"CAMSLANT Chesapeake, this is CAMSPAC Point Reyes. We have you LIMA CHARLIE." That was the response from Communication Area Master Station Pacific (CAMSPAC) to a radio check request from its counterpart on the Atlantic coast, CAMSLANT, as the Deepwater program demonstrated a new high frequency automatic link establishment (HF-ALE) capability delivered to the Coast Guard. "LIMA CHARLIE" means loud and clear.
The HF-ALE system automatically conducts a scan of pre-defined frequencies and establishes a communication circuit with the best link quality, thus reducing the operator workload of manually searching for the best frequency. This upgrade enables the CAMS to provide HF-ALE voice and data communications with new Deepwater cutter and air assets as they are delivered to the Coast Guard.
"There is no question that the addition of this new capability will
improve CAMSLANT's ability to deliver HF command and control services to
the fleet well into the future," said Cmdr. Steven Godfrey, CAMSLANT
Along with the HF-ALE system, the upgrade replaced six 30-year-old tube style HF transmitters with new solid state high-powered HF transmitters. The old transmitters had become difficult to maintain and spare part costs had skyrocketed more than 500 percent in the last five years. The new transmitters require less cooling and floor space and are more reliable and less expensive to maintain.
The upgrade also provided an Automated Communication Resource Manager (ACRM). ACRM is a system that provides control of communication equipment to establish voice and data communications. This iteration of ACRM provides control of the new HF transmitters and will be upgraded in the future to provide control of new MILSATCOM radios and other communication equipment.
Deepwater has now delivered two of three planned upgrades to CAMSLANT and CAMSPAC located in Chesapeake, Va., and Point Reyes, Calif., respectively. The first upgrade - completed in September 2003 - provided both stations with new internet protocol services which improve deployed cutters' access to both classified and unclassified data networks for tactical and administrative applications. Future Deepwater upgrades planned for the CAMS will provide more HF transmitters, Integrated Voice Communication Systems (IVCS), upgraded MILSATCOM radios, the Coast Guard Command & Control (CG-C2) system and upgrades to other communication and networking equipment.
On Oct. 6, the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) domain successfully demonstrated core Increment 1 capabilities across the Deepwater enterprise through a series of operational scenarios conducted in the Maritime Domain Awareness Center (MDAC).
A combination of production and development systems -- including those
for district command centers, the National Security Cutter, Maritime Patrol
Aircraft, 123-foot patrol boats and Communications Area Master Stations
-- was used in response to search and rescue, law enforcement, port security,
migrant interdiction and drug seizure missions.
"Everyone involved got a much better view of Increment 1 capabilities," said Capt. Gordon Weeks, C4ISR domain lead. "The team did a superb job."
In addition to Deepwater program members, Rear Adm. Ron Hewitt, U.S. Coast Guard Chief Information Officer, attended the demonstration along with members of his staff and representatives from the Coast Guard's operational community.
"C4ISR has been one of the major successes for Deepwater," said Rear Adm. Hewitt, "and the Coast Guard is committed to making it even more of a success because our future depends on it."