Air Force units establish satellite communications links in Gulf region

CAMP SHELBY, Miss.'Air Force personnel have deployed to six sites in Mississippi and Louisiana that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and established a communications infrastructure.

The combat communications units come from the Air Combat Command headquarters and the Air National Guard at Langley Air Force Base, Va., according to a news release issued today. The 83rd Communications Squadron at Langley started deploying mobile satellite communications teams to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Aug. 28, to provide communication links with other agencies coordinating relief efforts.

The units are providing voice and data communications, e-mail and air traffic control communications to assist civilian and military relief efforts in the area.

"Our total force team of active duty, Guard, Reserve, civil servants and contractors is doing an outstanding job contributing to national hurricane relief efforts," said Brig. Gen. John W. Maluda, director of communications for ACC, in the release.

The 5th Combat Communications Group at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., deployed more than 60 personnel and three satellite communications packages to Mississippi to set up two medium and one large satellite communications package. The 3rd Combat Communications Group from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., deployed more than 100 airmen and three satellite communications packages to Louisiana, according to the release.

GCN staff writer Dawn Onley is embedded with the Army's 93rd Signal Brigade in Camp Shelby, Miss. She will be sending reports on how the military is helping restore communications in Mississippi, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.

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