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Air Force News

New communications system means 'portable' command and control for nuclear forces

Released: 29 Feb 2000

Air Force News Photo
The newly fielded Single Channel Anti-jam Man Portable terminal -- called SCAMP -- communications system dramatically expands survivable command and control of U.S. nuclear forces. (Courtesy photo)

by Navy Journalist 1st Class Michael J. Meridith
United States Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFPN) -- The recent employment of new communications technology has expanded the ability of U.S. Strategic Command to assure command and control of the nation's nuclear fo rces.

The Single Channel Anti-jam Man Portable terminal is a secure, easily transportable communications system that allows strategic forces to communicate, even after a nuclear conflict has begun. A fixed-site configuration, specifically designed for USSTRATCOM, went operational Jan. 31 at 15 bomber, reconnaissance and tanker bases. Another 14 fixed-site terminals are slated for additional air refueling wings later this year. The transportable SCAMP will also be sent to strategic mobile teams this year.

Air Force Lt. Col. Kirk H. Pridell, who helped shape the system's strategic requirements, said SCAMP has all but revolutionized command and control of strategic forces. "SCAMP provides the final linkage between our command centers, the shooters, and mobile support teams," said Pridell. "This is the first time these command posts have had a truly survivable communications capability."

According to Pridell, distributing the system to the strategic task forces was a collaborative effort bringing together technical experts from USSTRATCOM, the Electronic Systems Center, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, the Army Procurement Office and Rockwell Collins.

The four-year effort did more than create an efficient communication system -- the SCAMP's fixed-site configuration also introduced cost savings exceeding $40 million over its predecessor, the antiquated Ground Wave Emergency Network system. The fixed-site GWEN system was judged obsolete and shut down nearly two years ago.

"GWEN was becoming increasingly expensive to operate. SCAMP has given us newer technology, better capabilities, and survivability. This is a significant accomplishment and a real success story."

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