Comms in Telic

#1
THE COMMAND OF BRITISH LAND FORCES IN IRAQ, MARCH-MAY 2003

CIS

On Operation TELIC, the Clansman radio system struggled, but coped. ‘Patron was
inconsistent, Brent was overloaded, and most calls on Ptarmigan were weak and
broken. The level of battlefield digitization was patchy and inconsistent, whilst the
need for voice communications remained strongly apparent. Battlefield digitization was
extremely limited. It had two major weaknesses: a lack of connectivity and the need for
uninterrupted power supplies. BOWMAN radio, which will replace Clansman, is eagerly
awaited. However, no case of critical loss of communications was noted. Systems seem
to have worked, and current expectations appear to challenge the laws of physics.
Expectations are often based on experience of static HQs using terrestrial landline or
even fibre optic cables, which are simply not available in mobile operations. US
experience stressed the value of satellite-based communications to low levels of
command, but even then found that video teleconferencing (VTC) had to be limited
because of excessive use of bandwidth. In general it seems that traffic invariably
expands to fill the available bandwidth, not least because of the adoption of highbandwidth
systems such as VTC. Technical breakthroughs have been promised for
decades, but do not appear to occur despite the introduction of much more technology
and the complexity it brings. If anything the evidence is that headquarters have become larger and less responsive. High bandwidth systems may have contributed to that.
Information and bandwidth management will be critical aspects of digitization.
33. IT was deployed on British Army combat operations for the first time during
Operation GRANBY in 1990-1, and huge progress has been made since then. Modern
HQs could probably not function without it, but the progress of digitization is uneven.
Relatively little IT exists at unit or battlegroup levels, and some aspects such as artillery
and air defence have attracted more digitization than, say, logistics or battlefield
engineering. Most IT systems are functionally ‘stovepiped’. For example, artillery CIS
can operate up and down the chain of command, but cannot interoperate with other
battlefield functions.
34. One US battlefield IT system, deployed across the Coalition, had a marked impact.
The Blue Force Tracker (BFT) automatically reported the location of all units equipped
with transmitters to all HQs having a BFT monitor. For the British land contingent this
typically meant transmitters at unit level and monitors at formation level. A screen shot
of BFT is shown at Figure 3. Experience of BFT was mixed. High-level HQs (at corps
level and above) were generally more in favour of it than units and low-level HQs. It did
not provide sufficient detail to be a significant factor in avoiding fratricide. It displayed
Coalition unit locations very accurately, but Iraqi unit locations were only as good as the
most recent intelligence. Often this was very good; at times reports were badly out of
date. One British HQ reported that the most important use of BFT was to display the
location of US forces theatre-wide, providing a broad situation report. It seems likely
that as more elements are issued with such systems, their perceived effectiveness will
increase.
 
#3
This blue force identifier wotsit sounds like the SSR system used in aircraft

does it work via gps/satcomm or some sort of interogater jobbie ?
 
#5
Blue Force Tracker (as it is coloquially known) is primarily a trunk system to provide situation awareness to all networked units. As the US discovered, it needs a constellation of satellites to keep everyone 'clued up'.

Bowman is designed to be a true 'tactical internet' which relies on VHF/HF/HCDR connectivity via DDNS to keep everyone roaming and regrouping. As a nifty sideshow, it will also facilitate the transport of positional information around the network, which already works jolly well - and I'm a cynic.

We will be able to 'share' information with BFT-equipped Fmns and units via an interface called CBFSA - Coalition Blue Force Situational Awareness - which is also working jolly well right now.

People often say we should have bought the US solution - well, we don't have the kit, we don't have the money, and we don't have a tradition of fighting 'hands off' and allowing technology to solve all our problems either. :D
 
#6
Fair one but given that for example ALL the US Strykers have it. They know to brick/section level where everybody else is, on a map down to 8m's.

I will never understand why we have such use of VTC. Its for meeting for those twots who think its important to see each other.

Remember in Bos 95/96. Great the Boss man's chatting away saying" And here you see X,Y or Z being blown up". Great except he was the only fukker with a working TV. It and it was enough to hear that bridge ZXT at grid 1234567 was blown.

Brent overloaded. - why use it if Ptarmigan was there?. If it was overloaded weel buy more SPAM TACSATS.
 
#7
Old_Bloke - good call, but the FCBC2 fit into Stryker was extremely unpopular with virtually everyone, as it was in M2/M3 as well. The fighting compartment of any vehicle is cramped enough IMHO, as I'm shure you know. :D
 
#8
old_bloke said:
Fair one but given that for example ALL the US Strykers have it. They know to brick/section level where everybody else is, on a map down to 8m's.

I will never understand why we have such use of VTC. Its for meeting for those twots who think its important to see each other.

Remember in Bos 95/96. Great the Boss man's chatting away saying" And here you see X,Y or Z being blown up". Great except he was the only fukker with a working TV. It and it was enough to hear that bridge ZXT at grid 1234567 was blown.

Brent overloaded. - why use it if Ptarmigan was there?. If it was overloaded weel buy more SPAM TACSATS.
Are you endorsing Ptarmigan or condemming Brent ? :lol:
 
#15
Patron was
inconsistent, Brent was overloaded, and most calls on Ptarmigan were weak and
broken
Ok lets get straight to the point.

PATRON was fine, it is after all a simple PABX. It worked very well within its own level. However what was shaky was the link back to the Military backbone. The RLI etc is where the problem is. However you cant control "certain" things ya know so expect certain problems at certain times of the day. Another point often overlooked is the trunks in to where calls are routed. Lets take a 1* setup, add to that lots of 2 * about and think for a moment on who they may be calling? Thats right only so many calls get in and out (bothways) in the UK and at each location (calls could not be routed locally i.e site to site it is not how the system works) so a little perspective is required here.

BRENT - Yes overlooked maybe but only in the short term as SYNERGY brought in ISDN. If you want BRENT then the OSCA dets will require upgrading and then so will your bandwidth requirements... doesnt look so appealling now does it? especially when you have PATRON over the SLI (SECURE Voice) combined with JOCS so again, a little perspective is required.

What is BRENT. Simply put is an ISDN Handset that gives you SECURE voice/data over a INSECURE ISDN line. Remember kids you need an ISDN fitted switch with your Det!

Ptarmigan, not really my bag but it was functional. But it is serving a function way past its designed role so excect problems. Again VTC, a heavy bandwidth application running over a small bandwidth trunk "HARRO!!" So for the 3rd time a little perspective.

BOWMAN wasnt ready end of story.

The Forces deployed, comms were laid out and in the HQ enviroment they served their purpose, JOB DONE!!


However, no case of critical loss of communications was noted. Systems seem
to have worked, and current expectations appear to challenge the laws of physics.
Thanks to the hard work and skillsets of the Signals...amazing sounded like a pat on the back and rightly so, much deserved and dont let anyone tell you different.

Expectations are often based on experience of static HQs using terrestrial landline or
even fibre optic cables, which are simply not available in mobile operations.
Yes but you missed the point in that when a HQ become static its role is different in that it is fully functional and focused differently from manouverist tactics, your comparing chalk with cheese

So what is the point of that little essay???
 
#17
polar69 said:
Yes but at least its green with wiggly amps and stuff, that Brent looks like it came out of the Office


( spot the pun )
Gareth I don't get it. :p

p.s. most of my dets are deploy in white mini buses 8O
 

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