Communications system connects Afghanistan with neighboring countries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sgt. Charles Brice 3rd BCT, 1st ID, PAO   
Thursday, 01 January 2009

081222_A_XXXXX_001.jpgJALALABAD AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (December 22, 2008) – The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, is working with Afghan locals to install an international ring of communication that will someday span throughout Afghanistan and connect to its neighboring countries.

“With our satellites stretched to their limits, by fighting on two war fronts, the fiber-ring will completely overhaul the current communication system by allowing the new system to flow very fast and efficient,” said, Maj. Patrick Dillinger, Woodbridge, Va. native and 3-1 communication officer.

This new system will bring a more efficient way of communicating to coalition forces, and build a foundation for the people by giving them a quicker means to communicate with the world.

“The fiber ring extends outward from Bagram Air Field, coming across all the major areas of operations and will end back at BAF,” Dillinger said. “Then the fiber-ring will extend its arms outward to its neighboring countries to expand the reach of communication.”

With the fiber-ring set in place, US coalition forces will be able to keep in touch with everyone within their area of operations without a line of sight, while improving on the existing technology set in place.

“Fiber optics communication is one of the most reliable networks to depend on while fighting the war in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Dillinger said. “My job is to keep the command group of Task Force Duke connected to [headquarters] and to have a system that will carry the next generation through future battles.”

The way fiber-optic communication works is by sending information from one place to another through pulses of light from an optical fiber.

“There are a lot of key players that came together on this project to make it happen, it’s not just US Forces that’s backing this project,” Dillinger said. “Also, the locals are taking an interest in the national fiber ring, because they see what they can receive in the coming future for communication.”

1st Sgt. Howard Charles, 3-1, Special Troops Battalion, a native of Alexandria, Va., threw himself head first into the management of construction, because of the importance of the project.

“The fiber-ring will allow us to reach out to networks that are beyond our capability. I think it will bring in the tool to help [Afghan locals] see what is out there,” Charles, senior communication noncommissioned officer, said. “This system is the first of its kind in Afghanistan. This will make leaps and bounds for ISAF and the government of Afghanistan.”

Dillinger also agrees that installing this system will improve communication with the outside world and give US Forces the edge in communicating with our troops.

“This is ground breaking work for a historical change in this country,” Dillinger said.

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