CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — An important cornerstone of Project Convergence experimentation is making sure all the services, as well as our multinational partners, can effectively communicate on the battlefield.
To that end, as PC22 experimentation began, the Australian Army’s 1st Combat Signal Regiment worked with the U.S. Army’s 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB) to set up and communicate with the Terrestrial Transmission Line of Sight Radio. The Australian Regiment, based in Holtze, Northern Territory, Australia; and the U.S. Army Battalion, based at Fort Bliss, Texas, will spend several weeks experimenting together on Camp Pendleton, California, as part of PC22. Establishing communications systems to effectively transmit information between All-Service and Multinational forces is imperative for successful command and control on the modern battlefield.
“I’m really excited to be here,” said Spc. Andrew Zorc, a signal support specialist assigned to the 86th ESB. “I think PC22 is vital to our mission because we need to ensure our systems integrate and we can work well with our allies.”
The goal for the signal units was to set up satellite equipment within a specified duration of time. The American and Australian units verified their equipment’s line of sight with each partner force and ensured that the systems could communicate effectively regardless of variances between their configurations.
“Rapid deployment of both systems is critical to mission success,” Zorc said. “We test each step of the process to make sure there are no hiccups later. We see what can go wrong so that we’re prepared.”
The U.S Army’s 86th ESB is typically tasked with traveling in support of Army, All-Service, and Multinational forces to establish their signal communications and troubleshoot their connectivity. They have worked alongside the U.S. National Guard in several different Defense Support of Civil Authority missions to provide support after national disasters and power outages.
“My role is to set up the Joint Network Node hub of multiple nodes to be able to establish communication with our partners,” Zorc said.
The initial experimentation during the PC22 mission provided positive results. Time goals for equipment setup and line of sight verification were met, and further testing will continue to provide more information about system connection and data transmission.
“This week we made sure our systems can see each other and we will test communication next,” Zorc said. “We test one step at a time.”
The experiment’s ultimate goal is to learn how to use specific systems to communicate with Multinational partners, as well as, across all branches of the U.S Armed Forces. Joining efforts with the U.S Marines, the 86th ESB was able to run fiber lines from their network access points to the testing site for equipment setup.
“We showed up days prior to the event to ensure we had the right location and technology with help from the Marines,” said Spc. Franklin Fuller, an information technology specialist assigned to the 86th ESB.
The U.S. Army continues to test their capabilities on how to build all-service networks that multinational partners can access and communicate through using various platforms and systems during PC22.