MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 conducted training and readiness
exercises at Camp Davis and Outlying Landing Field Atlantic, North Carolina, Aug.10-20.
50 Marines from Alpha Company and Bravo Company with MWCS-28 participated in
the refresher course training. Training and readiness exercises are conducted
approximately three times per year for tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel
equipment-related military occupational specialties in the squadron.
“We are reiterating how to use the Global
Positioning System and how to plan an operation using the tropospheric scatter radio
multi-channel equipment,” said Sgt. Nathaniel Smith, a tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel equipment operator
with MWCS-28. “We are going over all the basic knowledge necessary
to carry out the mission of being an AN/TRC-170 (Tropospheric
Scatter Microwave Radio Terminal) operator.”
The tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel
equipment operator is trained to install, operate and maintain the AN/TRC-170.
According to Smith, this equipment is not used all
the time, so troubleshooting is a common process beneficial to operators who
are new to the military
occupational specialty so they can gain experience with the
Marines who are trained on the
operation of the platform can use the AN/TRC-170 to provide scatter-links up to
100 miles in range between two different locations.
“It is basically bulk encrypting,” said Smith.
“Large amounts of data are being transmitted through the troposphere.”
According to Master Sgt. David Eisenhower, the operations
chief for Alpha Company, the Marines conducted super high frequency microwave
transmission communication and linking with counterparts at Atlantic Field.
“Marines will park the transmitter and receiver
based on a ten-digit map grid,” said Eisenhower. “They will then unpack the antenna
sets, stand them up and put dishes together. The antennas are grounded and
anchored so they do not move.”
Waveguides, which are communication paths between radios,
trucks and antennas are connected with established power through generators,
“We will power the two end devices and fire a beam utilizing
maintenance support,” said Eisenhower. “The Marines will do ‘sweeping,’ which
will connect the beams in the troposphere. A Marine will be in the truck
letting the Marine manning the antenna know the signal strength of the beam
while they are sweeping, looking for a beam that is about the width of a
quarter. It is a lot like playing battleship.”
When the beams connect, they scatter, and through
that beam there will be data electrons that pass through the beam which allows
the Marines to extend the network to places that they could not see with line
of sight, explained Eisenhower.
“Marines are out here weathering the storm and being
in the field doing what they do and we love it,” said Eisenhower.