Armor & Mobility

MAR/APR 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Reliable, interoperability, efficient, mission modular, rugged... these are all buzz words critical to expeditionary command posts. The Army Capstone Concept describes, "the characteristics of the future Army and its initiative to transition the Army from one focused on winning two wars, to an expeditionary Army that does many things well." TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3 -0. LTG Michael Williamson, MILDEP ASA(ALT) and MG Dan Hughes PEO C3T coauthored an article and made the following statement, "Expeditionary is more than a buzzword. It encapsulates a different mindset: a force ready to be task-organized and deployed on short notice to austere locations and capable of conducting operation immediately upon arrival. This new paradigm is a substantial break from the way the Army has done business for the last decades-plus of war. It also has significant implications for the way we train and equip our forces - especially when it comes to how Soldiers communicate." LTG Williamson and MG Dan Hughes made important observations regarding communications. As expeditionary missions become the norm, it's important for leadership to continually examine how military forces are equipped. This article describes the challenges Soldiers face in setting up tactical radios in command posts and what they are doing to simplify the process. The information that follows was gathered and condensed after talking to several Soldiers assigned to combat, combat support and combat service support organizations during AUSA, NGAUS, AFCEA, National Guard conferences, and in direct discussions with Soldiers and their leadership while visiting military units. BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM (BCT) TACTICAL RADIOS The primary tactical radios used by BCT ground forces include: SINCGARS ASIP (VHF), PRC-117F/G (VHF/UHF), PRC-152 (VHF/UHF), PRC-148 (VHF/UHF), PRC-150 (HF) and PSC-5 (SATCOM). In the future, military forces will use the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) multi-band line of radio products. Fielding JTRS radios across the force will take several years. BCTs need to be trained and proficient in deployment and operation of their currently fielded tactical radios. Regardless of military occupational specialty, Soldiers must be able to quickly deploy their radios for conduct of operations. This is especially important in expeditionary environments characterized by dispersion of forces and fast moving operations. CHALLENGES SOLDIERS FACE INSTALLING TACTICAL RADIOS IN COMMAND POSTS (CP) The current method of installing tactical radios in CPs in support of expeditionary missions is inefficient. Soldiers use the same tactical radio installation kits and mounts designed for vehicles in the mid-1990s to set up communications on a table inside a CP. The current methods include: • Removing over 100 pounds of tactical radio vehicle Installation Kit (IK), mounting hardware and radio components and reassembling the equipment in the CP resulting in vehicles with no radios installed. This process is time consuming and requires using a 24VDC power supply to power the radio. • Ordering the tactical radio vehicle IK and mounting components via the logistics system and transporting the items separately in a transit case for installation in the CP. • Backing the unit vehicle into the CP and making the vehicle part of the CP. Operating the radios in the combat platforms requires the periodic starting of the vehicle to ensure the vehicle batteries are charged to maintain Tactical communications in an expeditionary environment are today, more than ever, operationally essential to how smaller, more mobile, U.S. military units maneuver the battlespace. By Anthony Tabler, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Perkins Technical Services Inc. Soldiers using the Perkins Technical Services, Inc. Power Supply Docking Station (PSDS) EXPEDITIONARY-TAILORED TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 20 | Armor & Mobility | March/April 2017 INDUSTRY PARTNER PTS, INC.

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