High Frequency (HF) Global Communications System (HFGCS)
The High Frequency (HF) Global Communications System (HFGCS) supports war plans and operational requirements for the following organizations: White House Communications Agency (WHCA), Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Air Combat Command (ACC), AF Air Intelligence Agency (AIA), Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), and Air Weather Service (AWS).
The USAF High-Power High Frequency (HF) network is composed of systems greater than 1 kw of transmission power. The operational frequency band is 2 to 30 MHz and includes the following systems deloyed in 14 worldwide locations:
- Scope Pattern (>>50s) - 3 kw
- Scope Control (>>50s) - 10 kw
- Scope Signal III (>>80s) - 10 kw
- Scope Command (>>90s) - 4 kw
A HFGCS station consists of 3 sites: Transmitter, Receiver, and Control including station infrastructure of antennas and feedlines, and inter-site communications, and other support systems. Also considered to be part of the system are the operators and maintainers, logistics support and the training system.
SCOPE Command, a program of the High Frequency Global Communication System (HFGCS) System program office (SPO), is an upgrade and modernization program that will upgrade 14 high frequency (HF) ground stations worldwide to support four unique missions:
- United States Air Force (USAF) Global - Supports a wide range of users by providing air-ground-air, ship-to-shore, broadcast, and Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) capability to various DoD customers.
- Mystic Star - Provides HF communications for the President, Vice-President, cabinet members, and other senior government and military officials while aboard Special Air Mission aircraft.
- SITFAA - A Spanish/English/Portuguese language network supporting North, Central, and South American Air Force users in 18 countries. Provides voice and data HF links.
- DCS HF entry - Provides HF communications services for tactical units in areas of the world where DCS connectivity is unavailable or insufficient.
The present US Air Force High Power, High Frequency Radio system installed during the 1960s and 1970s is becoming logistically unsupportable. The SCOPE (System Capable Of Planned Expansion) Command is a program for modernizing the current SCOPE Control, SCOPE Pattern, and SCOPE Signal III radio systems. SCOPE Command will replace older HF radios and associated control equipment using state of the art commercial off the shelf / non-developmental items, and the latest computerized control tecniques.
The SCOPE Command HF radio system will function as totally integrated HF radio equipment. The 14 ground stations will allow remote or local operator selection of operating frequencies, sideband selection, transmitter power, antenna selection, and azimuth selection for directional antennas, half or full duplex operation, and initiation of an Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) sequence.
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