Poll

Is HF necessary on todays battlefield?

Yes
26 (92.9%)
No
0 (0%)
Depends on how we structure the military
2 (7.1%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Voting closed: April 20, 2005, 15:49:08

Author Topic: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause  (Read 43423 times)

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Offline Willy

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2005, 02:58:16 »
While I probably think that HF is more important than anyone else does on this whole board, Radop, I think you'll have to admit that current op experience dictates that despite doctrine, HF is NOT used as meaningful backup for NCCIS dets.  This is proved by the current status of NCCIS dets deployed on op ATHENA.  No HF resource is meaningfully depl/used/tested on that op, or at least not when I was over there last year.  Pls advise if current ops have proven me wrong. 

I think that HF is useful because we own it and it's reqr resources outright.  That said, we should take advantage of our ownership of such resources better than we currently do.  HF could potentially be used as a moderately reliable backup to other forms of NCCIS, but I don't think we're currently doing so effectively.

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2005, 19:14:31 »
NCCIS Ops dictate that we use the inmarsat as the back up for essencial circuits which poses its own problems.   HF is suppose to be the primary backup for ADDN but when was the last time you saw that?   NCCIS course would probably be the answer.   You have to give the gateway notice before going live with them.   Some of the new regs are requiring 45 days advance notice.   Tell me how we will work that out and who came up with that brain child!!!

But I digress.   HF is more of a tactical necessity in a guard net or linking forward elements to NCCIS elements such as what was done in Bosnia.   I will give a total theoretical scenerio here before anyone talks about OPSEC.   We could have a central det in Kabul for NCCIS NRL.   Put a light det in Kandahar and deploy coys in the AOO would get QRTs to pass secure msg traffic.   This is not what will probably happen but is one option.   HF is a vialble option especially for forward units but 400 watts is not reliable back to a gateway from Afghanistan.   I think that if we had to do something with HF, too many people do not have the skill and we would risk falling on our face if tasked with that.   I would hate to go to the comd and tell him we could not do that because our people are not trained to do that even though we have the equipment.

In Afghanistan, we used it on the Tac Rad side of the house as a guard net only.   We could also use it to pass TMHS and other data circuits if we get more stable users with it.   We have to trust and have faith in the system and ourseves to use this asset.   That is only by utilizing the equipment and seeing what we can do with it.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2005, 19:17:17 by Radop »
Radop
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CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2005, 17:42:51 »
Now there is a lot of good ideas floating around.  If the powers that be would listen instead of going off half cocked, we would probably do the true Canadian thing.  Blow every body away with our own home grown technology & know how!

I guess one of my questions is now answered, judging by some of the detailed responses.  There is ppl out there that have advanced beyond their Trg.  Keep up the good work!  Be proud of the blue & white.
cheers

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2005, 08:56:54 »
We were at a trade fair the other day and someone asked us some questions about the HF systems that we use.  He was a ham operator and the young guys pointed him in our direction.  We talked with him for 15 min on our systems and how we use them.  He definitely pushed the limits of my knowledge but I answered him with what I knew and he seamed happy with the responses.  Unfortunately, the days are gone were we can go out and put two frequencies into our radios anytime we want and use the radios to find out how well they work.  Rather than getting people to sweep floors, maybe we should concentrate on teaching them the crafts as we know them.  All I have run into is obsticals when I have tried that.
Radop
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CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2005, 23:45:01 »
Dig out the Gin Palaces, C33 xmtr, & the Hro 60's. Seriosly though, I get the impression that the eqt is being utilised at the low end of it's capabilities. Has any one tried the old boys net work, to see if there is a reason (s) why.  At one time, it was not unusual to push the radios, & rad ops to their potential.  As I am familiar with only some of the "new" eqt (leaning heavily on the tech side), it does leave questions as to why the enhanced capabilities are not used.

May be part of the reason is our allies only use certain modes, & we follow our neighbours to a certain degree.  There also could be hidden flaws that prevent using certain modes, eg C45's toasting when not following the full tuning procedure.

It's definetly not my strong suit any more, but I can't see all the capability being built in & not utilised.  Maybe the wizards figure a rad op can only be trained to handle a couple of modes with the required software with out tieing his WD6 in knots.

So much for my un informed opinion!

Cheers


Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2005, 10:25:17 »
CH1, you remember LTACS?  How much did the military use it.  We proved that we could tactically extend an MM (now MT) det using the LTACS System.  Did they use the system?  No.  I think the different units and commands don't want to cross training and loose their sphere of influence.  It will only get worse as sig ops now only set up the equipment for others to talk on.  The users don't have the patience that HF requires and don't see the potential inherent in the use of this frequency band.

We are also very constrained in the frequencies that we use.  Frequency hopping is difficult to obtain permission and doing some of the more complicated system intergrations is expensive.  This is more the cause of the problem and we as sig ops have to find the way around it.  Further complicating matters is that the system is new and we haven't had time to look at what it can do.
Radop
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CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2005, 10:43:30 »
sorry for the delay Radop.
out of country for a short hop.  I do remember LTACS.  We never really used it that much. Every thing in CFCC at that time was in flux as CFCC was new.  There was eqt in our TOE's & EIS, but never made it to service, or the allotments were not accessible.  I remember being on the carpet, with the "old Man" (said with smile) because the sqn ended up with eqt, that wasn't supposed be brought into service for several years.  Can't remember the system, but it was replacing the C33's & primary mode was RTTY.

CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2005, 11:35:21 »
Choices, choices.

As I was doing the last reply, I was being called for a real home made breakfast! First real food in 2 weeks.

There was probably 3 or 4 different systems in the LTAC time. They all seemed to quietly retire to the rear with out much hoopla or use.

As for freq hopping, you are probably restricted more because of my generation. Aside from tac split freqs, we used to jump into the ham bands & others to break the boredom in quiet times. This generated many a pink sheet from DOC, for out of band ops.  We also used to experiment more with our eqt, to find the limits & keep our skills sharp. All though the rules were explicit, we were always pushing the envelope, trying different ways to operate the radios.  The only radios, that we didn't mess with were the CPRC 26's, for obvious reasons. The 510 & PRC 25's were fair game as was every thing else.  I think we gave new meaning to split freq RRB, with some of our improvised nets. A lot of the playing invovled non auth eqt mods.

In the mid 80's @ Beaverlodge, we managed to get our grubby paws on some HT's, that were quite similar to the pilot survival radios. They were a lot of fun. Col Andrews (base CO) used to shake his head at his lead radar tech, rad det NCO, & sec offr (me). To this day I think he would dis avow any knowledge of our antics.

The HT's were interesting because my BDF team, could use burst mode for our field comms & the base rad det couldn't track us. Seems to me they were US issue on loan.

Short & long of it, was that we were never idle always playing with the equipment.

Cheers

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2005, 20:27:43 »
We use to go into the compound at E30 in Kingston and we would set up and practice.  We would just pick frequencies.  I remember racing other dets to tune the 106s and tx to the control station (the senior det on the ground).  We never got into trouble for that as far as I know or our bosses just ignored it.
Radop
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CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #59 on: March 26, 2005, 15:10:43 »
Radop

Most of the time we were ok until we received a pink sheet or somebody complained.  For some silly reason, I have spent 98% of my time in command positions, (both in Sigs & 031).  The brass was always amazed with how we were able to solve comms problems. I don't know if this had any bearing on having a free hand most of the time. To the best of my knowledge, I had the only heavy rad det that was able to do base line repairs in the field. Had a 3/4 PU set up with my test eqt in back.

Having commanded only several radio dets, since I went to 031 in the late 70's, I have lost touch with most of the eqt. Although some of the dets expected an NCO or Officer fresh out of school, there has been a few raised eye brows, with the grey haired OT, that had a working knowledge of some of the eqt.  It brought about a few funny situations.

Still can pull a few rabbits out of the hat, with my own rad gear.

At some point we will have to get together for a regimental & discuss the finer points.  When I was  with PPCLI, I stood out with the Jimmy on my head in charge of UCW section or weapons det. Wish I could have spent more time playing with radios, although I had to concentrate on my assigned position. I really have a thing for things that go bang in the night.  Been a long time since I taught @ Kingston.
Cheers

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #60 on: March 28, 2005, 09:35:02 »
Which battalion were you with as I spent 2 yrs working with 1 PPCLI as a reserve infanteer.  I was with them for RV 87 and courses on both sides of that ex.  I enjoyed working with them.  I spent more time with the regs while I was with the reserves than spent with my reserve unit. 

Up in Pet, I was in charge of the Rad Node and later the CP.  We were told by the Chief Comm Op to push the system but we seldom had frequencies.  They finally gave us three frequencies for vhf, one for HF and UHF and 3 pairs for SHF (one for band 1, band 4 and band 5).  It gave us a chance to play but not to test much.  We set up the systems though and got TMHS working through the WAS and over frequency hopping but we were across the compound from each other and never pushed the system for distance.  I wanted to have an exercise were we would slowly push the system out to the 80 Km range to see if we could get it to work.  Unfortunately, I was posted back to Kingston before we got to that.
Radop
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SigPigs

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2005, 10:45:22 »
Well let me get in my 2 cents!!  ;D   HF is an amazing medium that can do just about anything you ask of it. Problem is a lot of people don't know how to use it properly. Such as how propagation works for time of day and antennas etc. But that can be taught to the basic level very quickly IE: Daytime = high freq  Night = low  you get the idea. As for secure of course it can be secure! Sure it goes everywhere, but it's encrypted so it isn't a problem. You can transfer data at pretty good rate over HF actually, I was involved in a test for the Navy where we did 38.4K over HF for email systems, worked fine. Even if you are constrained to a 3KHz channel you can still do ok with data, I use a mode everyday where I send pictures with no errors and a 12K file takes only about 60 secs to transfer perfectly. If you do get a missing segment you ask for only that segment and the other station sends it to you to fill it in. Works awesome. Text messages can be sent in seconds, most of our traffic in th military is text so that's great.
Also once you acquire the kit for HF you can use it anywhere anytime, with no charges for airtime on a satellite.  ;D Use it for long haul around the world, which yes still works in the solar minimum, or use it for tactical comms in an NVIS role.
As far as training goes I could train someone to use the HF kit easier than running the Ottercom and setting up the friggin' cards and software. With a 138 during a walk I was talking to California on the whip, as I walked around Yellowknife. The rest of the guys on PT thought I was nuts...oh well I get that a lot!! LOL.. ;)

CH1

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2005, 23:11:20 »
Sorry for the delay Radop. I keep skipping south of the border.
It was 1 Btn.  Don't know if you heard the scuttle butt about a few stray " rabbits" during a few of those ex's. I was working apart from the Btn, doing tac scenarios & BDF's.  More than a few groups were to ATC with renegades. Guess who I was. From some of the AA reports, there was a few surprised bodies. The only 1 I remember missing was in spring of 85, in the mountains. Had something to do with a wedding.

I worked with a couple of Edmtn 74 dets into about 92, on several occasions.

Don't know if you heard the CS "Bulldog" on those ex's. It wasn't even listed on the guard channels.
If you did & wondered who, you now know the answer to the unknown stn & why it wouldn't respond.
The other chatter you might of heard from a couple of the OT sigs, was about the old SOB, that wouldn't grow up. There was a couple of old Sigs Sgt's that I have history with on those ex's.

The only other possibility, would be if you saw a stray unidentified section about camp staying to them selves, away from the main body & doing their own thing.

Cheers

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #63 on: May 22, 2005, 14:11:06 »
I think that the more we change the way we do things, the more we will eventually go back to HF as a back up.  They are talking that HF is a Fourth line back up next to the MT, Inmarsat, Iridium then HF.  I still feel it is training well spent but lots of people disagree with me.  They are looking to remove it from our training something like Morris Code.  I think this would be a grave mistake.
Radop
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Offline Canadian Sig

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #64 on: May 22, 2005, 16:34:56 »
Still going strong at the squadron Radop. We just ran a two week course that included guys from out units ( some not even sigs ) and we also are still teaching it to Roto 4 guys.
V.V.V.

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2005, 10:11:13 »
Hi RadOp - I agree with you that it would be a mistake to take it out of the system. I got out in 01. I spent 4 fantastic years as a Sgt in the Ops Supvr role in Det Great Village NS. The HF eastern link, 96-00. We were the backup for Yugo, etc. The technology was excellent. We ran lots of ex/test Voice/RTT, with Yugo and proved the HF over and over again. When I left it was being remoted to Trenton. So I hope its still in use. It should not go away, and needs to be taught to the young lads. VVV...

Offline Radop

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2005, 18:47:24 »
Well sorry for not responding to you gents in a timely fashion.

That is good that they are taking it seriously at the Bdes still.  We did some training on it in May as well but was too quickly thrown togeather.

As for teaching it to the young lads, the reserve trucks I saw this summer before going overseas had no HF on it as I could see save one or two.

sad!!
Radop
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Offline SigPeterGriffin

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #67 on: November 13, 2007, 16:30:10 »
Replace HF BITE YOUR TOuNGE.

The biggest problem with Sat comm for the Canadian Army or at least CFJSR, is that we dont own any sateliites. So we cant directly control them, We have to contract out foriegn or domestic Civilian companies to act as LES.  And if something on their end craps out we we have to rely on a civi whos on call to come in. (once it took 10 hrs for him to show up and rest his side of the system). Also, recently the org that handles all deployed MT's lost power. They had back up power but for some reason it didnt kick in. Im sure this has been corrected. But as a result deployed MTs could not call back into Canada trhough the main dish. BTS, Ottercoms etc were used and thats why the MTs have em.
Finally and this is least likely, a nuke can block out Sat comms in an area up to a month while HF will work after 6hrs to a day later.

Deployed HF Assests are the best way in my mind to act as back ups.
They do need to be smaller and lighter (QRT is just too big). But the operator at the end has complete control over the entire pathway right back to his zero or what not.
And people who complain about propagation are just to lazy to change the antenna their using. God forbid you may have to work your circuit
Also the 138 Manpack is the lightest radio out there of that size. I put untrained Comm research tps who never saw the radio before on an island by them selves with a programed radio in ALE mode and never had a problem the entire time. Well till they boke the antenna base. My biggest complaint about the HF manpacks, vehicle and larger is the constant lack of spare cables, and other componets. QRT, and LCT, blow amps, power supplies, like they are going out of style

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #68 on: November 14, 2007, 00:12:09 »
I used HF regularly in a dismounted role in Oman, Cyprus, Northern Ireland (various levels of encryption) and arctic Norway (winter and summer) with the British Airborne and Commando Forces. Clansman PRC 320. With a well trained operator, it was excellent. With bluffers, who pretended they knew all about how to use HF, it was awful. Being an officer, I was only qualified to carry my rad op's batteries and big steel thermos, but did so quite happily knowing that we could always get comms if required.

http://www.armyradio.com/arsc/customer/product.php?productid=2252&cat=0&page=

A colleague of mine, Gareth Wood, did the first self-supported walk to the South Pole in 1985-6  as part of the Footsteps of Scott Expedition. He ran the basecamp for a year following their hike using a PRC 320. He had comms from Scott base on the edge of the Ross ice shelf to London on occasion, and had regular comms with Chile and New Zealand. Morse comms was seldom a problem.

Nuff said....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline 211RadOp

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #69 on: November 15, 2007, 10:04:54 »
Replace HF BITE YOUR TOuNGE.

The biggest problem with Sat comm for the Canadian Army or at least CFJSR, is that we dont own any sateliites. So we cant directly control them, We have to contract out foriegn or domestic Civilian companies to act as LES. 
Alright, it has been a number of years since you where at the Regt, so you no not what you are talking about.

Yes, the Canadian Military does not "own" any satellites. The Regt does own an annual lease on a sat, and the CCO has control over this lease. As a matter of fact, I am using it now for Ex IMAGE VIPER.

Quote
And if something on their end craps out we we have to rely on a civi whos on call to come in. (once it took 10 hrs for him to show up and rest his side of the system). Also, recently the org that handles all deployed MT's lost power. They had back up power but for some reason it didnt kick in. Im sure this has been corrected. But as a result deployed MTs could not call back into Canada trhough the main dish. BTS, Ottercoms etc were used and thats why the MTs have em...
Currently, the deployed MTs (not including the one I am in now on Ex, there are three) are using two different LES atleast, so the above statement is false. Not all the MTs would have been affected due to a power outage anywere along the path. Have you ever been to CFNOC or the SNOC at Intelsat? There are people there who can do a simple reset 24/7.

I have been doing this for 8 years now, and have never seen it take 10 hours for a tech to come in to do a simple reset. The only outage that took any significant time was an eqpt fault at the LES we used with MT2 in Kabul. This did take a few hours to fix, but certainly not 10 as you intimate above.


 
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Offline SigPeterGriffin

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #70 on: November 15, 2007, 13:55:41 »
I have been to CFNOC and dand It was in the news about the outage and it was restricted to canadian side of the net. the statements I made were due to actual events that happened to me while deployed on OP. The MT was using had 1 LES and through civilian systems tied into cfnoc.  The tech wasnt a military tech he was a civi who worked at the les in germany.   Im not bsing when I said  we where of the net for 10 hours . Out techs would do loop backs with the les and see them, but couldnt see ottawa. Techs in ottawa would do loops backs and see the les but not us. It took a few hrs to find out who to call and then get them to call the guy in germany and due to the huge time differences it was 3 am in germany and he was about an hr away from the les so 10 hrs is what the sitrep for the mt said that day. Im not making this up.                                                     

Offline 1984

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2007, 09:10:48 »
Please pardon a lowly LMN weighing in on the conversation, but, don't the Chinese and Russians (and by proxy their allies/partners) have anti-sat weapons? i.e. lasers and ground/air launched missiles.  Would the potential for anti-sat warfare alone not provide ammo for maintaining HF capability/skills as a backup.  I'm a little out of my lane so I've strapped on PPE and crawled under the table.  :warstory: INCOMING!

Cheers,

EDITED: for a double negative (don't not)  ;D
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 09:36:03 by Swingline1984 »

Offline George Wallace

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2007, 09:14:59 »
Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Have you done any research as to what altitudes the various satellites are in orbit?
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Offline 1984

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2007, 09:27:32 »
Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Have you done any research as to what altitudes the various satellites are in orbit?

No.  But what brought on the question was an article I was reading in Decembers Discover Magazine entitled, "How to kill a satellite" (sorry I don't have a link).  It lists the various threat levels of potential anti-sat weapons.  It lists lasers as a "medium" threat as they believe the Chinese may have already tested targeting lasers on US sats.  It lists air and ground launched missiles as "high" threat since capability already exists and is relatively cheap.  Anti-sat nukes are listed as "low" threat since the fallout and EMP would damage the attackers sats as well.

Cheers,

Offline 1984

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Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2007, 09:41:47 »
Found a link to the article I mentioned:

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/dec/the-8-ways-to-blow-up-a-satellite

Cheers,