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NEWS | June 24, 2024

Hybrid SATCOM Successfully Tested at Sentry Aloha Exercise

By Maj. Alexandar Brannon, AATC Director of the Combat Search and Rescue Division

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - The Air National Guard/Air Reserve Command Test Center conducted a force development evaluation on the HC-130J Ku/Ka communications suite during the Sentry Aloha exercise in June.

The suite adds a multiband, resilient beyond line-of-sight SATCOM capability to access the hybrid space architecture. FDEs evaluate production representative systems and typically produce a test report with a fielding recommendation.

AATC is responsible for conducting operational and developmental assessments, devising tactics, and evaluating all weapons systems within the Air Reserve Component for several military airframes, including the HC-130J and the HH-60G.

The design of this system is inherently resilient against enemy electromagnetic warfare capabilities seeking to deny access to communications within the battlespace. It can simultaneously access satellite internet services in proliferated low Earth orbit, geostationary Earth orbit or medium Earth orbit in Ku or Ka bands. The system can aggregate received bandwidth and auto-switch between Ku and Ka, allowing uninterrupted service.

This test is a significant step toward delivering SIPRnet on board the HC-130J, unlocking features typically only available in an Air Operations Center. These include JREAP-C, tactical chat (Chatsurfer), CSEL web application, and PACAF guidance packages (ATO/ACO/SPINS).

Our primary focus is to enhance the survivability of the isolated person and recovery forces and bolster the Air Force's ability to execute resilient-basing options through Agile Combat Employment. This technology can revolutionize the long-range kill chain through compatibility with the Air Force's Advanced Battle Management System's Aerial Networking efforts, which will link every sensor to every shooter across a unified domain. The HC-130J will significantly increase lethality within the battlespace through collaborative technologies.

The Sentry Aloha exercise served as the ideal large-force exercise to test emergent technologies while executing high-end combat representative scenarios. The exercise directors and personnel, particularly those working on the command and control architecture within the 613th Air Operation Center, were instrumental in making the test framework a reality. Their insights on best practices for the USINDOPACOM theater were invaluable."



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