Sembach Kaserne gets communication upgrade

November 23.2011
By Elizabeth Casebeer, U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg

HEIDELBERG, Germany — A $7.1 million voice and data infrastructure project to upgrade communication capabilities began recently at Sembach Kaserne.

In early November, Denise Miller, deputy to the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern commander, took part in project’s groundbreaking ceremony. The upgrade should be complete by early 2013.

“This project will bring Sembach into the future with state of the art communication infrastructure to meet the growing demands for our future tenants,” Miller said.

The Installation, Information and Infrastructure Modernization Program, or I3MP, will improve and upgrade communication infrastructure for 2,500 personnel in 67 buildings, said Frank Waitt, Sembach’s communications officer.

The Department of Defense requires installations to now use “voice over internet protocol,” or VIOP, replacing the use of digital switches, Waitt said.

“The current technology determined what network and communicator devices can be put on DOD networks. The advantages [of VOIP include the] ability to send video over the phone lines,” which helps enhance connectivity between units deployed and their rear detachments, Waitt said.

About 15 miles of copper and fiber cables must be buried, so there will be some intermittent traffic disruption until the project is completed. U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern will keep community members updated on interruptions as they arise, Waitt said.

According to its mission statement, I3MP procures, engineers, installs and upgrades the capacity and reliability of voice and data infrastructure, in order to enable mission command in U.S. Army Europe.

In addition, the updated technology, contracted by AT&T Inc., will support installation communications during readiness, training and mobilization for sustaining bases and for tactical and strategic systems that operate within the confines of the installation.

“[This project] will position Sembach for the current standard and for the future,” Waitt said.