News: NSWC PCD Delivers Real-Time Support to Operation Damayan
Story by Jacqui Barker
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) personnel provided real-time joint command and control and communication and expeditionary disaster response support to Operation Damayan efforts in the Philippines between Nov. 8 and Dec. 1, 2013.
Operation Damayan was a joint U.S. military disaster response mission being executed by Joint Task Force-505 to provide typhoon Haiyan relief efforts since the storm devastated the central islands of the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.
The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force deployed their Deployable Joint Command and Control (DJC2) Early Entry System and two DJC2 Rapid Response Kits (RRK) to establish rapid on-the-ground command and control capabilities (C2).
NSWC PCD provided technical authority over the units and provided constant support as requested by the U.S. Marines in the Philippines. Additionally, NSWC PCD personnel in Japan provided Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) system support to Naval Beach Unit 7 (NBU 7), based in Sasebo, Japan.
"Our hearts go out to the people impacted by this typhoon," said NSWC PCD Commanding Officer Capt. Phillip Dawson III, U.S Navy. "Every day, NSWC PCD's technical experts deliver research, development, test and evaluation solutions, and in times of need, we rapidly respond and provide support to the platforms and people that strengthen partnerships. If we can help them reconstruct their lives through technical support, then it's our honor to do so."
The DJC2 Early Entry (EE) system provides up to three networks, operator positions for up to 40 users, video teleconferencing, voice-over IP (VoIP) and voice over secure IP phones, robust satellite communications, and supporting infrastructure.
The DJC2 RRK provides reach back capability on two networks, video teleconferencing, VoIP and voice over secure IP phones, and satellite communications. Network services have been extended from the deployed DJC2 system into the buildings where the JTF command staff is operating. The DJC2 RRKs provided communication capabilities at the Philippine Air Force airport and helped to coordinate relief efforts established in Manila since the devastating storm hit the islands.
“The DJC2 RKK communication capability provided unclassified and classified networks, and Voice over IP capabilities and satellites to relief coordinators on the ground,” said John Bush, DJC2 technical direction agent, NSWC PCD. “Two additional RKK’s for the III MEF were in Japan, and were available as required for further support requirements.”
In addition to the DJC2 systems in the Philippines, U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 deployed in theater with their Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Enterprise Tactical Command and Control (NETC2) system. NETC2 is a DJC2 RRK with two network enclaves carried forward, which has been provided for NECC commands. Both DJC2 and NETC2 were designed, built and are supported by the DJC2 ISEA at NSWC PCD.
“NSWC PCD supported all of the deployed system with technical assistance in establishing connectivity and continued to assist through their 24/7 help desk. NSWC PCD provided two on-site field service representatives to III MEF who deployed with the system. The operation was also supported by a two person fly-away team for technical assistance,” said Bob Backus, Joint and Expeditionary Command and Control technical program manager, NSWC PCD.
“The Panama City team provided outstanding support for this effort,” said Kevin Washburn, the principal assistant program manager (PAPM) for Expeditionary systems (including DJC2) at PEO C4I (PMW 790) in San Diego. “PEO C4I is proud that its systems and personnel are supporting Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, the JTF commander, and his staff as they respond to this disaster.”
Additionally, two NSWC PCD Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) support engineers, Jay Herin and Northrup Grumman support contractor Fred Morris, worked out of Sasebo, Japan, to supported NBU 7 and provided direct expeditionary and operational response.
“We performed external communication grooms, installed radar modification kits, and verified the communication system was mission capable prior to departure (of the LCAC) to the Philippines” said Jay Herin, Electronics Technician, NSWC PCD.
NSWC PCD provides routine LCAC life-cycle support. Jay Herin was en route to Sasebo, Japan when the typhoon hit the Philippines. Once in Japan, his routine In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) technical support turned into disaster response support where they modified the radar turning unit.
“We fit a pulley clamping ring and replaced existing screws with a high tensile type that is pre-coated with a locking compound to reduce possibility of main pulley screws working loose on the radar turning unit,” said Herin. “Without modification, the screws would back out leaving the unit out of commission and the craft not mission capable.”
NBU 7 moved personnel and equipment from ship to shore using amphibious vehicles, to include Landing Craft Units and LCACS, embarked on amphibious assault ships.
According to a Navy news release, JTF-505 included nearly 850 personnel on the ground and an additional 6,200 in the USS George Washington Strike Group with an additional 1,000 Marines and sailors with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Personnel and equipment from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps from Hawaii, Okinawa, mainland Japan and the continental United States provided relief support.
NSWC PCD: Technical Center of Excellence for Littoral Warfare and Coastal Defense.