Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer or 25 Sierra is a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the United States Army. The Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainers have the responsibility of maintaining, processing and troubleshooting satellite systems in both the Contiguous United States and overseas.
Soldiers training to perform the duties of an Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer will attend the SATCOM course at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Fort Gordon provides training for Initial Entry Training (IET) Soldiers, as well as Reclassifying Soldiers, from other Occupational Specialties, or Prior Service members. For training purposes, though all Soldiers in the course will receive the same training, they are separated as MOS-I for Initial Training, and MOS-T for re-class.
- MOS-I soldiers are assigned to either Bravo or Delta Company in the 551st Signal Battalion (United States).
- MOS-T soldiers are assigned to Alpha Company in the 551st Signal Battalion (United States).
The Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer course is approximately 28 weeks long, and soldiers in training will be classed into one of several phases during training. This is a continuation of the phases started in Army basic training, and all service members in training regardless of rank or time in service will participate.
Phase IV (weeks 1 - 4 of AIT) begins with the first week of AIT and ends when the Soldier demonstrates proficiency to move up in phase. The first opportunity to phase-up will be provided at 15 days with subsequent opportunities provided weekly thereafter. Use, possession or purchase of alcohol and tobacco products is prohibited during Phase IV, except as religious sacrament.
In order for an MOS-I Soldier to move from Phase IV to Phase V privileges the Soldier must pass Knowledge Exam, recite the Soldier’s Creed, sing their branch song, and pass Class A, Wall Locker, and Room Inspections. Additionally, Soldiers must demonstrate proper discipline, pass all academic requirements, and pass their APFT with 60 points in each event.
Phase V (no earlier than week 3 through 10 of AIT). Soldiers are authorized to wear civilian clothes, both on-post and off-post pass privileges, Company Commanders can authorize extended weekend off-post pass privileges to Phase V Soldiers, however members are subject to unit recall. Phase V Soldiers are allowed to use personal linen on their beds in accordance with policies established throughout each battalion.
For extended holiday weekends, Company Commanders may authorize Phase V MOS-I Soldiers extended overnight pass privileges, no further than 250 miles via POV.
Soldiers are not authorized to ride in a POV or rental car without Company Commander approval, and alcohol consumption by MOS-I Soldiers 21 years of age or older is authorized on weekends and holidays.
Married Soldiers in Phase V with PCS orders to Fort Gordon may be authorized to live off-post or in GMH managed post housing, if spouse and/or children are in the immediate area, and upon approval from their Battalion Commander.
Phase V+ (weeks 11 through end of AIT). Company Commanders may authorize the use of rental cars. Company Commanders may authorize Soldiers to purchase, register, and/or possess a privately owned vehicle (POV) once Soldiers complete 21 weeks of training. Battalion Commanders may authorize Soldiers with Families to operate POVs prior to 21 weeks.
The Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer at Fort Gordon is Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and is administered by the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, 551st Signal Battalion. The course is designed to prepare soldiers by teaching them skills necessary to become proficient in identifying satellite system problems, coordination with other operators, installing and configuring new equipment and monitoring hardware and software for issues. Soldiers will also will be taught theory of satellite communications at both STEP (Strategic Tactical Entry Point) and Tactical sites.
The Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer course is divided into three sections:
- Common Core is a 12 week basic electronic course central to satellite communication.
- Strategic or Tactical (depending on soldiers designation) is 13 week course that teaches the soldier the principles of SATCOM signal flow. During this time, soldiers will be exposed and tested on several types of SATCOM equipment fielded by the Army.
- JNN is a 2 week course after graduating from AIT that teaches qualified Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainers the systems of the JNN and STT equipment. While the operators aren't trained on the JNN itself, they are taught the signal flow of the STT as it ties into the JNN and WIN-T architecture.
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