04 October 2013
Company A, 53RD Signal Battalion Host International Partners to Discuss Satellite Communications
by Capt. Mark T. Anderson, Co. A, 53rd Signal Battalion Commander
International partners from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, joined United States representatives of Company A, 53rd Signal Battalion, at the Alpha Company Global Satellite Center on Fort Detrick, Sept. 23, to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the international partners related to global satellite communications.

The MOU is a 20-year agreement, established in January 2012, with three main objectives: to cooperatively enhance the WGS System capability through addition of a ninth satellite; to enhance the basis for long-term cooperation in military satellite communications that is mutually beneficial and promotes interoperability amongst strategic allies; and to develop and document cooperative concepts of operation, operating instructions and procedures.

The agreement provides the foundation for Canada, Luxembourg (and Belgium as a Third-Party via Luxembourg sponsorship), the Netherlands, and New Zealand, to become partners in the Wideband Global Satellite System.

Alpha Company executes transmissions and satellite control for WGS satellites. By providing these control capabilities, Alpha Company supports assured access to WGS system resources for the International Partners. The MOU provides these international partners access to WGS resources commensurate with their contribution to the program.

This means each international partner contributed funding that correlates with the amount of WGS system resources provided. Alpha Company enables the MOU partnership by providing transmissions control capabilities.

In addition to hosting the Project Status Review, Alpha Company led an operational controller discussion. Participants from each nation engaged in a dialogue with WSOC Controllers, which included best practices and lessons learned.

Posted by PAO

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