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The 311th Signal Command is moving from Ford Meade, Md., to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, to take over communications and network operations at Pacific Command. The move is an effort to streamline and consolidate efforts as part of the Army's ongoing transformation and realignment.

The 311th will become Pacom’s Theater Army Signal Command. In that capacity, they will have full responsibility for the Pacific LandWarNet, the strategic and tactical network for all installations and deployed forces in the region. This includes managing all network operations in the 4 million square mile theatre. The formal transfer of responsibility will occur Sept. 15.

The move will transform the 311th from a strategic Army Reserve unit, deploying only when activated, to a full-service, around-the-clock operation, said Lt. Col. Louis Leto, spokesman for the 311th.

The percentage of 311th headquarters employees who are there full time will increase from 10 percent to 55 percent when the transfer of responsibilities is complete, Leto said. He expects the unit to achieve an initial operating capability within a year.

About 225 employees will be located at Fort Shafter, a mix of active-duty, reserve and civilian positions. The unit will incorporate the 516th Signal Brigade, which is already at Fort Shafter, into its operations.

The 311th will keep about 40 employees at Fort Meade, and a contingent supporting the 8th Army in South Korea.

The command will look for innovative ways to use technology to accomplish the mission, Leto said. It is considering strategies such as teleworking and e-drilling and practicing maneuvers in cyberspace as ways to facilitate coordination among the command’s dispersed members, he said.

“This has never been done in the Army Reserve,” he added.

The 311th Signal Command has called Fort Meade home since 1996. In 1999, the unit practiced its role as Pacific Theater Army Signal Command when it served as the executive agent for the Grecian Firebolt exercise at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., according globalsecurity.org.

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