U.S. soldiers get confined space safety training in S. Korea.Soldiers from 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion and 36th Signal Battalion came together for three days to participate in confined space training at Camp Humphrey, near Pyeongtaek, South Korea Sept. 27.

"Confined space training in a manhole with carbon monoxide gas can be dangerous," said Staff Sgt. Damon Young, 293rd Signal Company, 36th Signal Battalion. "That's why we also brought professional civilians along for support."

A communication backbone

The 36th Signal Battalion has been trying to establish a new program tentatively called Fiber/Cable University, to teach soldiers in relevant units confined space safety procedures and the use of fiber optics and copper technology, said Young.

The three day training was a part of this initiative.

"We taught soldiers how to splice fiber optics, put on connectors, and the use of manholes in the duct system," said Young, a native of New York. This training is particularly important as fiber optics is one of the communication backbones of Korea.

Much more fun

The training provided soldiers a unique experience of going down in a manhole.

"Unlike many fellow soldiers here, I have been to a number of similar classes previously, but they were rather boring," said Spc. Robin Williams, a native of Atlanta, Ga., and member of 501st Signal Company. "This training was much more fun as it enabled active participation on top of classroom-type training, and I am sure that most trainees share my view."

Utilizing his 17 years of experience in cable installation and maintenance, Young delivered a safe and fun experience while successfully executing this training course.

"I try to teach not just the job, but life," said Young. "I am glad to see that my efforts paid off and that the soldiers were very opened and motivated throughout the training."