Sgt. James D. Wasilchuk, information systems operator with the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade, checks the connection on a computer in the Internet café at the Deployment Readiness Center before the facility goes hot. More than 15 computers and printers are set up specifically for the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team as they redeploy to Fort Bliss. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lori A. Kuczmanski, MaD Bde. Public Affairs.
Sgt. 1st Class Lori A. Kuczmanski
MaD Bde. Public Affairs
Preparations have begun for the redeployment of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Texas National Guard, as the Soldiers begin to arrive here. The 72nd IBCT has been in Iraq for approximately seven months conducting detainee operations and convoy security.
To accommodate the roughly 3,000 Soldiers, the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade established an Internet café at the Deployment Readiness Center. More than 15 computers, complete with printers, will allow Soldiers to check their personal e-mail, reconnect with family and friends, and finish any unfinished business before being united with family and friends.
Sgt. James D. Wasilchuk, MaD Brigade information systems operator, said it would not be possible for the 72nd IBCT Soldiers to get an e-mail account at Fort Bliss during their short stay demobilizing, so the Internet café was the next best solution. Wasilchuk was involved in the set up of the Internet café. The team of information systems operators coordinated the computers to be used, set up the equipment, and assigned user names and passwords.
“I’m happy the Deployment Readiness Center, [Sergeant Major Bonnett and Lieutenant Colonel Garza] offered us space in their parking lot to get this set up,” said Wasilchuk.
Establishing the Internet café required coordination with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Jim Hamilton, information management officer, said the infrastructor was already in place and he routed the computers to an existing box allowing free Internet access.
“It was a simple thing to do,” said Hamilton. “I just plugged the [computers] into the box and they were up and running.”
The computers are powered by generators, and the area is made comfortable by air conditioning provided by the MaD Brigade to keep the tents and Soldiers cool.
Staff Sgt. Larry Scott, lead technician with the MaD Bde., assisted FMWR with any network-related problems. Scott troubleshot the computers and printers and ensured each one was operational. Scott credits his team for their efforts with the set up and his team’s knowledge on how the computers should be hooked up to the network. Scott said the success of this project wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t a team effort.
“My biggest accomplishment is coordinating everything to make this happen for the Soldiers of the 72nd IBCT,” said Scott.
The 72nd IBCT Soldiers are slated to stay here for five to seven days to demobilize before returning to their home-station units.