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CHIPS Articles: NCTS Bahrain Executes First Successful 8 Mbps Advanced Extremely High Frequency Proof of Concept Capability

NCTS Bahrain Executes First Successful 8 Mbps Advanced Extremely High Frequency Proof of Concept Capability
By Lt. Vincent Gardner - July-September 2017
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Bahrain (NCTS Bahrain) continues to increase strategic, operational, and tactical communications capabilities supporting customers in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

In 2014, NCTS Bahrain’s SATCOM Teleport Facility was upgraded with increased bandwidth on its extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications capability with the installation of the first of four AN/FSC-138 Navy Multiband Terminals (NMT), replacing existing AN/USC-38 Legacy and Follow-On-Terminals.

The upgrade was the first step in providing customers with increased bandwidth over the EHF spectrum. Now thanks to the efforts of personnel at NCTS Bahrain, NCTS Naples, and the USS Bataan (LHD 5), warfighters have a proven concept design for utilizing 8 megabits per second (Mbps) backhauled Advanced EHF (AEHF) connection.

In general terms, Lt. Vincent Gardner stated, "this successful proof of concept capability gives the Navy the ability to provide operational warfighters a more robust, secured, and battle-tested command and control, communications and coordination transport. We have engineered and provided the blueprint for all other NCTAMS and NCTSs for providing real-time IP services at the highest bandwidth available over the EHF spectrum. This is a major accomplishment for the future of IP services via remote stations with isolated terminals.”

Located at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in Manama, Bahrain, the four teleport and gateway AN/FSC-138 Navy Multiband Terminals directly support the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Maritime Operations Center, sea-based warfighters, and their associated C4I systems, providing the highest fidelity in assured command and control capability for missions including ballistic missile defense throughout the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations (AOR).

The Navy Multiband Terminals accomplish this by providing secure and protected, command, control and communications capabilities, ensuring physical and electromagnetic survivability as well as resistance to electromagnetic interference.

“Without a doubt, this successful execution makes NCTS Bahrain the premier operator and service provider of AEHF services in the United States Navy and the world," Chief Bryan Henson said.

The increase in capability from 4 Mbps to 8 Mbps via a remote station supports the exchange of tactical data, imagery, real-time video, common operating picture, and targeting information in keeping with the delivery of active communications and accurate information to decision-makers operating in the battlespace.

The successful backhaul testing of the AN/FSC-138 NMT and ancillary equipment has provided NCTS Bahrain’s Technical Control Facility the ability to provide the highest available bandwidth using AEHF to ships in multiple AORs that may have had a super high frequency equipment casualty.

As the mission set continues to increase and becomes more diverse in the CENTCOM AOR, so will the ability of NCTS Bahrain to provide and operate capable information systems in the cyber domain.

With the latest successful communications test, the NCTS Bahrain’s team of Sailors and civilians continues to set the standard of superiority for operations in the electromagnetic spectrum throughout the world.

Lt. Vince Gardner is the N6 Department Head, Electronic Material Officer (EMO), NCTS Bahrain.

NCTS Bahrain official seal
NCTS Bahrain official seal
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