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    JCSE contributes to DOD operation supporting the international effort to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons

    JCSE contributes to DOD operation supporting the international effort to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons

    Photo By Richard Maupin | Members of the Joint Communications Support Element, embarked on the MV Cape Ray, are...... read more read more



    Story by Whitney Katz 

    Joint Enabling Capabilities Command

    NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – Two members of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command’s Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE) are currently deployed aboard the MV Cape Ray to participate in the Department of Defense’s operation to support the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Specifically, the JCSE personnel are providing command, control, communications, and computer capabilities throughout the duration of the mission, which is part of an international disarmament effort led by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

    The MV Cape Ray, a National Defense Reserve Fleet vessel owned by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, was recently equipped with two Field Deployable Hydrolysis Systems (FDHS) which can neutralize bulk amounts of known chemical warfare agents, such as mustard gas, into compounds not usable as weapons.

    Upon arriving at the port of Gioia Tauro in southern Italy; the MV Cape Ray will load about 700 metric tons of Syria’s chemical warfare agents on board and then head into international waters, where the materials will be neutralized by the FDHS. The process will create about 1.5 million gallons of waste which will be housed in containers aboard the MV Cape Ray until operations are complete, at which point they will be transported to a commercial waste treatment facility for disposal.

    In addition to civilian mariners and chemical specialists from the U.S. Edgewood Chemical Biological Center who are operating the FDHS; there is also a Navy Embarked Security Team, personnel from the Navy Public Affairs Support Element, medical staff and a small contingent of U.S. European Command personnel on board the MV Cape Ray who are responsible for the overall mission including security, logistics, communications and reporting. While JCSE’s communications are prioritized for mission command and control functions first, their capabilities are available to anyone aboard the MV Cape Ray with a mission requirement.

    JCSE maintains three active-duty squadrons and one U.S. Army Reserve squadron (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Joint Communications Squadrons (JCS), respectively) and two Air National Guard units (224th and 290th Joint Communications Support Squadrons) which provide rapidly deployable, mission-tailored communications capabilities worldwide. For more than 50 years, JCSE has enabled globally integrated operations for the joint force, mission partners and organizational affiliations across domains, echelons and geographic boundaries.

    “JCSE brings full spectrum, high bandwidth communications in a small footprint,” explained U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chance Geray, the 1JCS Commander, whose squadron is participating in this mission. “For the Cape Ray, our support includes secure and unclassified data, voice, radio and video teleconferencing capabilities enabling globally integrated mission command using joint, coalition and civil communications networks.”

    Specifically, JCSE is employing a maritime communications package called the Shipboard Carry-on Satellite System-Joint, or SCOSS-J. This is a mobile system designed to provide on-the-move shipboard connectivity independent of shipboard systems and U.S. Navy networks. Specifically, the SCOSS-J is an antenna that augments one of JCSE’s most heavily deployed communications packages – the Initial Entry Package – for maritime environments. The SCOSS-J is capable of providing continuous coverage and connectivity with the Department of Defense Wideband Global Satellite System as well as commercial satellite communications systems.

    “Ships have limited bandwidth and often provide less than 1MB of shared throughput; or the rate of data delivered successfully,” said Geray. “The SCOSS-J is a high bandwidth antenna system designed for high bandwidth maritime communications without interfering with or being interrupted by, other shipboard electronic or radio frequency systems.”

    Before deploying for any mission, JCSE personnel complete a total communicator training program which familiarizes members with data, voice, radio and satellite communications on multiple networks. Each member is also trained to operate and maintain all aspects of the employed communications equipment which enables them to operate as a team or individually, if required. However, JCSE worked closely with mission partners as the Cape Ray was outfitted for this mission and conducted final sea trials, to identify any distinct requirements.

    “Since each operation is different, we try to prepare for unique mission requirements as much as possible,” said Geray. “For the Cape Ray, this included advanced coordination for their coalition network requirements, extra all weather demands, shipboard safety training and most importantly, additional nuclear, biological and chemical training.”

    The JCSE communicators will be fully employed throughout each phase of this operation as they provide mission-tailored communications expertise to this significant international effort.



    Date Taken: 07.11.2014
    Date Posted: 07.14.2014 12:26
    Story ID: 136016

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