Special Navy comm unit supports the East Timor peacekeeping force

Special Navy comm unit supports the East Timor peacekeeping force

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Navy Pacific Fleet sailors are providing a plug-and-play mobile communications system to the Australian-led peacekeeping forces in Indonesia's East Timor.

The fleet's systems support unit, known as MSQ-126, includes a fully deployable network and 17 sailors to provide communications support services, said Capt. Kevin M. Wensing, a Pacific Fleet spokesman in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Navy crew flew to Darwin, Australia, last month.

The MSQ-126 team will ensure the forces have access to AUTODIN, the Defense Department's Non-Classified IP Router Network and Secret IP Router Network, telephone services, UHF radios, VHF video feeds and videoconferencing, Wensing said.

DOD is deploying as many as 200 personnel to East Timor for communications, intelligence and logistics support roles for Operation Stabilize.

The Pacific Fleet's special comm unit includes 10 PCs'five for NIPRnet access and five for SIPRnet, said Cmdr. Bruce A. Cole, another Pacific Fleet spokesman. The until also includes two workstations for tapping the Global Command and Control System, and a network printer and Epson America Inc. projection system.

Pacific Fleet officials can set up and run the MSQ-126 unit within six hours of arrival, with some communications provided after two hours, Cole said. The technicians who support MSQ-126 are on 24-hour alert and within six hours of notification have their systems ready for flight aboard a C-130, C-141, C-17 or C-5 aircraft, he said.

Rugged transport

Once on the ground, the MSQ-126 team transports the gear in four high-wheeled vehicles, two of which contain ruggedized shelters for the systems.

The team uses a 2.4-meter satellite dish, and Pacific Fleet also provides two 4500 routers from Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif, with hubs, servers and Ethernet cable so the team can set up a deployed network.

Developed by contractor C-Cubed Corp. of Springfield, Va., MSQ-126 first became operational in October 1997, following deployments that year in Australia and Guam.

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