data. This approach was defined, published and discussed in periodic command conferences. The increased attention given this objective at various command levels caused most site supervisors to emphasize safety in numerous ways. This continuing objective in FY 78 also introduces the concept of additional OSHA phases, such as cost estimates, funding and project implementation extending into FY 80 and FY 81.

2. Objective number two was "to improve the personnel management system of the command." This objective was accomplished. Due to the turbulent nature of the personnel field, however, this program is a continuing one. The establishment of a streamlined awards policy system reduced the processing time of awards from 80-90 days to 50-60 days with further gains in sight. Another intensively managed personnel program concerns assignment instructions and port calls, and has resulted in the number of late assignment instructions being reduced from 20 percent in October 1978 to 3 percent in September 1977.

3. Objective number three was "to lead USACC in reenlistments for 1977, without sacrificing quality." This program has been a resounding success. We lead USACC in reenlistments for the year and plan for this trend to continue. This is a top objective again for FY 78.

4. Objective number four was "to implement and evaluate the success of the command's communications center management improvement program." This viable program to monitor communications center performance was accomplished by implementing a 5th Signal Command Regulation 105-15. We believe that a major benefit resulting from the program will be the accrual of more meaningful performance data to be incorporated into the overall communications center management effort.

5. Objective number five was "to obtain the total USAREUR circuit requirements in support of OPLAN 4102." All USAREUR units to Corps level with OPLAN 4102 requirements have been identified, given initial notification and visited to provide assistance. Due to the personnel shortages at Command and Control Data Management Center (CCDMC), program writing could not be accomplished in accordance with the original schedule and is projected for completion in 1st Qtr FY 78.

6. Objective number six was "to improve the command's financial management through the development of a financial management improvement program." This completed program resulted in the reconstitution of a Management Division and System and Economic Analysis Office and the reorganization of our Financial Resources Division. Furthermore, we have developed a programming capability and implemented an effective Commander's Audit Compliance Program.

7. Objective number seven was "to identify staff message center operations which should be integrated into telecommunications centers throughout the Command." Action was taken to identify locations where message center operations could be integrated into servicing communications centers. These locations have been identified and, in FY 78, we plan to assume responsibility for these staff message centers.

8. Objective number eight was "to identify and evaluate communications centers operated and maintained by other US Army commands and identify those which this Command should assume post, camp and station responsibility." A communications survey and study identified 30 non-USACC TCCs for possible transfer. Of these 30 non-USACC TCCs, 15 were approved for transfer to this Command. Most of the communications centers we proposed to assume are presently staffed with TOE personnel and equipment and will require extensive facility upgrade to meet USACC standards. However, we plan to assume responsibility for these communications centers in FY 78.

9. Our last objective, "to develop and implement a program to improve physical security at isolated sites", is on target. We have determined the deficiencies and are conducting surveys to ascertain how much physical security is required at these sites and how standards can be developed. We have accomplished what we planned to do during FY 77, but we still have requirements in FY 78 to evaluate and program funds to finance improved security.

Overall, we accomplished all but one of our objectives. There are, however, certain specific actions on several objectives still in process. In general, the Management by Objective Program and the Top Objectives technique have been a success in this command.

While our stated objectives were only a core for direction, our accomplishments above and addition to these areas give a more realistic picture of the 5th Signal Command.

To provide greater understanding and to give an amplified and more detailed description of the 5th Signal Command's numerous accomplishments for FY 77. a year long month by month synopsis follows.
MONTH BY MONTH SYNOPSIS
1 JULY 1976 - 30 SEPTEMBER 1977
The 5th Signal Command spirit of July 1976, with its Bicentennial spirit, and rededication to our proud soldierly heritage can be best keynoted by the following:

At 2050 hours, 25 July 1976, a violent, explosion and flash fire broke out in the office of the Boeblingen radio site where PFC Glen A. Moore was working. The fire in the building had become so intense that the fire fighting equipment was useless and all communications and lighting equipment was inoperative. As the senior individual on the site, SP4 Alpedo G. Corro of the 52d Signal Battalion rapidly assessed the critical situation and, at considerable risk, to his own safety, took immediate action to save the life of a fellow Soldier. Using his own shirt to extinguish the flames on PFC Moore's body, Specialist Corra administered first aid and then moved PFC Moore to a safe area, while exposing himself to smoke, fire and possible further explosion. The doctor at the hospital emergency ward stated that Specialist Corra's rapid and proper actions unquestionably precluded PFC Moore's death or more serious injury. For his heroic actions, SP4 Coria was awarded the highest peacetime award authorized, the Soldier's Medal.

As part of the North/South of the Alps realignment program, several selected sites previously under the 39th Signal Battalion were transferred to the US Air Force. Simultaneously, the 54th Signal Company, Vicenza, Italy, assumed operations and maintenance responsibility for four (4) HF/microwave sites in Northern Italy previously under US Air Force control. Meanwhile, USACC-Iran completed activation of a Joint Overseas Switch (JOSS), an AN/FRC-80 microwave system and an AMCC switchboard. These activations expanded the capabilities of the outdated and unreliable equipment they replaced.

On 13 July 1976, BG Racke passed the unit colors of the 2d Signal Group to Colonel George R. Whitley. Colonel Billy J. Thrasher, the former Commander, was then appointed Deputy Commander of the 5th Signal Command. While numerous communications upgrades were being conducted throughout the command, headquarters staff elements began development of a USAREUR VHF-FM wartime CEOI plan, the first of its kind since WWII.

August 1976 to the majority of 5th Signal Command Soldiers means "Reforger." This annual exercise is a demonstration of flexible reinforcement in support of NATO solidarity by deployment of CONUS forces to the Federal Republic of Germany. The 72d Signal Battalion (Tactical) had elements of its five companies deployed over an operational area encompassing most of the Federal Republic of Germany and locations in Belgium and the United Kingdom in support of this exercise. The 2d Signal Group simultaneously had to draw on its assets to provide a tactical Line of Communications (LOC) in the BENELUX for troops embarking in that area. Meanwhile, the 160th Signal Group had the critical task of coordinating and providing the "tactical to fixed" interface into the Defense Communications System. The Commander of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT) committed the 6981st Civilian Labor Group to provide cable and telephone pole support. The Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center, also under the 63d, provided COMSEC mobile maintenance contact teams to both V and VII Corps.

On 16 August 1976, a joint 5th Signal Command/USACEEIA-EUR Airfield Project Control Office was established, and a US Army airfield/heliport C-E/navigational aids upgrade project was initiated, affecting 26 facilities in Germany. By 30 September 1977, 28 of these projects had been completed at 15 different locations. This upgrade program is scheduled for total completion during the 1st Qtr, FY 78.

During September 1976, "Reforger" was still in high gear and the 5th Signal Command committed to three additional major exercises. "Flintlock 76" kept the 72d Signal Battalion in the field until October in order that communication center support for the Special Operations Task Force Europe (SOTFE) be provided. From 17 September to 29 September 1976, the assets of the 72d Signal Battalion were strained further in support of exercise "Knight Avenger." During this exercise, the 72d provided personnel and equipment to the Commander-in-Chief British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) to further the total interoperability concept. During the same period, the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) provided tactical flight operation centers and air space management to both V and VII Corps with liaison personnel to the Belgian Army in support of exercise "Gordian Shield/Lares Team." The DCSOPS Plans Division saw three major undertakings result in highly successful programs in support of USAREUR/NATO commitments: The 5th Signal Command, acting as USAREUR C-E Staff, prepared their first C-E annex to a USAREUR/7A war plan and submitted the annex to USAREUR for publication; major progress was achieved in the area of improving interoperability between NATO forces, with the publication of a draft interoperability manual; and, by combining efforts with the Air Force, a draft C-E annex was published and provided to EUCOM.

On 16 October 1976, the 2d Signal Group, operating on a self-help basis, activated a new data laboratory with supporting classrooms. The expanded technical training facility was in response to requirements to train in-country DOD personnel in the operation and maintenance of the European Command Control Console System (ECCCS).

Maintenance support for the 509th Signal Battalion supplied by the Area Maintenance Service Facility-Mediterranean (AMSF-MED) changed from military to civilian manning.

The reminder of the month of October belongs to elements of the 102d Signal Battalion. SSG Dennis Hoskinson of the 261st Signal Company was selected as the 5th Signal Commend NCO of the Year. A formal torchlight ceremony was held at Rheinbach, Germany, declaring the 102d Signal Battalion and the German 910th Signal Battalion sister units. After the exchange of scrolls, members of the two battalions marched through Rheinbach by torchlight. The O&M mission of the Wiesbaden TV station, previously belonging to the US Air Force, was assumed by the 232d Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion.

November saw the activation of the 593d Signal Company under the command of CPT Jesse Hunt. This increases to four the number of Signal Operations Companies under the 72d Signal Battalion. The Hamminkeln Phase II Radio Site was activated, upgraded with microwave and entered the ECCCS system.

The groundbreaking at Menwith Hill started the construction of an antenna system and established SATCOM Det-UK. This station is scheduled to be transferred to 5th Signal Command in April 1977.

The November trend of activations was reversed with the closing of the microwave site at Portoguaro, Italy. The deactivation of its supporting units allowed for the relocation of personnel and material assets.

The CG emphasized his strong feelings concerning the importance of continuous education by directing that Education and Training be combined under the DCSOPS. A full-time Education NCO was appointed.

In December 1976, the 509th Signal Battalion, which included the 54th, 56th and 59th Signal Companies, was activated. The changing of the USACC-MED to a battalion configuration not only enhanced the supervision of operations, but also defined areas of responsibility and increased the flow of information. The first commander was LTC Robert L. Bishop. This activation allowed responsibilities of the major communications facilities to be placed under the above three signal companies with overall responsibility at the Battalion S-3.

Another important activity during the month was the upgrade of the Flensburg Radio Site, operated by the 581st Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion. This upgrade was the installation of a microwave system and activation of a Phase II radio site.

December was concluded on a happy note for the soldiers of the 232d Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion, with the completion of the modernization of their troop billets.

The 5th Signal Command started calendar year 1977 by supporting USAREUR's exercise WINTEX/PRIME TARGET 77. A 24-hour battle staff was activated at the headquarters and the 63d Signal Battalion provided the 6981st Civilian Labor Group to install telephone poles, messenger stand and over-the-road cable crossings. COMSEC Logistics Support was provided in the form of Mobile Maintenance Contact teams. Technical evaluation teams provided assistance in repair of secure voice systems.

The 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) established an instrumented Army airfield in support of USAREUR Main and one enroute Flight Coordination Center for the Army Rear during FTX Caract Signal 1-77.

5th Signal Command assumed responsibility to provide C-E in Saudi Arabia with the activation of USACC-SA. The final Mission Assumption Plan defined the USACC-SA mission in part as "management, operation end maintenance of all assigned DOD communication facilities and equipment in-country."

A tactical mission for the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) was identified and included in the 5th Signal Command OPLAN 4102. This is the first tactical mission assigned the 14th Aviation Unit since their transfer to the 5th Signal Command in July 1973.

Effective 1 February 1977, a 5th Signal Command replacement detachment was approved by Department of the Army. Staff realignment resulted from a Command Security Inspection in October 1976 by the USACC Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Security. As a result of this inspection, the Intelligence and Security Staff Section was moved from its position subordinate to DCSPA and established as a separate staff section responsible directly to the Chief of Staff, HQ, 5th Signal Command. This reorganization became effective on 14 February 1977, utilizing resources already available.

On 21 February 1977, BG Racke and BG Ahmann, Chief, US Military Training Mission (USMTM) to Saudi Arabia, signed the 5th Signal Command and Mission Assumption Plan, giving the USACC-SA the responsibility for all 0&M missions formerly the responsibility of the USMTM J6.

A major milestone in providing required support to EUCOM Co-OPLAN 4312 was met with the final installation and acceptance of Chievres, Belgium, telecommunications center facilities. Two communications upgrades, the IBM 360-20 at the Frankfurt TCC and the Phillipsburg antenna rehabilitation, were completed during the month of February. The 298th Signal Company, 73d Signal Battalion, assumed operational control of the 21st Support Command Staff Message Center.

SP4 Monford Hamilton from the 228th Signal Company took top honors in the Frankfurt sub-charter AURA Soldier Of the Year competition.

The month of February closed out with the deactivation of the Linderhofe/Stein microwave link and the Dial Central Office at Gutleut.

March 1977 saw the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) in the field, again, operating a tactically instrumented airfield in support of the WINTEX/PRIME TARGET FTX.

The Worms microwave station operated by personnel from the 232d Signal Company, 102d Signal Battalion, was selected as Microwave Site of the Year by the Defense Communications Agency (DCA) Europe and construction began at Landstuhl for the AN/FSC-78 SATCOM terminal and power building.

On 1 April 1977, the Technical Evaluation Program (TEP) was transferred to DCSOPS, HQ, 5th Signal Command from the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT). This transfer of personnel was the beginning of a phased deactivation of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT).

Major progress was made in determining wartime communications requirements from information gathered during visits to 30 major headquarters. Computer programming was initiated so that this information can be totally computerized.

The coveted DCA European DCS Station of the Year (Category III) award went to the Landstuhl AN/MSC-46 SATCOM terminal. This award placed them in competition for the DCA Worldwide Station of the Year (Category III) award.

Extensive modifications of existing patch facilities in the Dhahran communications center enabled USACC-Saudi Arabia to make extensive improvements in the service provided their AUTOVON subscribers.

During the month of May 1977, the Commanding General, USACC, made an extensive tour of the 5th Signal Command. Obviously pleased with what he saw, MG Grombacher presented two impact ARCOMs to unit personnel of the 581st Signal Company, 39th Signal Battalion. During the same period of time, SMA Bainbridge visited similar areas of the command and, again, favorable comments were received.

In conjunction with the phased deactivation of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT), the 6981st Civilian Labor Group was transferred to the direct control of HQ, 5th Signal Command. Project Creek Swap saw elements of the 5th Signal Command obtain Wiesbaden and Kastel DCOs while the Army DCO at Vogelweh was transferred to the Air Force.

The Coltano AUTOVON switch completed 10,000 hours of operation without a reportable outage. This major accomplishment was recognized by BG Racke by awarding Coltano site with a 5th Signal Command Certificate of Achievement.

SP4 Alpedo G. Corra was awarded the Soldier's Medal for his heroic actions of 25 July 1976.

June 1977 was the month of key personnel changes within the headquarters. Colonel Billy J. Thrasher, the Deputy Commander, 5th Signal Command, was reassigned to HQ USACC as Chief of Staff on 12 June. Colonel Frank H. Baker, the former Commander of the 7th Signal Brigade, assumed the duties of Deputy Commander and also served as Chief of Staff until the arrival and appointment of Colonel Harold B. Demick as Chief of Staff on 21 June.

Colonel Richard C. Anglin, then LTC (P), arrived to assume the duties of the DCSOPS from Colonel Harold C. Richards, who was transferred to the 7th Signal Command at Ft. Ritchie, Maryland.

During July 1977, the phased deactivation of the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT) continued as the Theater COMSEC Logistics Support Center, Europe (TCLSC-E) was transferred to the direct control of HQ, 5th Signal Command.

In the USACC-Saudi Arabia, the TDA revision reduced their personnel spaces from 43 to 32. As part of the reduction, the Chief, United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) withdrew the requirement to operate the Jiddah, Taif Hotel and MARS radio facilities. Additionally, at the request of BG Cathey, Chief, USMTM, USACC-Saudi Arabia personnel installed an Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for the use of USMTM staff elements.

The fact that interoperability is a reality, not just a concept was again proven. Members of the 14th Aviation Unit (ATG) were tasked to augment the German Air Force with US controllers to support the Leipheim Air Base (FRG) during the construction closure of the Stuttgart airport.

Technical upgrades continued with the 267th Signal Company, 73rd Signal Battalion, implementing an automated Tech Control which will reduce the overall manning requirements while increasing circuit efficiency. The upgrade of the Baumholder microwave terminal increased their capability to 36 VF channels. During the same period, the 267th Signal Company at Pirmasens completed renovation of their station ground, and the AMSF completed a calibration upgrade conversion which gives 5th Signal Command a totally in-house "C" level calibration capability.

The 5th Signal Command Training Branch published a new training regulation (350-1) that for the first time provides clearly defined guidance to all subordinate units as to the training and education requirements they must meet here in USAREUR.

The Month of August 1977 saw the men and women of the 5th Signal Command involved in "Reforger" for a second time in the "Long Year."

The 2d Signal Group was again given responsibility for the BENELUX Line of Communications (LOC) for the port of embarkation for CONUS Reforger troops arriving in Europe.

August 1977 was also a month of celebration as the Commanding General, BG Joseph C. Racke, celebrated his 30th anniversary of active military service and his second year as CG of the 5th Signal Command.

Representatives of HQ USACC DCSLOG along with 5th Signal Command DCSLOG negotiated with Federal Electric International for their operation of the AMSF for a second year.

The first Omni-Directional (RAILS/REILS) Lighting System to be installed at any Army airfield in Europe was installed at Coleman Army Airfield.

The final month of the year, September 1977, found the 14th Aviation Unit (ATC) personnel participating in the 4ATAF Airspace Control Center Plan for the first time during "Reforger." Twenty-two US Army Controllers were attached to the German Air Force at Leipheim, FRG, to operate side-by-side German Air Traffic Controllers using German ATC equipment. Other support furnished by the 14th during Reforger/Carbon Edge FTX was the provision of two flight operations center and Airspace Management Liaison Section in support of VII Corps operations.

SSG Roy R. Tribble of the 102d Signal Battalion was honored by being selected as USACC Career Counselor of the Year and was presented a letter of commendation from BG Racke.

Project Partnership between the German/American Armies was further enhanced by the formal changing of scrolls between the 39th Signal Battalion and Fernmeldebattalion 11, Oldenburg, FRG. The exchange was made at a formal ceremony which included a marching team of German/American Soldiers. The Special Guest of this event was Major General Ewert, Commander, 11th Panzer-Grenadier Division.

Efforts to bring additional educational opportunities to the members of 5th Signal Command took giant strides forward with the appointment of CW4 Header as Dames Test Control Officer on 16 September 1977. As a result, USACC-Saudi Arabia was able to initiate a civilian education program, the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia under military control. On 30 September 1977, the 63d Signal Battalion (SPT) was deactivated as an active Army unit. This deactivation was brought about by requirements for manpower reduction.
If you have more information on the history or organization of the 5th Sig Comd, please contact me.

Additions / Corrections to the History of the 5th Signal Command, 1958 - 1977
(Source: Email from Anthony Haskins, USASTRATCOM ASC Pirmasens)
I enjoyed reading your history of my old unit, USASTRATCOM, in Germany in the early seventies. I noticed one discrepancy though in your history. You made no mention of the USASTRATCOM ASC located in Pirmasens, Germany. It was online long before Augsburg.... as a matter of fact, I was stationed at the ASC in the DSTE terminal area until the Augsburg switch came on line.

Therefore, your claim that Augsburg being the 3rd switch couldn't be true, unless you were referring to Army switches only. At the time, we had Pirmasens, Coltano and Croughton.

Anyway, fine work. It's nice to remember the "Voice of the Army" years!
Anthony Haskins (SSG)

(Source: History of the 5th Signal Command, 1958 - 1977. Prepared by the 5th Signal Command, 20 October 1978.)
ORGANIZATION (Feb 1977):

UNIT DESIGNATION

DUTY STATION COMMENTS
HHC, 5th Sig Comd Taukkunen Bks, Worms  
2nd Sig Gp Mannheim  
39th Sig Bn Bremerhaven  
128th Sig Co Shinnen, Neth.  
518th Sig Co Linderhofe  
532nd Sig Co Giessen  
581st Sig Co Bremerhaven  
102nd Sig Bn Frankfurt  
228th Sig Co Frankfurt  
232nd Sig Co Worms  
261st Sig Co Hanau  
73rd Sig Bn Pirmasens  
267th Sig Co Pirmasens  
270th Sig Co Pirmasens  
298th Sig Co Kaiserslautern  
327th Sig Co Zweibrücken  
SATCOM Det-EUR Landstuhl  
160th Sig Gp Karlsruhe  
43rd Sig Bn Heidelberg  
178th Sig Co Heidelberg  
181st Sig Co Heidelberg  
52nd Sig Bn Vaihingen  
578th Sig Co Vaihingen  
587th Sig Co Vaihingen  
589th Sig Co Stuttgart  
69th Sig Bn Augsburg  
252nd Sig Co Neu Ulm  
534th Sig Co Augsburg  
535th Sig Co Fürth  
63rd Sig Bn Worms  
USACC Svc Co Worms  
US TCLSC-EUR Worms  
6981st Civ Lab Gp Karlsruhe  
8563rd Civ Lab Co Karlsruhe  
8564th Civ Lab Co Karlsruhe  
8565th Civ Lab Co Karlsruhe  
4038th Civ Lab Co Kaiserslautern  
72nd Sig Bn Karlsruhe  
207th Sig Co Karlsruhe  
269th Sig Co Karlsruhe  
324th Sig Co Karlsruhe  
593rd? Sig Co Karlsruhe  
14th Avn Unit Schwäbisch Hall  
509th Sig Bn Camp Darby, Italy  
USACC Iran Teheran, Iran  
TUSLOG Det 169 Sinop, Turkey  
USACC Saudi Arabia Bahran, Saudi Arabia  
CEEIA EUR (1) Worms  
7th Sig Bde (1) Mannheim-Sandhofen  
(1) Under Operational Control of 5th Sig Comd

1966
(Source: Annual History, USAREUR & Seventh Army, 1966)
Realignment of Communications Support

Army Communications
in Europe, Dec 1966

 
a. Background. On 1 July 1964 the Department of the Army had activated the United States Army Strategic Communications Command (USASTRATCOM) as a separate major command under the Army Chief of Staff. Concurrently, the Department had formed the United States Army Strategic Communications Command, Europe (USASTRATCOM-EUR), as a subcommand that was to control a substantial portion of USAREUR's communications resources, including the 106th Signal Group -- supporting USEUCOM -- the 22d Signal Group, and the major relay stations. After several months of experience, USAREUR had recommended improvements in the support rendered by USASTRATCOM-EUR which were in full agreement with the unified-management principle for communication resources. In July 1965 the Department of the Army had therefore directed the further realignment of USAREUR's signal resources under USASTRATCOM-EUR, stipulating that the Commanding General of USASTRATCOM-EUR serve also as USAREUR's Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications-Electronics (DCSC-E). On 1 November USAREUR had transferred 17 units, including the 516th Signal Group -- supporting USAREUR headquarters -- and the headquarters resources of the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe to USASTRATCOM-EUR (see chart on left).

b. The 1966 Reorganization. In January 1966 USAREUR and USASTRATCOM conducted a joint review to determine the effectiveness of the communications support and to recommend adjustments based on the year's operating experience.

The 1965 realignment had left two of USAREUR's major commands -- the United States Army Area Command (USAACOM) and the United States Army Communications Zone, Europe (USACOMZEUR) -- with extensive organic communications capabilities. In April USAREUR considered the transfer of their signal support units -- the 4th and 1st Signal Groups, respectively -- to USASTRATCOM-EUR. This realignment would consolidate the responsibility for operating and maintaining the Automatic Voice Switching Network (AUTOVON), Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN), interface equipment, telephone exchanges, and communications centers. While USAACOM favored the transfer of the 4th Signal Group to USASTRATCOM-EUR, USACOMZEUR preferred to retain control of the 1st Signal Group during the critical months of the relocation from France. A realignment before completion of the relocation would complicate the difficult negotiations with the French for the continued use of the tropospheric-scatter and other long line systems.

In their second joint report, USAREUR and USASTRATCOM-EUR recommended the complete integration of the staffs of USAREUR's Communications-Electronics Division and USASTRATCOM-EUR headquarters. They also advocated the extension of the single-managership principle to include all of USAREUR's fixed-plant communications facilities. To implement this recommendation CINCUSAREUR proposed to transfer USAACOM's 4th Signal Group to USASTRATCOM-EUR by 1 October, whereas the timing of the transfer of the 1st Signal Group would depend on the problems incident to the relocation of USACOMZEUR.

USAREUR implemented the immediately feasible portions of the ,joint report by transferring the 4th Signal Group to USASTRATCOM-EUR on 25 August. The integration of USASTRATCOM-EUR headquarters and USAREUR's Communications-Electronics Division was to await the completion of the merger of USAREUR and Seventh Army headquarters.

FRELOC and HEADCON Communications

a. In Belgium. The separation of SHAPE and USEUCOM headquarters made it necessary to provide USCINCEUR with communications support in Belgium. The provision of emergency communications at Casteau involved the procurement and installation of cryptologic and teletype equipment, ground stations for USCINCEUR's airborne command post (SILK PURSE) and his command and control radio net, broadband system access to the Defense Communications System (DCS), and leased circuits. USEUCOM estimated the total cost of the Phase I communications facility at Casteau -- scheduled to be operational by 15 March 1967 -- at $731,000, of which $531,000 would be one-time expenditures.

USCINCEUR tasked CINCUSAREUR to install the KG-13/RY-2 terminal and the KY-3 narrow-band terminal extensions at the new SHAPE location.

b. At Stuttgart.
(1) Overall Requirements. The communications facilities planned for USEUCOM headquarters at Stuttgart included the relocation or installation of an automatic-dial telephone exchange -- with related equipment and services -- expanded from a 1,000- to a 1,200-line capacity; a permanently installed communications center; two AUTOVON access lines bypassing France; the Emergency Action Transmission System (EMATS) -- direct link with the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- with related cryptologic gear; voice and secure voice equipment; a ground station for USCINCEUR's command and control radio net and SILK PURSE; temporary European Tropospheric-scatter System, Army (ET-A) circuitry; a 120-channel microwave system with interfaces to the broadband system; and the addition of two new consoles. These facilities were to be operational by 1 March 1967.

(2) USAREUR's Responsibilities. The USEUCOM communications-electronics support plan assigned the following tasks to USAREUR:

(a) Funding. In August the Department of Defense authorized $4,028,600 from Army FY-1967 funds for USEUCOM's communications at Stuttgart -- to include transportation, building, and installation. On 1 November the Department of the Army allocated to USAREUR $2,932,000 for the new USEUCOM command center but did not make available the funds needed for other communications projects.

(b) Military Construction. The military construction projects initiated by USAREUR included building modifications for the communications center, a telephone exchange building, and a facility for the Defense Communications Agency, Europe (DCA-EUR). Construction on the telephone exchange was to begin by 10 October, and the other two projects were to be in progress by 1 December. Since the timely completion of these Phase I projects was essential to the timely relocation of communications, USAREUR submitted requests for construction authority on 21 September. However, delays in obtaining approval produced slippages in USAREUR's construction projects.

(c) Installation. In late 1966 USAREUR installed at Stuttgart approximately 40 percent of the long line radio systems for which it was responsible. It established the temporary communications center in vans near the communications center building and expanded the telephone system by installing equipment and cable nets.

(d) Relocation of the 106th Signal Group. To provide sufficient signal personnel for the communications projects at Stuttgart, USAREUR phased the movement of personnel from the 106th Signal Group and the 257th Signal Company in such a manner that the advance elements were on station by 1 November and an additional company -- the 246th Signal Company -- was on station by the end of December.

C. At Worms and Zweibruecken.
In November the Secretary of Defense decided to move USACOMZEUR to Worms and the Supply and Maintenance Agency to Zweibruecken. To meet the initial communications requirements at Worms, USAREUR planned to convert the unmanned satellite switchboard to a manned configuration, add 500 lines to the telephone exchange, expand the cable distribution system, and provide an interim communications center. The target completion date for these projects was 1 March 1967. Similar requirements existed at Zweibruecken. At the end of 1966 detailed planning and engineering design were in progress.

d. Support of Wartime Headquarters Echelons.
As a result of the realignment of headquarters, USAREUR had to assist in locating a site and provide communications support for GREYHOUND -- the wartime ground alternate echelon of USEUCOM -- and for the relocated USAREUR wartime headquarters.

(1) GREYHOUND. USAREUR surveyed possible GREYHOUND sites on U.S. installations approximately equidistant on the Casteau-Stuttgart communications axis. The only USAREUR facilities that met both geographic and technical criteria were at Pirmasens, Idar-Oberstein, and Zweibruecken. USEUCOM, however, considered these facilities technically unsuitable and directed USAREUR and USAFE to determine ,jointly the merits of Air Force facilities at Bitburg, Hahn, and Spangdahlem. CINCUSAFE objected that these tactical airfields were unsuitable for GREYHOUND, since they would be prime targets for enemy attack. In December, therefore, USEUCOM officers surveyed the sites proposed by USAREUR and USAFE in order to recommend a suitable choice.

(2) USAREUR Main and Alternate Headquarters. To meet the requirements for wartime main and alternate headquarters, USAREUR developed the new concept of presurveying and selecting a number of possible sites which, like wartime QRA Pershing sites, would not be improved or occupied before the outbreak of hostilities. In September USAREUR surveyed and selected sites lying along the communications axis in the western areas of the Federal Republic of Germany. It propositioned transportable communications equipment and personnel in existing U.S. facilities, where they were ready to deploy to a designated headquarters site at short notice. In November USAREUR closed its wartime headquarters in Maison Fort, France, and by December the new concept was in effect.

e. HEADCON Communications.
(1) Peacetime. USAREUR's initial study concluded that the existing and programed facilities of the USAREUR Operations Center were -- with two exceptions -- adequate to support the consolidated USAREUR and Seventh Army headquarters in all peacetime operations up to and including the announcement of a state of alert. For normal operations the consolidation required the rerouting of seven leased teletype circuits and the extension of USAREUR's tactical alert net to Seventh Army troop units.

(2) Wartime. Upon the announcement of an alert, designated personnel would separate from USAREUR, reestablish Seventh Army headquarters, and assume tactical control of Seventh Army units. In order to accomplish this action with a minimum of delay, USAREUR decided to establish an initial Seventh Army tactical operations center at Tompkins Barracks, Schwetzingen, about six miles from Heidelberg. This operations center -- subsequently designated Seventh Army Main Lead Element Command Post (MLE-CP) -- would assume tactical control of Seventh Army elements within two hours after an alert and would function until the establishment of the Seventh Army Main Commend Post. By 14 November the MLE-CP communications were in palce.

(3) Seventh Army Communications Command. As part of the HEADCON reorganization, USAREUR created the Seventh Army Communications Command -- Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) and supporting elements -- at Coleman Barracks, near Mannheim, from the resources of the 12th Signal Group.

f. Other Actions.
USAREUR also had to assist in locating sites and providing support for the European Data Gateway Station and the U.S. Army Command Issuing Office, Europe (USACIO-EUR), at Poitiers, France. In addition, USAREUR had to obtain the Italian Government's approval for locating the AUTODIN center -- programed for Maison Fort, France -- at Coltano, Italy, and to ask the Netherlands Government for approval to locate a tropospheric-scatter site in Rotterdam.

(1) European Data Gateway Station. In its efforts to locate a site for the European Data Gateway Station, USAREUR surveyed several sites and proposed to DCA-EUR a site at Pirmasens. Since DCA-EUR found the site technically acceptable, it scheduled the relocation of the station for the second quarter of 1967.

(2) USACIO-EUR. The relocation of USACIO-FUR was urgent because it was USAREUR's sole source of cryptologistic support. USAREUR proposed its establishment at De La Police Caserne, Worms, Germany, beginning on 10 December, but by 31 December the Department of the Army had not approved the relocation. In the interim USAREUR had proceeded with the minor construction of alterations needed to support the USACIO-EUR.

(3) AUTODIN/Coltano. The establishment of the AUTODIN center at Coltano presented no major difficulties since the funds and equipment already programed for Maison Fort were available. By late November USAREUR had secured DCA approval of the Coltano site, and during the following weeks negotiations for a formal agreement with the Italian Government were in progress.

(4) The Tropospheric-Scatter Site at Rotterdam. In November a survey team including USAREUR representatives visited the proposed tropospheric-scatter site at Rotterdam. However, pending the Secretary of Defense's approval of the project -- a part of DCA's FRELOC plan -- there was no further progress.

Command and Control

a. Army Command and Control Network.
USAREUR's command and control communications linked the Heidelberg headquarters to USEUCOM in peacetime and had to be capable of assuming USEUCOM's command and control functions in a wartime emergency. USAREUR therefore continued to develop a number of projects designed to enhance its command and control posture and -- through the Defense Communications System -- link it with U.S. Army forces worldwide. During 1966 a private contractor installed Army Command and Control Network (ARCCNET) switching equipment in the USAREUR Operations Center at Heidelberg. The equipment included the ARCCNET Emergency Action Console -- part of a system that would eventually link major Army headquarters throughout the world. USAREUR planned to install similar equipment at the Seventh Army Main Lead Element Command Post and at the new USACOMZEUR headquarters at Worms during the first quarter of 1967.

b. Interim Computer Facility.
In 1965 USAREUR had requested funds to begin building modifications for its interim computer facility. On 21 March 1966 the Department of the Army approved the request and released $13,900 for the design phase of the project. On 13 May USAREUR issued the construction directive to its Engineer Element which scheduled the project for completion in November 1967.

c. Automated Systems Design.
In 1966 USAREUR continued the systems design study -- begun in 1965 -- to identify areas of its command and control system most suitable for automation. As a preliminary step USAREUR had submitted the data automation requirement for its Command Center Support System, which the Department of the Army approved in March 1966. Subsequently, in April, USAREUR headquarters established the Support Systems Branch that prepared and submitted the computer system specifications.

d. Interim Defense Communications Satellite Protect.
In 1965 USAREUR, the Satellite Commend (SATCOM), and DCA had agreed on Landstuhl, Germany, as the test site for satellite communications ground terminal equipment. However, protracted negotiations with the Federal Republic of Germany delayed host- nation approval of the project until early 1966. In March communications personnel of USASTRATCOM-EUR moved the transportable ground terminal equipment to Landstuhl, where they tested it during the remainder of the year.


1982
(Source: 5th Signal Command, "Professional Communications"; not dated but I believe around 1982)
MISSION: to operate and maintain the US Army's portion of the Defense Communications System (DCS); to provide all Army tactical communications at echelons above corps (EAC) level in Europe.
  Base Communcations support: 2nd Sig Bde
160th Sig Bde
6981st CSC
AMSF
CEEIA-EUR
   
  Tactical Communications support: 7th Sig Bde    
  Comm Security Logistics support: TCLSC    
  Air traffic control support: 59th ATC Bn    

Area of Responsibility: over 400 different sites in seven countries stretching from England in the north to Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the south.

Approx Strength: 400 officers, 100 WOs, 8,000 EMs, 125 DACs, 1,670 LNs

Communications-Electronics Engineering Installation Agency - Europe (CEEIA-EUR) installs and tests fixed systems.

6981st CSC installs and maintains fixed cable and antenna systems.

Theater Communications Security Logistics Support Center (TCLSC) repairs and maintains secure electronic equipment.

Area Maintenance and Supply Facility (AMSF) repairs and maintains fixed station electronic equipment.


Asst Chief of Staff, Engineer
(Source: TOWER ECHO, February 1985)

ECHO article, Feb 1985
 
 

Command & Control Battalion
(Email from Stephen Sydnor, HHC, C&C Bn, 1968-1970)

As I recall everyone arrived arrived in Germany at Frankfurt and reported to a replacement unit for further shipment to a unit. My unit would be HHC, Command & Control Battalion, USASTRATCOM-EUR located at Kilbourne Kaserne, Schwetzingen, Germany.

At that time the mess hall, dispensary and barracks along with the Battalion and Company Hqs were located at Kilbourne.

When I first arrived at the unit, we were bused to work daily at a location in Mannheim. The building we worked in was located alongside a huge airfield. Rumor had it that underneath the airfield was an underground Nazi airfield that had been flooded after the war.

I believe, sometime in 1969, the mess hall, dispensary, sleeping quarters, Battalion (hqs) and HHC moved to Tompkins Barracks.

I worked in the battalion as a port-call specialist for my entire tour. I was the guy who made flight arrangements for enlisted men and ship arrangements for officers (field grade) if they wanted to leave by ship.

I believe we had companies located in Worms, Karlsruhe and Kaiserslautern.

Co-located with us at Tompkins were the following units:

549th Engr Bn, commanded by LTC John E. Kelly
541st Engr Co (Float Bridge)
8591st Labor Service Co
535th Engr Co (Lt Equip)
8592nd Civilian Labor Group
656th Engr Bn (Topo)
  139th Engr Det (Terrain)
  515th Engr Det (Topo Liaison)
  22nd Engr Pltn (Repro)
  24th Engr Pltn (Map Depot)
   
Some of the officers at that time were:
CPT Robert H. Meck, Sig C, and 1LT Wesley M. Penrose, Sig C; both Adjutants for the Battalion
CPT Leonard J. Ferrara, AGC; HHC Commander
1LT Ronald A. Elgin, Sig C, Adjutant, and J. Brum, Jr., AGC, Asst. Adj.

I have a Christmas Dinner brochure (1968) that lists Thomas K. Trigg, BG Commanding.

They were good units (HHC and Battalion) led by good officers and senior NCOs.

(Email from Barry Hope, C&C Bn, 1968-1969)
I was a LT at the headquarters of CCbn which was located near the airfield at Neuostheim.

The CO when I arrived was Maj Smith and he was replaced by LTC Pick. In addition to S1 LT Ron Elgin, the S3 was CPT James and the S4 was CPT Miller. My roommate, LT Donald Brooks was Aide-de-Camp to BG Trigg, commander of STRATCOM-EUR

HHC provided support, transportation and in case the “balloon went up” defense of HQ Stratcom. There was another company under CCBN that provided electronic supplies, much of it German for the telephone and Commo systems at HQ Stratcom.

CCBN had a very large motor pool and maintained the staff cars and buses and the backup generators that supported HQ Stratcom, and I think that the Motor Pool company was a separate company command as well.

(Source: Email from Eileen M. Drake, Motor Pool, HQ STRATCOM-EUR, 1974-77)
I was assigned to 5th Signal Command from Feb 74-May 77. My first duty assignment was as a wrecker operator at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen in Feb 74. I lived briefly in the WAC Barracks across from Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg. I later moved to a garden apartment in Mannheim-Neuostheim recommended by the German dispatcher in our Motor Pool, Herr Reiss. As part of our inprocessing, we had to look at a scrapbook he kept containing photos of really gory accidents before we could go for our USAREUR Driver's test.

We were located at the back of Tompkins Barracks next to the railhead. Our Motor Sergeant at the time was SFC Virgil Onstott, later replaced by MSG Harlan C. McReynolds. The Transportation NCO was SGT Dennis Gillam (he now works for Public Works here at Fort Riley). One of the mechanics was SGT Doran Else, who wore the biggest boots I've ever seen. SSG Robert Strongman, another of the mechanics, had been born in Germany, and enlisted in the U.S. Army to avoid being drafted into the German Army. He later became a warrant officer. I last encountered him in 1983-84 in the Kitzingen area.

We moved the Motor Pool to Worms in Dec 1974; we were the last section to move to the new location at Taukkunen Barracks, across the street from the vineyards where grapes for Liebrauenmilch wine were harvested. The NCO club was accross the street on another side of the Kaserne, and our Motor Pool about a block away in what had formerly been the TMP, accross from the Caterpillar facility. The Post Transportation Office was co-located with us. One of the events we looked forward to was the Backfischfest, and there was another fest in the spring. I often took my turn as duty driver driving VIPs around. One particularly memorable (and frightening) event was an occasion on which I drove one of engineers to a meeting at the Abrams (formerly I.G. Farben) building in Frankfurt. We agreed to meet in the Snack Bar when he was finished, and I took my ever-present book and went off to read a bit in the Snack Bar. The officer returned, we walked to the sedan, and left. We were on the autobahn just
passing Rhein-Main Air Base when there was a news flash - The Baader-Meinhof Gang had bombed the Abrams Building in the vicinity of the Snack Bar we had just left.

Since we didn't have a loading dock at the Motor Pool, when we needed to transport a forklift for maintenance in Mannheim, we would have to drive it through the cobblestone streets across town to the Engineer Kaserne where
there was a ramp. What a bumpy ride!

It was rumored that there were tunnels under our barracks leading down to the river, to be used by German soldiers to escape during WWII. The bridge over the Rhein had only one clock tower; the other had been bombed by the
Germans to prevent the Allies from crossing.

I have so many memories of that first assignment with what was then USSTRATCOM-EUR. I went over initially on a 16 month tour, and kept extending until they told me I had to leave. I was able to see much of Europe right on the job between my trips as a wrecker operator, VIP runs and occasional courier runs.

Communications Control Center, Europe
1976
(Source: Email from Rick Stumbaugh)
It was the Communications Control Center that fell under the 5th Signal Command DCSOPS. It was responsible for monitoring and controlling all Army communications systems in Europe. They interfaced with DCA in the restoral of circuit/system outages throughtout the area. We also coordinated with AMSF to get things fixed, when needed.

System status reports were prepared for the command group, who kept CINCUSAREUR and staff informed. Additionally, we also prepared a phone itinerary for the commercial telephone that was on the CINCUSAREUR's train (it listed contact information for anyone on the train when it was in use. I prepared that itinerary while I was there).

During my time, BG Racke was the 5th Sig Cmd CG; COL Anglin was the DCSOPS; MAJ Villasenor was in charge of CCC; and, GEN Blanchard was the CINCUSAREUR.

Regarding AMSF, I have some knowledge of them during my time at 5th Sig Cmd from 1976-79. During my time, they were located at Sullivan Barracks in Mannheim. They became an organization run and operated by contractors. They fell under 5th Sig Cmd and became contractors by BG Racke's direction and authority. They had set times to respond to any and all communications degradation and/or outages throughout europe. We at CCC-E monitored their work for the 5th Sig Cmd DCSOPS and CG.

Stumbaugh being promoted to E-7 directly in front of the Operations Center sign
next to the entrance of the CCC-E building
We were located in a separate building inside Taukkunen Barracks, Worms, Germany. We were within the same complex as all of the rest of HQ, 5th Signal Command. Our building might have been Bldg #5806. It was a single-story next to the Rod & Gun Club. The guys would get off shift and go straight to the R&G Club (there was a portion of it that sold beer and some food) and you walked out our building and it was a very short distance.

Inside our building were offices: on the left for the boss, SGM, Ops Sgt, and the guy who does commo itineraries for the CINCUSAREUR's train. To the right was a large open area for the CCC. There was a large desk like area for several seats for the senior NCO's (all of us were E-7s and above). In front of them were multi TTY systems that were connected to like centers at all major subordinate commands in Europe to the CG, 5th Signal Command.

We were a status gathering hub for all Army commications facilities and systems in support of everything "communications" in Europe. Any outages, damages to facilities, degradation to service or high interest systems/circuit, were some of the things we tracked and reported. We would continue the tracking until everything was fixed and restored. The majority of our work was with the Army DCS and satellite systems, although, some tactical commo was also involved but only on a limited basis.

Let me give you some of the names of people I knew while stationed there: MSG Bennett, MSG Smith, SFC Ward, MAJ Villasenor, to name a few. MSG Bennett was my boss when I worked doing train itineraries.

During 1977, GEN Blanchard (CINCUSAREUR) was visited by his Soviet counterpart from East Germany, who came to Heidelberg on the CINC's train. Despite all of the different forms of commo that was established to track him as he progressed on the train, the only way people could be reached was by the itinerary I prepared listing the commercial phone number for the train. Myself and a few others received a letter of appreciation from GEN Blanchard because of our support during that visit (I still have it).

I do have a lttle bit more trivia for you: My dad, SGM Ralph Stumbaugh, was also under US Army Europe for two tours. First was under the 293rd Engr Bn in Baumholder, from approx 1951-1954. He was then stationed at Rhein Main AB under the 7th Engr Bde, from 1957-1960. He was the first SGM in their history. Dad is now gone, so any history of his time has now been lost.

Theater Command Control Center
(Source: TOWER ECHO, April 1989)

ECHO article, April 1989
 
Article provides some information on the Theater Command Control Center.

16th Aviation Detachment
(Source: TOWER ECHO, Nov 1984)
Those flying young troops and their magnificent machines
By Linda Curbow

A twin-engine turbo-prop airplane is flying high above the blue skies of Europe. Its destination could be Belgium, Greece, Spain or any other glamorous Old World country. But the aircraft isn't ending a Trans-Atlantic flight and there are no stewardesses serving lavish meals. It's one of the 16th Aviation Detachment's EU-21As making one of its normal flights across the European world of the 5th Signal Command.

The detachment, recently the Aviation Section of the 7th Signal Brigade, was officially reactivated during a ceremony presided over by Col. Samuel Leffler, the 7th Signal Brigade's commanding officer. Leffler was also the commander of the 16th after its reactivation in Heidelberg, Germany, in September 1965.

Although the unit may be newly reactivated, it is definitely no stranger to the aviation field. Constituted July 14, 1958, into the Regular Army as the 16th Aviation Operating Detachment, it was activated August 8, 1958, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After a brief inactivation period beginning in October 1963 in Germany, the unit was redesignated as the 16th Aviation Detachment and reactivated in September 1965 in Heidelberg, Germany. But that did not last long as the unit was once again inactivated in Germany in November 1967. But now, active again, the unit is back to working its sole mission in the air.

The detachment is no longer a part of the 7th Signal Brigade and now comes directly under HQ 5th Signal Command. Its mission, however, has remained essentially the same and its commander, Capt. Debi Schroeder, believes the unit will now be able to perform that mission even better.

"We'll be able to provide better tactical support to our units," she said. "Before, as a unit under the 7th Signal Brigade, our primary concern was with the 7th. We took care of 5th Signal Command whenever we could," she explained. "But now we'll have more flexibility for 5th Signal and be able to service it throughout Europe."

The detachment's primary objective is to provide general aviation support to the 5th Signal Command and its subordinate units. This support includes providing aircraft for personnel and equipment, acting as a USAREUR air courier and providing radio retransmission capability to USAREUR units.

The detachment has three types of aircraft to help it accomplish its mission.

The OH-58A Observation Helicopter is used primarily for signal reconnaissance and personnel transport. The unit has four 58s for its use.

The other helicopter in the detachment's hangar is the UH-1 H Utility Helicopter, commonly referred to as the "Huey." The Huey is a multi-purpose aircraft used as a cargo and personnel transporter. It is the "work horse" of Army Aviation. The detachment is equipped with five Hueys.

The only fixed-wing airplanes the unit is equipped with are its three EU-21A Utility Airplanes. The twin engine turbo-prop aircraft with all-weather capability is used for FM automated airborne radio retransmission and cargo and staff transportation.

These aircraft are the hub for the activities that the detachment is tasked with every day.

As in any unit, there are so many skills that combine to meet the mission that it would be almost impossible to describe them all. But, when one thinks of aviation, some specific areas stand out: the pilots, who of course, fly the aircraft; the mechanics, who keep the aircraft going; and even the flight operations and administrative side of the unit who schedule the flights and keep the records accurate and up to date. Without these people and the many others, there could be no aviation unit at all.


All the glamour of aviation probably falls into the pilots cockpits. Flying an aircraft, to some, may seem fun and exciting. But ask any military pilot in the air today and he will be glad to attest to the hard work it took to achieve his position.

"Flight school was very strenuous and had extremely long hours," said WO I John Kelly, a new Huey pilot in the detachment. "As far as stress goes, this training is supposed to have the worst, and I'd believe it."

After the grueling 42-week course is over and the new pilots are assigned to their units, their beginnings aren't always as they may have anticipated. The pilots won't be able to fly solo for another six months. During this time they will be undergoing extensive unit training to prove their competence in the air. Once the commander's evaluation is in and the pilot is assured of his efficiency in the cockpit, he can go it alone and may soon be training new pilots in the unit. Their skillfully taught training in the beginning leads to their efficient expertise in the end.

"I couldn't believe the amount of training and learning we went through in such few months," said WO 1 Stephen Shimonek, also a new Huey pilot in the detachment. "I came here and found out that I hadn't really learned as much as I had thought. We have so many well-experienced pilots here that it seems that you'll never be able to match up to their skills."

But Kelly and Shimonek agree that the presence of the highly experienced pilots is a great advantage.

"It really helps a lot to fly with the experienced;" Kelly said. "When a pilot begins he can either pick up good or bad habits from his first tour and initial instructors. Here a pilot can learn the good points of flying and become the proficient pilot he was intended to be."

Proficiency is probably the number one element in a pilot's career. But that proficiency in the air could not be achieved without the mechanics on the ground.

The 16th has about 40 enlisted mechanics who are broken down into the type of aircraft maintenance they are specifically trained for. Their main duty is to keep the aircraft in the best possible condition.

"Helicopter maintenance is an art practiced by us all, but truly mastered by none;" claimed Sp4 Russell Presswood, a utility helicopter repairman. "We learn something new every day as we're working on the helicopters. I don't believe anyone could know everything about these aircraft and their engines, but we try to come close."

Great expertise is a definite must when the work is being done inside an aircraft engine. It's too late to correct mistakes when the aircraft is 1500 feet in the air.

The mechanics could not do their job without the help of the folks in Technical Supply. These are the personnel who order aircraft parts and maintenance equipment. Without them, of course, an aircraft would certainly not get far.

Another major activity in the aviation unit takes place in Flight Operations. Here is where the flights are scheduled, the pilots' and flight records are kept, the missions are planned and the annual examinations of the pilots are arranged.

Besides these few areas of aviation, are the many other jobs of administration, crew chiefs, inspectors and others too numerous to list and describe. But without the work of each individual in the aviation unit 5th Signal Command could find itself grounded. So as long as the 16th Aviation Detachment is around, the command will be high in the sky.

Communications-Electronics Engineering Installation Agency , Europe

In 1968 the U.S. Army Communications Engineering and Installation Agency (USACEIA) was activated. It's primary functions were radio propagation, installation, and construction. In 1970 it was given the added mission of responsibility of telecommunications engineering and evaluation and redesignated as the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Engineering Installation Agency (USACEEIA).

CEEIA-Eur was the field office responsible for supporting the European thater.


(Source: Email from Michael A. Hart)
I was just reminded of my Army past after arriving here. I saw my old patch – 160th Signal Brigade. I was stationed in Germany for 6 years between 1984 and 1992: 

5/84 – 6/85: MOS32D1I –
US Army Communications Electronics Installation (USACEI) BN.  Assigned to Ft Huachuca, but had our office in Worms, HDQTR 5th SIG CMD. Worked at Bocksberg, Ramstein, Hessich-Olendorf, Koterburg, Holzminden, plus many others installing strategic microwave links. 

12/85 – 12/87:  MOS32D1IH4 – 270th SIG CO, 73rd Signal BN, 2nd SIG BDE, Pirmasens AUTODIN Switching Center.
 

11/89 – 11/92 MOS31N/PI – USAISC
Augsburg, 69th Signal BN, 160th Signal BDE.  Worked in the Gablingen Tech Control Facility in support of Field Station Augsburg. 

Your site is a nice reminder of the work others and I did between 1945 and 1989.  The old man who sold me a car outside Augsburg in 1991, had been in Germany since WWII.

USACEI Bn, its European Theater role and TDY assignments to the various strategic MW sites:

In a nutshell, we installed the microwave links that made it possible to migrate from the DDS (Direct Dial System -- aka Hitler’s revenge) to ETS (European Telephone System) which is still in use.  Plus we replaced a very old REL 2600s at Bocksberg and West Berlin -- The comm. link between West Germany and West Berlin.  

The one website that has some info on Bocksberg is www.lostplaces.de You’ll find a small write up on that. 


If you want some more details on USACEI and its work, I can help with the period of 5/84 – 6/85.  Left one week before the big blast in Concourse C , International Departures at Frankfurt. USACEI BN was part of USAISEC nee USACEEIA.  One was the US Army Information System Engineering Command and the latter was the USA Communications Electronics Engineering and Installation Agency (I think).  If was know by the troops as “see ya!”  Meaning frequent TDYs, so see ya. All based out of sunny Ft. Huachuca, with field offices in Worms, GE, Seoul ROK and an office on the east coast, possibly Ft Ritchie (This I believe was an ISEC group). 

The field offices gave us way to make arrangements for transportation, logistics, lodging, etc.  Basically an office that had permanently assigned troops based on their status could get us the stuff we needed.  As TDYers we would need licenses etc and this office made a lot possible.  I even worked this office while waiting for our team to head north.  Spent time calling and coordinating deliveries of equipment, verify site drawings, fetching coffee, etc. 

As best I remember we had 3 companies, A, B, and HHC. A and B companies traveled the road doing everything from Airfield (NAV/COM), comm facilities, embassies, etc. HHC was admin support and was responsible for running the Basic Installer Course (BIC), plus other training related to our jobs. 

The team I was on, was responsible for installing microwave radios and related gear through out Northern Germany.  The project was called
Frankfurt-North, so anything north of Frankfurt.  We were part of many teams both Army and Air Force working on the DEB (Digital European Backbone) which was the result of DRAMA (Digital Radio and Mux Acquisition) program.  Basically we made a “spine” from FKT to Bremerhaven with some links out to other locations.  Most of these sites were unmanned and more became after the installation of the new gear and its monitoring system. It was some of the best duty I have seen. Especially Northern Germany, were families adopted us during our stay and treated us to holidays and even family events.  Made some good friends.

(Source: ECHO, December 1984)
ESEIA - Communication system designers

by Margaret Cummins

In the 19th century, when a signal officer needed new equipment, he could probably contact his supply sergeant who could quickly turn to a catalog that listed the major communication systems of the time. For example, "Flag, signal, staff attached."

The system implementation was easy. Issue the flags to the flag specialist and head for the boonies.

Now that the signal corps has advanced beyond flag-waving, the procedures and equipment have become a bit more complex. Most of its equipment is no longer ordered from a catalog but must be designed to meet a specific need, and the implementation requires the aid of system experts.

When the 5th Signal Command needs a new communication system, it turns to its own experts at the Electronic Systems Engineering/Installation Activity-Europe, ESEIA for short.

They are responsible for everything from AFN transmission to complex multi-channel communication systems to telephones.

ESEIA was formerly known as the Communication Electronics Engineering Installation Agency-Europe, but was renamed October 1. ESEIA's commander, Col. Roger V. Sheffield, says that removing the word "communications" from their name indicates they are not only concerned with communications. but with related automation processes as well.

"The real challenge that we have," Sheffield says, "is to handle this period of bringing new digital systems into existence. This may take years. With the new systems we're bringing in, we need new technology in communications. We're moving from the old analog world of communications to the new digital world, and in the end, it will be a much better system than what we've had in the past."

Located al Taukkunen Barracks, in Worms, Germany, ESEIA is comprised primarily of high-ranking individuals, due to the level of experience and expertise its mission requires. Tasked with providing communications, electronics engineering, and construction quality assurance and test evaluation to the 5th Signal Command, its mission is, briefly, to provide the command with communication systems.

Although most of its work is concerned with 5th Signal Command project, it does provide assistance to other Department of Defense agencies as required, according to Mike Causey, chief of the Plans and Scheduling Management Office. "We work very closely with the Air Force and also provide assistance to the U.S. Navy in Spain and Italy at times;" he says. "We also have a very important mission to provide communications for the Secretary of Defense and other important visitors to the European Theater." This involves the portable voice network (PORTAVON), he says.

ESEIA's routine operation, however, is concerned with the broad spectrum of communications requirements of the command. Causey says they may have as many as 1,200 to 1,500 projects in various stages of completion at any one time. The projects range from weather protection covers for airfield radar equipment to the design and installation of complete telephone systems such as the European Telephone System (ETS) currently being installed throughout Germany.

Each of these projects, whether they entail a single device or an entire system, starts with an idea that must be analyzed, staffed, engineered and funded before it reaches the final installation phase. Once installed, the equipment must be tested to ensure it meets the project specifications.

A typical project would flow through three main divisions of ESEIA: engineering, installation and quality assurance tesling.

According to Lt. Col. Arthur M. Askew, III, chief of ESEIA's Project Coordination Division, all new projects must first be approved by 5th Signal Command's Deputy Chief of Staff Plans and Operations (DCSOPS). Once approved, however, the project becomes ESEIA's responsibility until they complete it and turn it over to the command's operations and maintenance personnel.

"All the things concerning the project, from tasking personnel to making sure material is available at the site at the right time, is our job;" Askew says. "We coordinate with the DCSLOG (Deputy Chief of Staff/Logistics) to make sure they are aware of their maintenance responsibility and with DCSOPS to make sure people are properly trained to operate the equipment, and with the sites to be sure they know what's coming and that our people will appear there to do some work at their site. When it's all finished, we walk away and let them have it."

Once a project has been outlined, it is handed over to ESEIA's various divisions and subdivisions. Due to the diversity of communication systems and devices in the command, these are specialized groups, such as the telecommunications branch, television branch and the voice systems branch.

Projects tasked to the Communications Engineering Division are again tasked within the division's three main
branches: switching systems, transmission and terminal facilities. Engineers plan an engineer package according to
the type of project to be done. With the support of another branch, the technical support branch, engineers use a library, drafting material and bill of material to help design each plan to meet the specifications of the project.

Plans for the projects may include anything from the design of a sophisticated microwave radio signal with a long-haul cable system, to the new digital compact telephone key systems like the new Horizon system.

According to the chief of the terminal facilities branch, Rich Fitzharris, because of the shortage of people in the engineering division, personnel have multiple functions and are cross trained to cover jobs throughout the division.

"We go out, perform the engineering and put out our engineer package;" says Fitzharris. "The package, after so far
along, gets handed to the Quality Assurance Testing Division where they do a test program and after that the project is handed to the Installation Division which goes out and provides installation.

Because ESEIA is tasked with so many projects throughout the command and staffed with approximately 200 people (half military), some of the actual installation is done by people TDY from the States.

Other installation projects are given to local contractors according to the type of project to be done and the location of the task. For example, if a project is located in a city and it is easier for local contractors to accomplish the installation because of the availability of equipment, it is given to them to do.

All equipment passes through the hands of the Quality Assurance and Testing (QA&T) Division both before and after installation to ensure it meets the specifications required by the command.

SSgt. Alphonso Evans, one of the test directors from the QA&T Division, says that when he is on a job, he must make sure that the equipment meets Army and military standards before accepting it. Engineers design a plan to install the equipment, but before it can be installed the equipment must meet the manufacturer's operation standard as well as the requirements of the Army.

Checking the equipment usually takes from one to two weeks. Sometimes the test director must also brief local personnel on how to operate the equipment before releasing it to them.

"The new systems going in are compact, use less power and are easier for technicians to work with and are also easier for folks who have never worked with these kinds of systems before," Evans says.

Despite all the testing and retesting problems will arise with equipment and systems. Sgt. Maj. Delbert J. Lewis of the QA&T Division, says this sometimes occurs after a project has been accepted as completed by the Department of the Army. "A month or two later (after completion) we may get a phone call and someone says 'The phone system doesn't work. It's screwed up, you accepted it, come and fix it. We're not in the fix-it business, but since we have the experts, we'll pack a tool box and test equipment and head back out. Unfortunately, we often find out it's user abuse, particularly with the new Horizon telephone system."

ESEIA is no stranger to phone systems and even created a special task division to handle ETS. The division chief, Maj. John R. Thomas, says, "Basically, our responsibility is to insure locations are prepared to accept the ETS switch that is provided by the deputy project manager of ETS. We are the point of contact far all site-preparation activities, engineering surveys and network transitions."

He stresses, however, that the ETS effort is not dependent on any one individual in the command. "It's dependent on the collective effort by all 5th Signal Command brigades and the project manager of the ETS office;" he says.

Naturally, the implementation of any system requires a collective effort and if the system you are using to communicate with is more complex than a typewriter, the collection of system experts at ESEIA probably had a hand in it.

Related Links:
  5th Signal Command, Germany - official web site  
  2nd Signal Brigade, Germany - official web site  
  7th Signal Brigade, Germany - official web site  
  USASTRATCOM HQ - New Yahoo Group for USASTRATCOM, STRATCOM, USASCC, USACEEIA, & USACSA civilian and military personnel moderated by Tom Custer. A great "meeting place" for anyone assigned to STRATCOM or its subordinate groups over the years.  
  CommCenter Yahoo Group - this is a discussion group with focus on Communications Centers (fixed-station, tactical, mobile and shipboard). (Facilities covered include teletype, torn tape relay, AUTODIN and DMS.) Membership is restricted.  
  Radio Relay at Bocksberg - great page on the strategic signal site at Bocksberg near Goslar. Page is hosted on the German website - LostPlaces.de (Nov 2010 Site name changed to Geschichtsspuren.de)