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281st Combat Communications Group [281st CCG]

The 281st Combat Communications Group is the USAF Component of the Tactical Contingency Communications Equipment - Central Area (TCCE-CA) in support of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM).

The Federal peacetime mission of the 263rd CBCS, 282nd CBCS and 283rd CBCS is to install, operate, and maintain combat ready Unit Type Codes (UTCs) to support the Air Force Portion of the Tactical Contingency Communications Element - Central Area (TCCE-CA) mission. Specifically, the 282nd CBCS (of Rhode Island) support the Major Node and one Minor Node for the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR). The 263rd CBCS (North Carolina) and 283rd CBCS (Georgia) will support 2 Minor Nodes each.

TCCE-CA is a U.S. Central Command controlled communications asset that consists of twelve communication nodes. Six are operated by the U.S. Army's 11th Signal Brigade and six are operated by teh Air National Guard's 281st Combat Communications Group and its three squadrons. The Rhode Island Air National Guard's 281st Combat Communications Group integrats these Defense Information Systems Network telecommunication services to tactical joint customers.

These services include secure and non-secure Defense Switch-ing Network telephone services, unclassified and classifiedInternet, email services, video teleconferencing, and text mes-saging services. The group is responsible for establishing thesestateside based telecommunications services in the forward de-ployed theater of operation.

The assets of the 263rd CBCS, 282nd CBCS, and 283rd CBCS will support USCENTCOM sponsored deployments during exercises, crisis/contingency operations, and wartime in accordance with National Command Authority directives and existing laws. USCINCCENT has first priority for exercise, contingency, and wartime employment of the assets. During peacetime these CONUS-based assets will be available for tasking under the provisions of CJCS MOP 3. The Federal peace time mission of the 118th CBCS is to provide initial communications for United States Air Force Europe (USAFE). Although it has a USAFE initial beddown mission, the 118th often supports the communication needs of USNAVCENT and may soon undergo a conversion to the TCCE-CA mission as well.

The mission equipped the 281 CCG with a full inventory of state-of-the art, digital communications equipment, including satellite terminals, wideband terminals, high frequency radios, tactical secure data systems and electronic telephone and message switches. This equipment includes its own power generators, vehicles, spare parts, and test equipment.

In conjunction with the Federal mission, the units of the 281CCG have a State mission to be organized, equipped, and trained to function effectively in the protection of life, property and the preservation of peace, order, and public safety under competent orders of State authorities.

Members from all three squadrons of the 281st Combat Communications Group deployed to Cairo West Air Base, Egypt, to provide support to Exercise Bright Star 01/02 in late 2001.

The 283rd Combat Communications Squadron was the group's lead squadron for Bright Star, with augmentees fromthe 282nd CBCS from Rhode Island and the 263rd CBCS from Badin, N.C. The 282nd and 263rd rotated into Cairo West to take over the reserve commitment for the remaining month of the exercise.

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