NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. - The US Army’s 51st Expeditionary Signal Battalion ( 51st ESB) from Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) will conduct a Field Training Evaluation at NAS Whidbey Island’s Outlying Landing Field (OLF), Coupeville, Wash., from March 28-April 1, 2016.
The purpose of this training event is to ensure the battalion’s Troposcatter (TROPO) communication system team remains ready to rapidly assist civilian authorities in support of potential natural disasters worldwide. Sailors from NAS Whidbey Island’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10’s Mobile Tactical Operations Center 12 (MTOC) will jointly train with the 51st ESB team as Wing 10 MTOC personnel use similar mobile systems while deployed overseas.
The Army’s 51st ESB can provide secure and non-secure voice, data, and video communications in support of significant or catastrophic events to enable communication between first responders, government agencies, Army units, combatant commanders, joint, intergovernmental, interagency, and multinational forces command and control.
TROPO systems broadcast communication signals that bounce off the troposphere layer of the atmosphere instead of using a satellite, allowing the signal to travel over terrestrial obstructions such as mountains. TROPO communications offer greater distance, reliability, and bandwidth than the more common line-of-sight communications systems.
Training at NAS Whidbey Island’s OLF will provide a challenging and realistic environment that will enable members of the 51st ESB the opportunity to enhance the readiness of TROPO soldiers, equipment, movement and signal readiness. As a result, TROPO communication teams will be better prepared to accomplish their mission and assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant or catastrophic event.