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CHIPS Articles: DISA, Joint Spectrum Center forge trusted partnerships during Pacific Endeavor 2018

DISA, Joint Spectrum Center forge trusted partnerships during Pacific Endeavor 2018
By DISA News - September 21, 2018
DISA and the Joint Spectrum Center displayed their technical expertise in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 2-19 during Pacific Endeavor 2018.

The annual exercise is a multinational communications Interoperability Program (MCIP) that focuses on establishing rapid and effective interoperable communications systems to the joint warfighter during disaster-relief operations.

Roughly 270 personnel from 20 Asia-Pacific countries participated in the exercise, which is jointly organized by the Nepali Army and United States Pacific Command.

“We spent a day and a half on familiarization with [a radio interference detection system] and did hands-on training outside conducting direction finding techniques and triangulation exercises on interference sources,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Kowalski, senior battlefield spectrum manager in the Joint Spectrum Center.

Kowalski, who served as a lead instructor during the exercise, explained there was a breakout radio/spectrum exercise called Phoenix Endeavour, and he was able to share his knowledge in spectrum management software and equipment.

“The students displayed a good understanding on how to use electromagnetic spectrum tools, how to mitigate interference, and how plan for their proper use during a High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR) mission,” Kowalski said.

Kowalski said the exercise offered several different recovery scenarios.

“Scenarios included an earthquake in Nepal, flooding in Cambodia, and a typhoon in the Philippines,” he said. “Over two days were spent exercising Mercury in these different scenarios. Students got to experience creating allotment plans, approving assignments, creating requests, and using the map features.”

Mercury is a spectrum collaboration application that enables the gathering of spectrum requirements and the distribution of spectrum resources. It is designed for multinational HADR responses that require electromagnetic spectrum resources, but lack formally trained spectrum managers or access to secure networks.

According to Kowalski, the exercise offered classes in spectrum management overview, spectrum management tools, basic waveform theory, propagation principals, HF propagation, line-of-site propagation, frequency hopping theory, and antenna types and theory. Software demonstrations included; Spectrum XXI, Coalition Joint Spectrum Management Planning Tool (CJSMPT), Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program (VOCAP) Online, Mercury, and RaptorX.

Pacific Endeavor began in 2005 and focuses on establishing rapid and effective interoperable communication systems to jointly act during disaster-relief operations.

During 2018’s exercise inauguration, Nepal’s Director General of Military Operations, Maj. Gen. Prabhuram Sharma, said Pacific Endeavor contributes to the sustainable reduction of disaster risk and losses of life.

“Regional partnerships promote timely and effective deployment of multinational military forces and international humanitarian agencies during disaster,” Sharma said.

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