20-21 Dec, 2d Bde, 7th Inf Div (L), deployed to Panama and was given an AO
ranging west from the Panama Canal to the Costa Rican border, an area of over
14,000 square miles. Operations were characterized by numerous widely dispersed
company and platoon-sized units on search and secure missions. This required
long-range secure communications for command and control. The only reliable
and workable secure means of command and control communications for the 2d
Bde was the single-channel TACSAT radio.
communications technology allowed in-country, reinforcing, and follow-on forces
to plan and constantly update operational status often while en route. The
multitude of communications systems were integrated by several key nodes connecting
joint forces as well as Army units with different systems and capabilities.
Probably the two most significant elements of the network were the Airborne
Command and Control Center (ABCCC) and the 1109th Sig Bde's extensive fixed
sites in Panama. Also, the state-of-the-art satellite and multichannel unit
radios provided essential command and control links.
radios are invaluable to units dispersed over extended distances.
IIIs with facsimile devices allow units to send secure communications, including
overlays, photos and documents, in a matter of minutes rather than hours over
existing phone lines. This also helps to reduce traffic on other nets.
batteries at half the weight, better power retention and longer life are worth
the additional cost.
antennas for aircraft remain a high demand item, and must be planned for and
requested well in advance.
Secure Enroute Communications Package (SECOMP) was critical for monitoring
status because of the ice storm at Ft. Bragg which delayed a portion of the
Squad Radio worked well, especially in MOUT. Minor criticisms noted the audio
signal for low battery and other functions which jeopardized position security
and the need for an ear piece and whisper mike.
Walkie-Talkies (Bricks) were used by several units to augment their administrative
communications. Brick radios were used for perimeter security, communications
within the logistical areas and MOUT.
of Contents, Volume III
Protection and Individual Equipment
Learned - Logistics & Equipment: Medical
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list