|"The Signal Corps March"|
|Lyrics and Composed by Allen Woolly - 1961|
|Soldiers FRom 324th Network Support Company, FOB Delta - March 2009|
The mission of the 324th Network Support Company is to integrate tactical, strategic and sustaining field communications, information processing and management systems into a seamless global information network that supports knowledge dominance for the 41st Fires Brigade on the battlefield.
The 324th Network Support Company (NSC) provides installation, operation, and maintenance of voice and data communication networks using a Joint Network Node (JNN). Soldiers of the 324 employ single and multi-channel satellite, line of site microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information, and other related systems to meet mission requirements.
On June 21, 1860, Captain Albert J, Myer received a letter from the War Department that ordered him to organize and command a new US Army Signal Corps group. The letter did not contain any specific objectives that would provide any guidance or substance. It authorized $2,000 for equipment and a promotion for Myer to major, to be effective on 27 June. Myer was faced with the responsibility of recruiting subordinates who could be detailed from elsewhere in the Army. The Signal Corps would not commence as an official Army organization until 03 March, 1863, at which time Myer was promoted to colonel.
The Signal Corps in the twenty-first century bears little resemblance to the organization founded by Maj. Albert J. Myer in 1860. Although the United States Army was the first in the world to have a separate communications branch, the legislation authorizing its establishment provided for neither permanent personnel nor units. Soldiers were detailed to signal duty from their regularly assigned units.
Innovations developed by Myer during the Civil War included an unsuccessfu balloon experiment at the first Battle of Bull Run and, in response to a requirement for a Signal Corps field-telegraph train, an electric telegraph in the form of the Beardslee magnetoelectric telegraph machine was developed. Even in the Civil War, the wigwag system, dependent upon line-of-sight, was waning in the face of the electric telegraph.
The electric telegraph, in addition to visual signaling, became a Signal Corps responsibility in 1867. Within 12 years, the corps had constructed, and was maintaining and operating, some 4,000 miles of telegraph lines along the country’s western frontier. In 1870, the Signal Corps established a congressionally mandated national weather service.
For the next thirty years, the Signal Corps remained a small organization whose members were scattered among the many posts of the Army to provide communications and take weather observations. The necessity for having a separate Signal Corps continued to be debated in the halls of Congress and within the Army itself. Communications still was not widely recognized as a military specialty in and of itself.
During the 1880's, the earliest permanent signal units were formed in the National Guard. New York and Illinois were among the first states to have such organizations. It took the Regular Army a little longer to follow suit. Signal companies designated "A" through "H" entered the force structure in 1898 and 1899. From this modest start, the Signal Corps continued to grow during the twentieth century as the United States and its Army assumed global responsibilities. The rise of telecommunications also meant that signaling duties became increasingly complex and an integral part of military operations.
The role of the Signal Corps in the Spanish American War of 1898 and the subsequent Philippine Insurrection was on a grander scale than it had been in the Civil War. In addition to visual signaling, including heliograph, the corps supplied telephone and telegraph wire lines and cable communications, fostered the use of telephones in combat, employed combat photography and renewed the use of balloons. Shortly after the war, the Signal Corps constructed the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System, introducing the first wireless telegraph in the Western Hemisphere.
On 01 August, 1907, an Aeronautical Division was established within the office of the Chief Signal Officer. In 1908, the Wright brothers made test flights of the Army’s first airplane built to Signal Corps’ specifications. Army aviation remained within the Signal Corps until 1918, when it became the Army Air Service.
The Signal Corps lost no time in meeting the challenges of World War I. Working closely with private industry to perfect radio tubes while creating a major signal laborory at Camp Alfred Vail, NJ (later Fort Monmouth). Early radiotelephones developed by the Signal Corps were introduced into the European theater in 1918. While the new American voice radios were superior to the radiotelegraph sets, telephone and telegraph remained the major technology of World War I.
A pioneer in radar developments, the Signal Corps laboratories at Fort Monmouth, patented the first Army radar that was demonstrated in May 1937. Even before the United States entered World War II, mass production of two radar sets, the SCR-268 and the SCR-270, had begun. Along with the Signal Corps’ tactical frequency-modulation radio, also developed in the 1930s, radar was the most important communications development of World War II.
The roots of the 324th Signal Network Support Company can be traced bback to 06 January 1943, when it was constituted on in the Army of the United States as the 324th Signal Company Wing and was activated on 10 January 1943 at Camp Pinedale, California. During World War II. assighned to the Europen Theater, the company fought in Rome-Arno and through Rhineland. ON 14 November 1945, following the War, the company was inactivated at Camp Pinedale, California.
In 1945, the Signal Corps' Project Diana successfully bounced radar signals off the moon, paving the way for space communications. On 18 December 1958, with Air Force assistance, the Signal Corps launched its first communications satellite, Project SCORE, demonstrating the feasibility of worldwide communications in delayed and real-time mode by means of relatively simple active satellite relays.
Meanwhile, the Korean conflict cut short an all-too-brief peace. The terrain and road nets of Korea, along with the distance and speed with which communications were forced to travel, limited the use of wire. The Signal Corps' very-high-frequency radio became the "backbone" of tactical communications throughout the conflict.
On 31 August 1966, the unit was redesignated as the 324th Signal Company and allotted to the Regular Army and later in the year, 24 DEcember 1966, it was activated at FportHood, Texas. DEEploying to Vietnam, the 324th Signal Company fought during Phases III through VI of the Counteroffensive and in the Tet and Tet 69 Counteroffensives. On 05 November 1969, at the close, the 324th Signal Company was inactivated 1 in Vietnam.
The war of Vietnam developed a requirement for high-quality telephone and message circuits led to the deployment of tropospheric-scatter radio links that could provide many circuits between locations more than 200 miles apart. Other developments included the SYNCOM satellitecommunications service and a commercial fixed-station system known as the Integrated Wideband Communications System, the Southeast Asia link in the Defense Communications System.
The 324th Signal Company was activated 30 June 1971 in Thailand for participation in the Southwest Asia Campaign. The unit fought through the Defense of Saudi Arabia, Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, and Cease-Fire. The company was inactivated 1 January 1972 in Thailand.
Following an activation of the uniut fir a tour andf inactivation in Germany, The 324 Signal Company was activated 16 December 2004 at Fort Hood, Texas. as an element of III Corps.
To Be continued ...............
This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 324th Network Support Compaqny, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its 69+ years history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:
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Revised 02 Dec '12 SpellChecked