That’s my boy

My son, Major Conlann A. Myers, has been published in Army Communicator, with a short history and current status of the 51st Expeditionary Signal Battalion-Enhanced (ESB-E) (his unit) on page 35, if you’re interested. I know I am. This is the best we get, though – vague statements about the broad general area of deployment, next to nothing about timing.

The 51st ESB-E is postured to deploy to the United States Central Command area of operations (AoR) in 2024 as the first full ESB-E, taking over a mission that has previously been filled from ESBs and providing new capabilities to the area of responsibility. The mission will provide the Army the opportunity to improve the tactical network supporting U.S. forces in the AoR with the newest equipment and prove out the ability of the ESB-E concept to fully replace existing ESBs.

We know it’s soon and it’s the Middle East, and we’ll be worrying the whole time.


  1. flex says

    Good on him.

    I’m sure he’s proud of the posting, and maybe, in 20 years, he’ll be able to talk about it.

    Although I still don’t talk about some of my postings 30 years ago.
    But honestly, I don’t talk about them because no one seems to care.

    He’ll be fine.

  2. bsr0 says

    Congrats! As a USCG Radioman for several years (several years ago) that was an interesting article!

  3. indianajones says

    My experience as a former Navy comms tech is that they look after the gear. And that sounds like where your son is gonna be.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    While IEDs are a threat to patrols, today Isis and other irregular forces do not have the strength to charge even moderately fortified compounds. Another issue is accidents and exposure to toxic substances, but your son is unlikely to face the kind of chaos that existed during the Dubya wars.

  5. StevoR says

    Hope your son and everyone there stays safe and things in the region are calm and improve and become more peaceful. Best wishes.

  6. stuffin says

    From my time as a Marine corps Radio operator, it was imbedded in us the communications people are at the top of the list to be targeted by the enemy. The individual carrying a radio on the battlefield to the comm centers that coordinate the battlefield are primary targets. By taking out the communications the enemy can neutralize control and command, which hampers supply lines and strategic coordination on the battlefield. Because the comm networks are so important, the military has counter measures to ensure the comm networks are preserved and can continue to function during a battle.

    With that said, here is to wishing the circumstances, should they arise, bend in the favor of Major Conlann A. Myers.

  7. muttpupdad says

    We were told before going into the field that the order of targets was the radioman with that identifying antenna, next was the corpsman who would rush to take care of said radioman and finally the sergeants who would try to get every thing in order.Never really bothered me knowing I was number two in the takeout order just made sure that if anything happened that the guy with the radio was well enough to call in support and then get us out of there. When the show happened, he was not involved at all and I was too busy to really know what happened.

  8. says

    I don’t think he runs around a battlefield with a big antenna anymore. More like sitting in a huge truck surrounded by telecommunications equipment, talking to satellites with a computer.

  9. magistramarla says

    The job that Conlann will be doing reminds me of what my son was doing for the Marines in Iraq in 2001.
    Like his father, he’s a computer geek. Even though he was the youngest guy in his unit, he was the one who could keep the computer networks up and running. This kept him off of the front lines, sitting in the big tents with the brass.
    When the network faltered, it was his job to get it working again.
    Since his Dad was able to get emails through those military networks at his AF job, he heard from our son often and was able to reassure me about his safety.
    My husband’s “sunset job” is working with the army to safely store, analyze and protect the data which your son probably will help to collect.
    I know what it is like to have a child who is deployed to a dangerous part of the world.
    I hope that you and Mary are able to hear from him often. That helps.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Do they even need those big WWII/Vietnam-style radios much anymore? I can get they are needed if operating a hundred km from the nearest outpost but most of the work will be closer to bases.
    -I do not know the size of modern satellite telephones etc, but at least the batteries will be drastically lighter than during my time in the Swedish air force during the first Reagan administration.

  11. birgerjohansson says

    Stuffin @ 6
    The war in Ukraine has no doubt provided US forces with plenty of up-to-date knowhow of how to protect communications and disrupt enemy communications. Even if Russia is messed up, it is nominally a near-peer adversary. Experiences of how to deal with a Russian threat are unlikely to be trumped by the abilities of any adversaries Conlann et al are going to face in the near east.

    The strength of adversaries like ISIS has always been assymetric warfare. Iran? Syria? Unless China provides stuff it will be things familiar from Ukraine.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Clarification: Satellite telephones only arrived in the 1990s but my comment @ 10 was concerned with weight and bulk. Batteries constrain how light a device can be made.

    The radios back in my days were not something to carry in the pocket. As for devices that can use satellites, there were vehicles for that.
    (not that the Russian conscripts would not want that old stuff, now that their modern radios have been stolen and sold by the officers)

  13. stuffin says

    @10-11-12 birgerjohansson

    When I carried a radio, it weighed over 20 lbs, plus they had a crypto device that weighed slightly more. Your rifle also weighed 20lbs when loaded. This does not include all your other essentials.

    You carried the radio on your back and the heavier crypto box on your front. The problem with carrying things on the front of your body was it exposed you to enemy fire. You can never get low enough when in a firefight. You could also strap the crypto box below the radio on your back but that made walking very cumbersome. We also used a Comm Center called a TSC-15. It was like a camper on a trailer but had about 5 or 6 (mostly AM) radios with multiple antennae. The thing I remember about the AM radios was you couldn’t get close to the antenna, or you would burn yourself. They had covers for them we referred to as Donkey Dicks.

    The problem caused by the asymmetric warfare is they just need one person to get inside the Comm Compound to blow it up. Or as today’s warfare dictates, one drone to get through, we saw that recently in Syria.

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