U.S. Navy Runs Interference on Signals Conflict

By: Sandra Jontz, SIGNAL Magazine

“Advances in a plethora of military communication and situational awareness platforms have created unintended repercussions for the U.S. Navy, from the “forest of antennas” that can consume a ship’s deck to the debilitating effects of radio interference that clog airwaves and impede critical links to vessels, aircraft, drones and even satellites. Navy engineers are toiling on a handful of projects to ensure effective and secure communication links, which are so fundamental to military operations.

Modern fleets rely heavily on communication, especially as the military grows its network-centric environment, says Andrew Robertson, a physicist for the System Integration and Instrumentation Group at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), who highlights several key projects underway.

He begins by relating details of the Navy’s Integrated Topside (InTop) communications platform, a collaborative research effort with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to reduce the number of radio frequency (RF) and microwave antennas aboard ships.”

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In Between Carriers, 11th MEU, Makin Island ARG Are Busy In 5th Fleet

By: Gidget Fuentes, USNI News

“The new year began with no U.S. aircraft carrier and carrier strike group on watch in the Middle East.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group returned home two days earlier, having spent four of its seven-month deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet region conducting missions and strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria after 10 days of operations from the Mediterranean while in U.S. 6th Fleet.

The late-November exit of Eisenhower (CVN-69) from the Persian Gulf created a carrier gap that remains today, pending the arrival of USS George W.H. Bush (CVN-77). Bush left Norfolk, Va., on Jan. 21 and today was transiting the Atlantic on course for the Mediterranean.

But the volatile Middle East region wasn’t devoid of U.S. military projection from the sea. For almost two months – and through the nation’s transition to a new administration – the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the three-ship Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, has been standing post.”

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