Poll

How many years from now do you expect that TCCCS will be incorporated into the Army at all levels?

1 year
0 (0%)
2 years
0 (0%)
3 years
0 (0%)
4 years
2 (15.4%)
5 or more
11 (84.6%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Voting closed: April 20, 2005, 15:38:27

Author Topic: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented  (Read 10680 times)

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Offline Radop

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TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« on: February 19, 2005, 13:38:27 »
TCCCS is still being introduced at some levels and all phases of TCCCS have yet to be implemented.  We have already eliminated OPCAP 2 and OPCAP 6 is on life support.  How long will it take until all are include in all army operations to the full capability of the system?  I believe it will take a fundamental change in thinking of the military brass before it will take hold and take off but that will take 5 or more years IMHO.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 13:44:49 »
It will be fully implemented just in time for it to turn obsolete and be replaced with something twice as archane as this one is. ;)
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Offline DaveK

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2005, 13:56:34 »
It's obsolete now.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2005, 22:07:54 »
The replacement for TCCCS? It'll be so light that you can fit a full rad truck into an assault pack with room for snacks, yet durable enough that you can use it for pounding nails, and simple enough that in a pinch, linemen could use it.

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2005, 23:08:53 »
I believe that TCCCs is our Achilles heel - and not ATOF, or the MGS (with apologies to my Regtl brother CFL).  We bought a finite number of systems, and yet the demand keeps increasing, and the production line cannot be started up ( without spending a gazillion dollars, unlessa the Hungarians buy it - so if you see one, be nice!). 

When it was purchased / originally fielded (and I am mostly speaking of vehicle installations), we did not have an installation in every veh - now we do, to support SAS etc, and we have more vehicles than when we started.

Last year I proposed a solution to the Army - take all TCCCS away from the reserves, and buy them a COTS system.  Nothing heard yet....

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2005, 23:19:16 »
What possible ends could taking TCCCS away from the reserves and replacing it with a COTS system achieve? Yes, more TCCCS for the regs, but another roadblock in the way of active deployment of reservists...

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2005, 23:28:12 »
What possible ends could taking TCCCS away from the reserves and replacing it with a COTS system achieve? Yes, more TCCCS for the regs, but another roadblock in the way of active deployment of reservists...

Not at all.  All pers do pre-deployment training - Reserves could learn TCCCS 101 then - or did you mean Comms Reserves? - I meant Militia should lose TCCCS...

No point in having shiny kit on the Armoury floor in North Battleford, if we have none in Afghanistan, is there...

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2005, 11:15:28 »
I don't know, while I agree that equipment should be placed where it's needed, I still think removing equipment and replacing it with lesser COTS items for the reserves sets a dangerous precedent... like the ridiculous rumors that they're going to be replacing our MLs with Cube Vans (Cube vans are great, but they're not a replacement for an ML... much as the MilCot is a great vehicle, but insanely overpriced, and not a replacement for the iltis...) I'd much rather see the military simply buy enough equipment to begin with...

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2005, 11:17:23 »
I'd much rather see the military simply buy enough equipment to begin with...

And we didn't buy enough TCCS, and can't make more, so that is not an option in this case.

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline DaveK

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2005, 15:21:12 »
PPCLI Guy,

You've just touched the surface of some of the problems with TCCCS.

The lack of equipment is felt across the CF as it seems there is not enough to go around once a BG is out the door.  The light Bn's were not even in the mix for dist because of the 10/90 concept during the fielding phase.  We have had to turn in a number of our man-packs in order to equip militia units.  Result? the thinning of kit allows everyone to be equally crappy at operating as there is not enough gear for training in a concentrated format.  Kit constantly shuffles around the Bdes just to satisfy basic PCF reqr.

Your other point: Make More. Well we don't want more.  While the radios are excellent, they are dated and were only replacements for the legacy kit.  Also they are proprietary, so swapping with another company's kit is impossible or really difficult at best. We need equipment that will enable us to be more network centric, interoperable with our allies (i.e. the US/UK) and faster at our decision making process.  The IRIS bearer system is rather outdated as well.  The process for replacement as you know is excruciatingly slow, and I think that the decision makers for comms eqpt are loosing sight of the capability we need vice the capability we needed 5 years ago.  The tactical secure cell phone was the best thing that TCCCS ever had, yet we scrapped that and went ahead with a microwave replacement for LTACS that has yet to work on operations.  Why, because we use cell phones and satcom.  TCCCS fielding of satcom is not for another few years, yet that is what we need now, no, yesterday, no, five years ago.

Solutions?

I wouldn't be offended if the whole thing went out the window to be replaced with equipment from our allies or a combo of ours and theirs.  The militia could be equipped much on the same basis, though I don't see interoperability with the reg f as a great factor.
Watch what the Brits end up doing with Bowman. We are not a big enough fish to waste money and resources on C4ISR (which is what we need) that we have to design from the ground up. We are falling behind network C3 at an alarming rate as it is now yet we still trundle toward the cliff because of a CR schedule.  If we started this process and defined the jeep in 1939 we would not have a working model until well after WWII. 
As a shooter, I would be interested in knowing what your opinion is on this.

Cheers

PS Yes I am Sig O for your friend W.E.


Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2005, 18:02:02 »
Dave K,

Scrap the whole thing?   :o  We have to figure out how to make it work, cus the appetite for another Comms Mega-Project is exactly nil.  I came to know waaaay more about TCCCS, LFC2IS, and CRs over the last two years, and I realise that

a) it is supposed to be a system of systems,
b) we have had some critical failures (Tactical Message thingie-hoobie),
c) we left some important pieces out,
d) no one asked the customer what they wanted (and the customer is the tactical comd, not the Sig O!!!),
e) the appetite for bandwidth is insatiable, and has already exceeded the capacity of the system,
f) no one makes 286 chips anymore ::)

What is the solution?  I really don't know.  I think we should start by coming clean with what the capabilities of the system as it stands right now are, rather than continuing to blow smoke based on stuff going on in certain labs.  Once we know what we can do, and the number of systems that we have (ie determine the limitations), then we can do an estimate.  Basically, we need to reverse engineer employment based on the resources available for deployment (sound familiar?).

Is this a good solution? NO  Is it workable? Probably.

Dave

PS - say Hi to your boss for me.

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Radop

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2005, 18:20:09 »
As much as I would like to agree with you, I think you have not given the system a fair shake.  I agree that we left out some major parts such as OPCAP 6 TLRCT which would have made it a much more robust system.  1 Bde is still way behind 2 Bde in deploying and utilizing TCCCS and we proved in Afghanistan the system works.  It does take a commitment by the operators to ensure the tac comd has been set up and is maintained to a high standard so that when he needs to use it, he can.  TMHS is a complicated system that we worked as designed in Afghanistan but the maintenance was far to high.  Outlook and other mail delivery systems are far more reliable and useable by people that is familiar to them as well.

Do I think there are problems with the system, Yes.  Do I think that pentium 1 chips are requiring upgrading, Yes.  I do think that the system has some untapped potential that needs to be exploited.  When I left Pet, we were talking about being able to video conference over the system.  I think that is a ways off yet but may be achievable.  We have plenty of bandwidth within the WAS but we don't have all the equipment or resourse that we need yet.
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Offline DaveK

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2005, 20:38:50 »
Radop

I agree that it does have some good capabilities and I have not spent all of my career in 1 Bde.  TMHS when running, is quite good.  In the end the kit doesn't matter, PI, PII P whatever; it's the message that counts.  If LCol X is still using voice to pass his orders, then the system is not running up to snuff.  If it can't move when he wants, another failing.  If it takes too long for Facility Controllers to correct problems, yet another. SAS is going to take that a long way...but the users must drive it, not us.  We can sit here and extol the technical virtues of our systems till we're blue in the fingers, the shooters must take ownership of something THEY want.

d) no one asked the customer what they wanted (and the customer is the tactical comd, not the Sig O!!!),

PPCLI Guy

Sir

Bang on the money there.  If it takes me four days to show your Ops O how to send simple email over IRIS, there's a problem.  The one principle of Signals that TCCCS is not: simple.  I believe it can be simplified.  The hardware is there, the software is out there.  They just have to be brought together under a logical STRATEGICALLY planned project.  Five hundred engineers at DLCSPM are not the answer.  You (Commanders) are. Grab it, play with it, break it.  We'll fix it they way you want.

The other thing is that the users must take ownership of the system.  Having a Sig Op at every turn when getting comms together for a BG or Bn or whatever, allows the users skirt their responsibility for their system. 

There is really no reason that a 031 cannot operate all the Sigs gear not required to connect higher.  Remember when you had to have basic comms to go on basic recce?  Not any more, and they pay for that every exercise.  Comms skills for 031's have gone from quite good in the mid 90's to quite bad in the mid 00's.  Why?  There has been no emphasis of comms training for the infantry.  IPSWQ is the hot course now.  Luckily our Bn was able to run our own basic comms twice this year and it will pay dividend for us in the future.

Just throwing this out there

Cheers

Dave

Offline Radop

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2005, 21:58:07 »
DaveK,

Agreed,

I agree with everything you said and I agreed with PPCLI Guy in para d.  The problem is convicing GDC and PMO TCCCS want to make it work to get contracts overseas.  They had us brief high level diplomats from Britain.  We were brutally honest with them but fair.  They seemed to be appreciative.  GDC on the other hand had us explain everything we brought up.  That was when they actually listened to us.  FQT and FQX they started realizing we new more of how to get the system to work than they did because we used it in the trucks with generators and encountered real live problems that they could not reproduce in their labs.

I know there are flaws in the system and a RAU to connect non-TCCCS radios into TCCCS and limiting those radios capabilities ie 138s LQA and AEL is just a waste of resources.  Like what was said earlier, I am not an engineer but I can discribe what we need.  It is the civies job to make it work.  Unfortunately, I can bring up all the problems I see and if Officers don't push what we want, we won't get it.

As for the infantry and other combat arm units loss of comms skills, that can also be explained by our inability to use the full system and answer in detail the questions they have.  Hopefully, the next few years will change that.  I am now at the Regiment and the amount of bad mouthing bde comms that go on their is just unprofessional.  A lot of them think that Satcomm is the only way that sig ops should communicate.  Some of our own people, ex-tel ops included, must get on the band waggon.
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Offline JayJay

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2005, 15:27:04 »
The biggest problem I have is the same as everyone else's.....WHERE IS THIS KIT!  My unit suffers because not only are we a western unit (we get everything last), we're a western reserve comms unit....so everything hits Edmonton and gets forgotten or something.  But you raised a valid point....why is this kit going to units who don't even know what it is and can't utilize it?  Whenever my unit wants to conduct a comms ex....we usually have to go to the BCRs to get radios, and that is just fundamentally wrong.  When I was on exercise and working out of 44 Field Engineer Sqn, their QM MCpl asked us to take a look at some radios they had gotten a few years ago.....THEY WERE STILL IN THEIR PACKAGING! They didn't even know what they were called, let alone how to use them.  Yes, I agree that EVERYONE should have a basic understanding of comms, comms is a backbone and without it all else could fail and every single soldier plays some role when it comes to communication, but if they aren't even using the kit and can't get on courses to learn how, pass it on to those who can utilize it until we can either figure out how to get more (if we even could without spending a gazillion dollars), or they learn how and can then have it back.  Reg force needs the kit....and so do all the comms units before all the other reserve units.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2005, 16:38:13 »
But you raised a valid point....why is this kit going to units who don't even know what it is and can't utilize it? Whenever my unit wants to conduct a comms ex....we usually have to go to the BCRs to get radios, and that is just fundamentally wrong.

 I hope your not suggesting that an armoured reconnaissance regiment doesn't need or deserve every radio they can get their hands on.
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Offline Radop

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2005, 18:09:36 »
Do they need more radios than a sigs unit though?  I realize that an armoured recce unit is only as good as the speed at which they can get info back to higher command.  If the sigs unit doesn't have radios or can't set up an RRB because of a lack of equipment, then that info is worthless until the comd gets it.  They have to strike the right combination between the out units and the HQ & Sigs.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2005, 18:47:43 »
Each veh requires, ideally, two mounted and a manpack. Seven cars per troop, 4 troops per Sqn plus the Ech and SHQ. We probably wouldn't need so many RRB's if they'd issue the amps to go with the TCCCS radios. As it is, without them, we have a 4 watt walkie talkie, with the comparable range. ::)
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Offline Radop

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2005, 21:39:55 »
You can get about 10 Km with a man pack on whip.  This is better than the 77 set which was 3 Km on whip.  The rad van with an unamped system is 25 Km+ and the amped system is 50 Km+ in semi clear terrain.  The RRB is ussually used to extend comms around obsticals or extend distances.  Using the system properly gives everyone better comms.  An RRB may enable users on Manpacks to operate independant from a vehicle.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2005, 21:45:17 »
What your stating is near ideal situations and text book stats, and we all know they seldom apply in the real world. I've had places where you couldn't talk down the block with perfectly good equipment, which the Reserves seldom get.
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Offline Radop

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Re: TCCCS - when will the full system be implemented
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2005, 09:14:52 »
I have yet to have too many problems with the equipment with Opcap 3 but Opcap 1 was not the best.  A lot has to do with experience.  There is many ways to increase the distance for your comms including siting in an ideal comms position.  Other things to concider is were your talking to.  If you can use a directional antenna, then that will give you the best range and power out.  We get way too attached to fixed antennas and don't rely on field expedient antennas.  We have to think more on what is required not what do we feel the most comfortable with.
Radop
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