Exercise Noble Skywave puts High Frequency radio to the test
Members of the 369th Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, 25C radio operator-maintainer course, took part in Exercise Noble Skywave, a Canadian-led exercise to highlight the 110th anniversary of military communications in Canada and to offer friendly competition of high frequency radio equipment between the United States and other allied nations Oct. 24 – 25 at Training Area Willard located on Fort Gordon.
“ It’s a good opportunity to practice using high frequency radio with fellow units from the United States and our allied partners across the globe,” said Lt. Col. Curtis F. Iden, commander, 369th Signal Bn., 15th Rgt. Signal Bde.
In line with this occasion, the 110th anniversary of military communication in Canada, Canada’s Communication and Electronics Branch (the equivalent of the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps) initiated an across Canada exercise with international participation from Canadian allies. The exercise provided a friendly competition between communication units, bases, wings and ships, and helped to revitalize HF radio capabilities including skills related to the radios, antennas and propagation.
Taking part in the exercise were various Canadian units (some as far north as in the arctic), British Naval Warships, and signal units from the United States.
“We were invited to participate and my team for the exercise consisted of two noncommissioned officers and a civilian employee,” said Iden. “The team made over ten contacts (on the first day of the exercise) and located high frequency radio mainly on the eastern side of Canada, but also included were western Canada and the western United States.”
Though satellite communication is the common method of communication, the HF radio and the skills necessary to operate it are just as essential.
“It’s a lost skill,” said Sgt. 1st Class Adam Graves, 369th Signal Bn., senior instructor and writer for the 25C radio operator-maintainer course. “It’s important to brush up and train on high frequency radio skills because that is the system that is used as a contingency should something happen to the SATCOM equipment.”
Iden deemed the exercise a success and plans to incorporate highlights of the exercise into future 25C classes.
“It was the ingenuity of our noncommissioned officers and civilian instructors that made this happen with antenna set up and connection,” said Iden. “We will incorporate exercise lessons learned into the 25C course and allow students an opportunity during their team exercise to execute a real test shot to the Fort Huachuca ,Ariz., MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) station (Army Learning Model Initiative).”