Military


Naval Radio Transmitter Facility Aguada
Naval Radio Transmitter, Isabella
Naval Radio Receiever, Salinas
18o23'N 67o11'W

The Naval Radio Transmitter Facility Aguada, Puerto Rico, apparently consists of three locations: the primary 330 acre site in Aguada County; the Naval Radio Receiever at a 242 acre site in Salinas County; and the Naval Radio Transmitter at a 408 acre site in Isabela County.

The Fixed Very Low Frequency [FVLF] Site Upgrades program maintains and upgrades antennas and transmitters at the FVLF sites. the Transmitter Keep-Alive Program (TKAP)/Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) has been completed at Jim Creek, Lualualei, Cutler FVLF, and Aguada, PR. The SLEP improvements includes switchgear, circuit breakers, solid state Intermediate Power Amplifiers (IPAs) and pre-IPAs, assorted electrical components, and updated technical manuals. The AN/FRT-95(A) program will provide four 250 kW solid state LF transmitters. Sites planned to receive the new LF transmitters are: Aguada, PR; Keflavik, Iceland; Awase, Okinawa; and Sigonella, Italy. The LF solid state transmitter upgrades improve area coverage in the Northern Atlantic and Northern Pacific regions. Testing of the first AN/FRT-95 (A) solid state LF transmitter was successfully completed at the Aguada, PR transmitter site. The AN/FRT-95(A) transmitter installation and antenna upgrades at Iceland were completed in FY95 while those at Awase, Okinawa were completed in early FY98.

Aguada transmits at a frequency of 28.500 kilohertz. Morse code is seldom, if ever, heard on the VLF band now, although it was once the only mode in use. The current mode at Aguada is reportedly Minimum Shift Keying [MSK] which makes maximum use of transmitter power and frequency spectrum by using a +/-50 Hz shift to send a 200 Baud data stream.

NATO Interoperable Submarine Broadcast System (NISBS) program accomplishments in CY 94 included successfully completed installation and testing at NCS HE Holt, Australia. The site is now operational, and the RAN channel of information is completely independent from U.S. channels. Successfully installed and tested NISBS at Naval Radiating Station Aguada, Puerto Rico. NRaD delivered NISBS Software Version 2.2 software, provided training, and participated in site validation testing and training. Messages were generated in CONUS, transmitted to Puerto Rico, and retransmitted VLF and OFF-THE-AIR monitored back in CONUS. The site is now operational. The site can retransmit three channels of U.S. information and one channel of NATO STANAG 5030 information simultaneously.

On May 7, 1999 Space & Naval Warfare Systems Center awarded Continental Electronics Corporation, Dallas, an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity, Cost-Plus-Incentive-Fee type contract with an estimated amount of $5,626,886 to provide upgrades, modifications, engineering support, on-site technical services, material procurement and maintenance to extend the life of the Very Low Frequency Fixed Submarine Broadcast System sites at Cutler, Maine, Arlington (Jim Creek), Wash., Lualualei, Hawaii, Exmouth, Australia and Aguada, Puerto Rico. The scope of work includes manufacturing, assembly, integration, installation and testing. Place of performance will be the contractor's facility in Dallas, and the five Navy sites. Period of performance for the base period shall commence May 14, 1999 through September 30, 1999. This contract contains option line items, which, if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to $34,529,696 (total dollar amount including options).

VLF Digitial Information Network/Enhanced System [VERDIN/EVS] is a legacy system that provides shore-to-submarine communications for subs operating at moderate depths and speeds. It is installed on submarines and TACAMO aircraft. On shore, it is located at all Fixed Very Low Frequency (FVLF) sites, off-the-air monitor systems and TACAMO communications centers. The VERDIN/EVS receiver will be replaced by SLVR.

Called "La Villa de Sotomayor", Aguada was founded in 1592 by Cristóbal de Sotomayor. It is popularly held that Christopher Columbus landed in Aguada when he discovered Puerto Rico in November, 1493. Aguadilla also claims to be the place where Columbus landed. There is no specific historical proof of that claim. On the other hand in 1737, the King of Spain declared that all mail on route to Venezuela and other South America countries from Puerto Rico must exit from Aguada's ports, leading to the area's economic growth.



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