Students experience mobile tactical communications

About 30 Patch High School students were introduced to U.S. military satellite and information technology equipment during a visit Feb. 28 by Airmen, Soldiers, and Sailors of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla.

Photo by Robert WatsonAir Force Staff Sgt. Chad Welch of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., describes the capabilities and characteristics of the HMWWV vehicle to students from Patch High School Feb. 28 during a partnership learning event that was coordinated by EUCOM’s C4 and Cyber Operations Directorate.

Photo by Robert Watson
Air Force Staff Sgt. Chad Welch of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., describes the capabilities and characteristics of the HMWWV vehicle to students from Patch High School Feb. 28 during a partnership learning event that was coordinated by EUCOM’s C4 and Cyber Operations Directorate.

The service members explained the basic functions of a variety of satellite and IT systems, demonstrated some of their capabilities and answered questions the students had about the equipment and how the military uses it.

The event, coordinated by U.S. European Command’s C4 and Cyber Operations Directorate, offered the students an opportunity to learn about and experience some of the most high-tech communications, IT and satellite equipment available to the U.S. military, according to officials of the Mission Assurance Branch of EUCOM C4 and Cyber Operations.

The students received live demonstrations on satellite communications and IT networking capabilities that provide voice, data and video in deployed environments.

The event was sponsored by the PHS Science Technology Engineering and Math Council, and PHS teachers focused on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum, in close cooperation with the school’s cyber-STEM partners of EUCOM, Defense Information Systems Agency Europe and 5th Signal Brigade’s 52nd Signal Battalion.

Photo by Robert WatsonAir Force Tech Sgt. Camilo D’Sa of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., demonstrates mobile networks capabilities to Patch High School students during a cyber-STEM partnership learning event.

Photo by Robert Watson
Air Force Tech Sgt. Camilo D’Sa of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., demonstrates mobile networks capabilities to Patch High School students during a cyber-STEM partnership learning event.

Brig. Gen. Bruce Crawford, director of the EUCOM C4 and Cyber Operations Directorate, offered the partnership to Department of Defense Dependents School educators and students in a previous meeting in December 2013 after a “STEMposium.”

PHS students have since elected a STEM council coordinator, student Connor McNeely, after a cross-organizational brainstorming session in January 2014.

Photo by Robert WatsonStaff Sgt. Robert McClure of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., explains to PHS students the basic functions and capabilities of modern military satellite and IT equipment that provide voice, data and video in deployed environments.

Photo by Robert Watson
Staff Sgt. Robert McClure of the Joint Communications Support Element from Tampa, Fla., explains to PHS students the basic functions and capabilities of modern military satellite and IT equipment that provide voice, data and video in deployed environments.

“I’m very happy that we’ve come this far with our STEM programs here at Patch High School. The dedication and commitment of our staff and students will continue to set the precedence of where we will go in the future with our STEM program.” said Stephanie Payne, a Patch High School teacher and coordinator for the STEM program.

The seminars will continue for the rest of the school year, providing a foundation for the cyber-STEM partnership for next year. In March, the seminar will be medically oriented, with the focus on joint replacements being performed at the Sindelfingen hospital.