Twenty-eight U.S. Airmen and civilians from Ramstein didn’t think there was a better place to test a new communications system than at the U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise, Combined Endeavor, held April 27 through May 10.
The exercise included nearly 1,500 people from 42 countries spanning four continents and two international organizations. Representatives from the U.S., NATO, Partnership for Peace and other nations planned and executed interoperability testing of command, control, communications and computer systems in preparation for future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.
Ramstein’s 1st Combat Communications Squadron participated in the world’s largest communications-interoperability exercise.
“As the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s premier deployable communications unit, we’re proud to work side by side with our partner nations to ensure we can communicate effectively and that we are prepared to handle any contingency operation that may arise in the European, Central and African Command Area of Operations,” said Lt. Col. Joe Sublousky, 1st CBCS commander.
For CE 07, the squadron rolled out a suite of theater deployable communications equipment. The unit also provided the satellite communications connectivity to the forward operating site in Yerevan, Armenia.
During the two-plus weeks of testing, the Airmen participated in more than 100 voice and data tests that were documented in order to provide a reference for the interoperability of communications information systems to participant nations.
Of the 100-plus tests, many included testing a new telephone-switching unit, the high-density exchange switch. “I’m extremely excited about using the HDX. Its physical make-up and design allows us to do more with less. It provides more capability, while at the same time diminishes bulk,” said Senior Airman Jason Sampeer, integrated communications access package technician, 1st CBCS.
The test results will aid in determining whether the HDX is a feasible addition to the Air Force inventory where telephone-switching modules are concerned. “We will use the results we garner here to create a talking paper on the HDX. That paper will, in turn, be presented to the Air Force as support to adapt this new system into our communications inventory,” said Capt. Frank Felton, 1st CBCS plans and readiness flight commander.
Members of the 1st CBCS are tasked for mobility operations on a regular basis. The tests results learned in exercises like CE can be applied in real-world contingencies that Airmen are asked to support.