The Enablers – As IT-Team at the Tactical Live Firing in Crete

The Enablers – As IT-Team at the Tactical Live Firing in Crete

  • People
  • Cyber and Information Domain Service
Date:
Reading time:
3 MIN

In Crete, Hauptfeldwebel (HFw) Paul S. and Hauptfeldwebel Vinzent K`s team, ensures communication with home. The communication specialists from the 381th IT Battalion, based in Storkow, and the 292th IT Battalion, based in Dillingen (Donau), are supporting the practising air defence missile forces of the German Air Force.

The soldier is working at a system.

Storkow´s soldiers with one of their “weapon systems” in Crete: On site, a complex IT-network is operated to support the firing.

Bundeswehr/Dominik Christian Fischer

During this year’s Tactical Live Firing Air Defence Shooting in Crete, HFw Vinzent K.’s daily routine is dominated by data connections, cables and, above all, by his team's ultimate goal: precise IT service around the clock ready solutions for the troops. “I am thrilled by the opportunity to work right where we are needed – and learn about reality and reap the fruits of our efforts right on site.” For K. is this the third time that he has the opportunity to be part of the annual Tactical Live Firing in Crete. “By now, we from Storkow have gained invaluable expertise on how to support our air defense comrades the best during their Live Firing”, he comments.

A huge amount of data and complex effort

A soldier is sitting in front of a computer.

Hauptfeldwebel Vinzent K. keeps an eye on all data links for proper operation.

Bundeswehr/Dominik Christian Fischer

A total of five sea containers with IT material have been shipped to the island, more than four kilometers of copper cable and optic fibres were laid and a 24/7 shift schedule was designed. “Preparing this type of exercise can easily add up to more than four months of work and coordination. In addition, we are among the first troops to start preparations on site and the last to leave. Yet, what ultimately counts are results: troops arrive for the exercise can start right away as if they were at home”, he explains. In this whole process, his team takes care of e-mails, telephone communication, printers and all other aspects that make up a well-functioning IT infrastructure. In case of problems or adjustment requirements, a so-called user help desk as point of contact is also available to the troops on training. This year’s training, includes a special innovation: Tactical Management of the live firing via a data link from Germany.

Live Firing on site, leaded from home

A starting rocket.

Missile Away – In Crete, air defense missiles troops practice live firing.

Fischerpictures

A specially secured internet line maintains the connection via the Bundeswehr Communication and Information Systems Services Center in Rheinbach, Germany, to the home base of the air defence in Husum, Germany. If nessessary, the local LTE network and a Bundeswehr satellite link are available as an alternate. Permanent, fast and interference-free communication is ensured and enables the wing operations center to carry out air defense across large distances. The wing’s so-called “mission directors” in Husum can evaluate the air situation picture of Crete. Compiled by the control and reporting center (CRC) and assign the targets to be engaged on site in Crete. It is the first time that this procedure has been used in Crete – thanks to experts like Hauptfeldwebel Vinzent K. and his team who made it technically possible. We move more data and fewer troops and with this, we follow a megatrend in the military sector”, HFw K. sums up.

Gaining and sharing expertise 

Two soldiers working at the antenna.

Getting the satellite antenna up and going.

Bundeswehr/Dominik Christian Fischer

HFw K. is also aware of the importance of sharing his knowledge and experience. Therefore, his team will be reinforced by soldiers from the 292th IT Battalion from Dillingen (Donau). They have been earmarked to support the firing exercise on the island in the Mediterranean island next year. “To me it’s a taken from granted that I make the knowledge I acquired over the years available to as much as many IT battalion administrators as possible”, conforms HFw K. By doing so, he contributes to one of the core missions of the IT battalions: Full IT service and support for the troops from a single source.

by Johannes Potthoff  email
Anja W. proceed´s maintainance work.