More than 400 soldiers from the 51st Signal Battalion are returning to Fort Lewis this weekend after a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
The unit, headquartered at Joint Base Balad, provided tactical communications network for Multi-National Corps-Iraq, which runs daily American military operations. The unit also managed tactical communications for 37 bases and outposts across Iraq.
The battalion also provided command and control access across all of Iraq, installed 4,000 computers on military networks, established more than 6,000 user accounts and installed more than 100 miles of fiber-optic cable.
The battalion’s networks handled more than 10 million phone calls with a 99 percent completion rate. (Ask anyone who is calling home over a DSN line how crucial that is.)
The 51st received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its work.