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Improved Guardrail V

The Improved Guardrail V system was a product improvement over the previous Guardrail V system. The AN/USD-9A Special Purpose Detecting System remained a core component of the system. Improved Guardrail V had approximately an order of magnitude increased direction finding throughput and computer capacity over its predecessor. Its ability to search out targets of interest and automatically locate them was a key upgrade. Use of the Interoperable Data Link and the common fast direction finding system provided interopability with the US Air Force. The ability to get higher altitudes and a longer range data link gave the system greater coverage and the pilots no longer needed to wear oxygen masks during the mission.

Improved Guardrail V was a CONUS based communications intelligence (COMINT) system that was part of the Army's worldwide electronic warfare forces. It provided airborne, stand-off collection and location of tactical communications signals. Redeployment of Improved Guardrail V system needed to have advance preparations or at least an advanced party to consider the best location and to insure that line of site to the planned mission flight tracks had been properly considered. Although the system had organic support, it required an Integrated Processing Facility installation area with tracker line of sight to the flight tracks and a landing strip within range of the planned mission flight tracks.

A pre-planned order of entry to the new site would be necessary to insure proper set-up. The order of march for convoy should be based on the order of entry if possible. The actual order of arrival could be driven by considerations that could vary from sited to site. The suggested order was IPF vans 1, 2, 3, 4, trackers, power distribution system, maintenance, -189 van, -190 van, and the auxiliary ground equipment van. Items to support such a move included tractors, the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical protection filters, camouflage, spares, consumables, such as tapes, etc, and rations, water, fuel, ammo etc.

Mission initialization set up the parameters that were standard for a mission, or were peculiar to the mission or to the locality. These included bringing the computer up, entering the IPF location, crypto keying, setting of communications frequencies, entering up to 16 areas of interest, establishing search scenarios, and entry of applicable archived a-priori data etc. IPF pre-mission test was part of initialization if that had not been previously done (this was particularly important if the system had been fully shut down.)

Numerous details were involved for mission implementation. These included entering the IPF coordinates into the computer, tracker locations/bore sighting, entering mission maps into the computer, and reviewing mission tasking, personnel briefings, mission scheduling, flight operations, coordinating and establishing of mission flight track profiles, defining of mission objectives/tasking, identification of targeted threats, etc. A correct understanding of the mission area and its terrain, insuring link line of sight, along with the priorities for optimization of system performance, is essential to planning of system initialization and location of flight orbits that will insure target field of view.

A specific procedure had to be followed during mission shut down in order to safely summarize the mission data, store it in archives, or retain it in files as a-priori data for the next mission. To avoid loss of data it was important to insure an orderly shut down of the computer and data link. Debriefing of operator and maintenance personnel was part of the mission shut down procedure. Proper attention would be given to record any problems that might have occurred during the mission. The conclusion of a day's mission activity would be followed up immediately with maintenance required to resolve any problems that might have occurred during the mission. Normally the computer equipment and climate control system would be left running for the next mission. Normally operator training and off-line analysis work occurs between missions.




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