Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Cooper
COUPEVILLE, Wash. - Soldiers assigned to 51st Signal Battalion, Charlie Company, utilized Outlying Field (OLF) Coupeville for a communications exercise in cooperation with Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), March 30.
Charlie Company used OLF Coupeville to test their troposcatter spherical system over a body of water.
“We’re testing our troposcatter equipment in a different environment,” said Army 1st Sgt. Juan Otero. “We’ve already tried it over the desert, we’ve tried it over the mountains and now we’re trying it over a body of water.”
The system uses microwave radio signals over short distances for communication.
“It shoots radio signals up at the sky and it bounces off the troposphere and scatters,” said Army 1st Sgt. Larry Jones. “On the distant end there is another system exactly like it receiving that signal.”
The Army trains with their communication equipment to be timely and efficient with their gear.
“We’ve exercised many of our key tasks in order to ensure our unit’s readiness in order to move on orders,” said Capt. Frank Guizar, company commander. “There’s a timeline that we have to meet in order to have our communication systems up, operational, and pulling services.”
Charlie Company practices this type of mission to be ready in any situation that might arise.
“This particular exercise has a theme of humanitarian relief in the event of a disaster,” said Guizar. “As a military entity we have multiple services beyond just the combat type.”
The company expressed the importance of working together with the Navy for overall effectiveness.
“We’re all under the same umbrella of the Department of Defense and under any circumstance, whether it’s a wartime mission or a humanitarian relief mission, we’re going to work together,” said Guizar. “We’re designed to provide different services and assets and all of those assets tie in together.”
The exercise strengthened the relationship between the two branches as they train to execute their duties.
“We’re here to work together, tie into each other and support one another in order to accomplish the overall mission of taking care of the American people,” said Guizar.