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Signal Division
Headquarters, US Army, Europe

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.


Some Doctrinal & General Information --
The 1940s

The 1950s
ACAN
USAREUR R-T
AN/GRC-26
AN/TCC-7
AN/TRC-24

The 1960s
STRATCOM-EUR
STARCOM
AIRCOMNET
WWMCCS
Wideband in Germany
USAREUR
USAFE
Wideband in France
USAREUR
USAFE
ET-A
Cemetery Net

AUTOVON
AUTODIN
Army Area Comm System
AN/GRC-46
Manual Switchboards

The 1970s
DCS
ECCCS
Military Phone System

The 1980s
DEB
IMA
NATO Communications
NATO Terrestrial Trans Sys
JCA

NICS

ACE HIGH
TARE

DCA-Europe
DCS

AF Communications

Related Links

 
Major Radio Relay Sites

Radio Relay Sites
USFET/EUCOM
- early period

 
1. Brocken Hill, pre-1945 (79 KB)


 

 
2. Grosser Feldberg, post-1945 (254 KB) 3. Feldberg RRL (KB) 4. Feldberg RRL location (KB)  
5. Feldberg RRL location (KB)
6. Feldberg RRL location (KB)
  Topo map - Feldberg RRS

 
7. Donnersberg, early 1960s (203 KB) 8. Donnersberg, 1963 (154 KB) Topo Map - Donnersberg, 1963
 
9. Bocksberg, late 1950s (123 KB)
10. Bocksberg, mid 1960s (125 KB) 11. Bocksberg, prob. 1970s (195 KB)
 
12. Bocksberg, prob. 1970s (195 KB)


 
13. Hohenpeissenberg, 1950s (119 KB) 14. Hohenpeissenberg, prob. 1980s (169 KB) 15. Hohenpeissenberg, around 2000 (125 KB)
(also, some history of the site - in German)
 

16. Hohenpeissenberg, 1971/72 (180 KB)

17. Hohenpeissenberg, 1971/72 (165 KB)


 
18. Königstuhl, prob early 1960s (274 KB) 19. Hohenstadt, winter 1955 (201 KB)    
20. Taufstein, around 1959 (161 KB) 21. Taufstein, around 1959 (135 KB) 22. Taufstein, around 1961 (174 KB)  
23. Taufstein, prob late 1960s or early 1970s (153 KB)      

 
The 1950s
 
(Source: STATION LIST, March 1956)
SUPPORTED COMD
UNIT
STATION
COMMENTS
HQ USAREUR _
_
_
.
4th SIGNAL GP
Campbell Bks, Heidelberg
.
.
7774 SIGNAL SV BN
Hammonds Bks, Seckenheim
operates various signal facilities, incl. command operations, for HQ USAREUR
.
102nd SIGNAL BN (MW & RR)
Smiley Bks, Karlsruhe
operates the USAREUR Multi-Channel Radio Telephone System (VHF/UHF)
.
.
.
.
HQ CENTAG_
_
_
.
516th SIGNAL GP
Karlsruhe
provides communications support for NATO's Central Army Group in Europe
.
17th SIGNAL OP BN
D'Isley Ksn, Pirmasens
provides command operations signal support for HQ CENTAG
.
175th SIGNAL SV CO
Angevillers, FR
operates and maintains, on a full-time basis, the minimum essential communications required at the Allied Alternate Radio Relay Site (AARRS)
.
29th SIGNAL CONST BN
Karlsruhe
.
.
447th SIGNAL CONST BN
D'Isley Ksn, Pirmasens
Feb 13, 1956, 447th Sig Bn (Cons) reorg under T/O&E 11-25
.
.
.
.
HQ 7TH ARMY_
_
_
.
160th SIGNAL GP
Panzer Ksn, Böblingen
.
.
39th SIGNAL SPT BN
Panzer Ksn, Böblingen
.
.
40th SIGNAL CONST BN (1)
Gerszewski Bks, Knielingen
.
.
97th SIGNAL OP BN
Panzer Ksn, Böblingen
provides command operations signal support for HQ 7th ARMY
.
.
.
.
CORPS_
_
_
.
32nd SIGNAL BN
CFK, Darmstadt
provides communications support for V Corps
.
34th SIGNAL BN
Kelley Bks, Möhringen
provides communications support for VII Corps.
.
4th SIGNAL CO.
Frankfurt
provides communications support for 4th Inf Div.
.
5th SIGNAL CO.
Augsburg.
provides communications support for 5th Inf Div.
.
9th SIGNAL CO.
Göppingen.
provides communications support for 9th Inf Div.
.
10th SIGNAL CO.
Würzburg.
provides communications support for 10th Inf Div.
.
142nd ARMD SIGNAL CO.
Bad Kreuznach.
provides communications support for 2nd Armd Div.
.
.
.
.
(1) The 40th Sig Const Bn was replaced (Operation GYROSCOPE) by the 25th Sig Const Bn in late March or early April 1956

 
Radio Set AN/GRC-26
 
(Source: TM 11-264 Radio Set AN/GRC-26, Dec 1950)




 
Telephone Terminal System AN/TCC-7
 
(Source: TM 11-2150, Telephone Carrier Systems, Sept 1953)

Typical Telephone Carrier System using AN/TCC-7 and AN/TCC-8
 

Telephone Terminal AN/TCC-7

Telephone Repeater AN/TCC-8
 
(Source: TM 11-2150, Telephone Carrier Systems, September 1953)

TM 11-2150, 1953



Click on thumbnail (left) to view Sections I (General) and II (System Application) of the first chapter of TM 11-2150.

 
The 1960s
 
Defense Communications Agency, European Area
 
Defense Communications Agency Patch
 
(Source: DISA-EUR web site, 1997)
History of DISA-Europe (successor to DCA-Eur)

1960
Established as the Defense Area Communications Control Center, Europe (DACC-EUR) at Dreux Air Base, France. The mission was to exercise operational control of the Defense Communications System (DCS) within the European theater to support United States European Command (USEUCOM) in meeting the telecommunications requirements of the Department of Defense.

1969
Relocated to Patch Barracks, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, FRG. Operational control covered three Regional Control Operational Centers (RCOC), one each in the United Kingdom, Spain and Turkey.

1975
Established Field Offices in Germany, Greece, Italy and England and dis-established the RCOC's.

1983
Centralized management of the DCS by disbanding the Field Offices and transferred all functions to Patch Barracks.

1984
Based on the need for a Joint US Military Mission for Aid to Turkey, the DCA-Turkey Field Office was opened. The mission of DCA-Europe expanded from support of USEUCOM to include support of the US Central Command (USCENTCOM).

1991
The Defense Communications Agency was redesignated the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

 
(Source: Email from Lee Hersey)

DCA-EUROPE MEMORIES

Passing the following for your info.  It is based on my rememberance as one of the original cadre of DACCC-EUR that signed in for duty at Dreux Air Base June 1961 and went on immediate TDY to Wiesbaden, FRG.  The dates are confirmed in a document compiled by Charles R. Timms entitled, "DCA-EUROPE MEMORIES---Let them never be forgotten", the introduction is dated 21 Jnauary 1995.
 
DACCC-EUR located at Dreux Air Base, France became active June 1961 when the initial assigned cadre signed in for duty. The initial cadre consisted of enlisted personnel from Army, Navy and Air Force. The control center was in operation at a temporary location on Wiesbaden Air Base, FRG, support being provided by the USAF 12th Mobile Communications Squadron.  The operation remained at Wiesbaden while permanent facilities were being installed in a building on Dreux Air Base.  When the permanent facilities were ready in September 1961, the operation began at Dreux and the temp operation location at Wiesbaden was shut down.

DACCC-EUR became DCA-EUR in July 1963.  DCA-EUR relocated to Camp des Loges, in the Paris area, September 1963.  DCA-EUR remained at Camp des Loges until it was again relocated to Stuttgart-Vaihingen, FRG.
 
DEFENSE COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY, EUROPEAN AREA
HISTORICAL SUMMARY, MARCH 1961 THROUGH JUNE 1965
 
On 3 March 1961, the Deputy Secretary of Defense in a Memorandum for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Subject: "Plan for Exercising the Authority of the Chief, Defense Communications Agency" provided for the establishment of two Defense Area Communications Control Centers (DACCC's) during FY 1962. The DACCC's were to be in the European and Pacific Areas with the mission to provide field representation for the Chief, Defense Communications Agency (DCA), and to exercise operational control and supervision of the Defense Communications System (DCS) in their assigned geographical area.

The Director, DCA, Rear Admiral W.D. Irvin, USN, in a memorandum for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, dated 13 March 1961, subject: "Establishment of the DCA Communications Control Centers in the European and Pacific Areas" submitted his plan for the activation of the two DACCC's. He recommended that DCA establish interim DACCC's on 1 June 1961 by assuming operational direction of the Department of the Air Force facilities identified as the European-Mediterranean Channel and Traffic Control Unit (EMCTCU) in Wiesbaden, Germany, and the Pacific Channel and Traffic Control Unit (PACTCU) in Hawaii. Effective 1 September 1961, permanent manually operated DACCC's were proposed at Dreux Air Base, France and Kunia Tunnel Annex, Oahu, Hawaii. As soon as practicable, after 1 September 1961, the European and Pacific DACCC's would be converted to semi-automatic operations.

The Deputy Secretary of Defense on 2 May 1961 directed the implementation of the DCA plan. However, he withheld concurrence for the location of the European DACCC-E at Dreux Air Base pending investigation of the possibility of securing a more favorable location. A DCA team surveyed additional locations during the latter part of May 1961. A more suitable location for the Center could not be located and a follow-on memorandum from the Secretary dated 26 May 1961 approved Dreux Air Base as the permanent location of DACCC-E. The delay of nearly one month in designating the permanent location held up orders on personnel that were needed to augment the EMCTCU at Wiesbaden, the shipment of equipment and material and other actions required to establish the Center at Dreux. The activation date for establishing the interim Center at Wiesbaden was therefore changed to "during the month of June 1961."

The initial DACCC-E cadre of key personnel from DCA consisting of Colonel G.A. Zahn, USAF, Chief; Lt Colonel E.R. Daniels, USMC, Deputy Chief; Commander (then LCdr) J.E. Butler, USN, Operations Officer and Miss J.D. Bushnell arrived Wiesbaden on 1 June 1961 to establish the interim DACCC-E. Headquarters was set up in the "lofts" of Building 07A at Wiesbaden Air Base. Expansion of EMTCU was initiated to accommodate the additional circuits and personnel to effectively direct the DCS in the European Area.


The initial cadre at Wiesbaden was built up during June by the addition of MSGT D.L. Matson, SSGT J.R. Heimbach, SSGT L.R.E. Hersey, SSGT D.E. Hoskins, SFC C.J. Clark and SFC R.B. Walters of the U.S. Army; RMCM R.S. Burham, RM1 G.W. Kerber, RM1 R.D. Witt, MA1 J.W. Stutzman, RM1 R.D. Young and RM2 P.W. Savage of the U.S. Navy; and SSGT Reilly, USAF and five airmen of the USAF on TDY from the 12th Mobile Communications Squadron, AFCS.

The interim DACCC-E activated at 2700012 June 1961 directing the communications activities of 23 Defense Communications Systems (DCS) reporting stations interconnected by 125 trunks.


During the latter part of June and first part of July 1961, Captain D.C. Allen, USAF, YNCM H.H. Boyden, USN, and YN1 H.M. Smith, USN, arrived to open up DACCC-E at Dreux Air Base. An installation team from the U.S. Army Signal Engineering Agency augmented by personnel from the European Ground Electronics Engineering and Installation Agency (USAF) arrived in July to install a temporary Operations Center in Building 132. Army, Navy and Air Force personnel were assigned against the DACCC-E Joint Table of Distribution (JTD), which authorized 22 officers, 30 enlisted men and 8 civilians, continued to arrive at Dreux Air Base during July and August.

DACCC-E closed out operations at Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany and established operations at Dreux Air Base, France at 01000A September 1961, as scheduled.


The DCS Station Evaluation Program was initiated on 12 October 1961 when an evaluation team headed by Lt Col Daniels departed to evaluate DCS Stations Peshawar, Pakistan; Asmara, Ethiopia; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Incirlik, Karamursel Navy and Karamursel Air Force, Turkey.


On 1 December 1961, the first major engineering task was assigned. The Director, DCA, charged DACCC-E with coordinating the field planning and implementing actions and assuring interface compatibility of the extensive tropospheric scatter facilities to be installed by the Army and the Air Force in connection with the DCA plan for the improvement of the US-NATO Communications. Requisite transmission engineering for all circuits allocated on DCS broadband systems with the European Area was also made the responsibility of DACCC-E on that date.

Fourteen contract engineers and technicians from the Philco Corporation, under the leadership of Mr. W.L. McEver, arrived during the period 18 - 27 January 1962 to build up the Engineering Staff to cope with the new responsibilities. On 1 February 1962, the Transmission Engineering Branch was established.

Modification of Building 143 to accommodate the permanent DACCC-E started on 1 March 1962. The modification under a French contractor included preparation of the building to accept the Increment II (computerized) control mechanism, refurbishing the office area and the installation of humidity and temperature control equipment, auxiliary and no-break power.

The Secretary of Defense approved on 3 April 1962, DCA Communications Control Centers at communications hubs in the North Atlantic Area, United Kingdom, South Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Far East. Subsequent siting surveys located the three European Centers called Defense Regional Communications Control Centers at Croughton RAF Station, England; Torrejon Air Base, Spain; and Ankara, Turkey.


On its first anniversary, 27 June 1962, DACCC-E was operationally directing 33 DCS Stations interconnected by 297 DCS trunks.

During October 1962, Headquarters DCA, was reorganized to provide for the Director, DCA, and three Deputy Directors; namely, Deputy Director for National Military Command System, Deputy Director for Communications Satellite Office, and Deputy Director for Defense Communications System.


On 29 October 1962, Major General Alfred D. Starbird, USA, assumed command of the DCA replacing Rear Admiral W.D. Irvin, USN. On 30 October 1962, Major General Starbird was promoted to Lieutenant General.

DACCC-E moved from its temporary Building 132 to its permanent home, Building 143, Dreux Air Base on 23 - 24 November 1962.

On 26 November 1963, the Defense Communications Control Center, United Kingdom (DRCCC-UK) and the Defense Communications Control Center, Middle East and Africa (DRCCC-MEA) were activated. Commander Guy E. Noble, USN, was Chief, DRCCC-UK and Lt. Colonel Charles R. Bach, USAF, Chief of DRCCC-MEA.

The Defense Communications Control Center, Spain, Italy and Africa (DRCCC-SIA), activated on 26 December 1962 with Colonel (then Lt. Col) Clark V. Telquist, USA, Chief.

During a conference held at Headquarters US European Command (USEUCOM), on 17 December 1962 attended by USCINCEUR, Deputy USCINCEUR, Deputy J-6, JCS Deputy for DCS, DCA and Chief, DACCC-E, USCINCEUR approved the relocation of DACCC-E from Dreux Air Base to Camp des Loges, France. The DCA plan for the relocation was approved by the Secretary of Defense on 5 March 1963. The construction of the new Butler type building and associated air handling and emergency power was assigned to "C" Company, 553rd Engineer Battalion and the Quartermaster Refrigeration Team, both located at Orleans, France. Ground was broken for the new building on 6 May 1963.

The name, Defense Area Communications Control Center, Europe (DACCC-E) was discarded and the more appropriate title, Defense Communications Agency, European Area (DCA-EUROPE) assigned as of 1 July 1963. The same order redesignated the Regional Centers to the Defense Communications Agency, United Kingdom Region (DCA-UK); Defense Communications Agency, Spain-Italy-Africa Region (DCA-SIA); and the Defense Communications Agency, Middle East Africa Region (DCA-MEA).


DCA-EUROPE relocated from Dreux Air Base to Camp des Loges, France on the week end of 5-8 September 1963. Control operations were cut over to interim facilities at Camp des Loges at O8OOO1Z September 1963 and administrative operations opened at 0800 local 9 September 1963.

During the latter part of 1963, DCA-EUROPE started to receive tasks on the installation of the DCS Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON) which included 14 electronic switching facilities programmed for the European area. A team of Western Electric Engineers under Mr. William C. Schoenthaler, joined DCA-EUROPE in September 1963 to assist DCA in preparing the initial AUTOVON Network Configuration. During October, November and December siting for the switches was accomplished under the direction of DCA-EUROPE.


In October 1963, Civil Service civilian manpower space authorizations were assigned to convert the on-board contract engineers and technician spaces (which then totaled 23 Philco and RCA personnel) to civil service positions. Conversion of on-board personnel and recruitment of new personnel was accomplished during the ensuing ninety days. A majority of the on-board contract personnel converted to Civil Service and remained with DCA-EUROPE.

Installation of the Increment II control system consisting of an IBM 1410 computer, an automated system display and reporting and control communications terminal equipment started in November 1963. The computer and display installation was accomplished by an IBM team under the direction of Mr. Peter P. Piotrowski, IBM Systems Engineer, assigned DCA-EUROPE. The communications facility installation was accomplished by a team from the US Army Strategic Communications Command under Mr. Byron Wolverton. This marked Mr. Wolverton's third installation effort for DCA-EUROPE -- Buildings 132 and 143 at Dreux Air Base and the new installation at Camp des Loges.


The Increment II control system installation was completed in February 1964 and placed under systems test in conjunction with similar systems at DCA-Pacific, DCA-Conus and the Defense Communications Agency Operations Center (DCAOC). The system was observed on 19 February 1964 during an Open House Ceremony attended by 280 guests including top staff members from USEUCOM, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and other commands in the Paris area, French dignitaries and DCA-EUROPE family members. On 1 April 1964, the Increment II system was operational.


On 27 June 1964, the third anniversary, DCA-EUROPE had 40 DCS Stations and 2,260 trucks under its operational direction.

On 1 July 1964, a new Joint Table of Distribution (JTD) became effective. DCA-EUROPE's increased responsibilities were recognized with an increase from 22 officers, 39 enlisted and 9 civilians to 21 officers, 43 enlisted and 29 civilians. Total strength was increased from 69 to 93.

Initial tasks were received in mid-1964 for the implementation of the DCS Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN). The program then included 3 electronic switching facilities within the European Area. Site surveys were conducted under the direction of DCA-EUROPE during September - December 1964. A team of Western Union Engineers under Mr. William Q. Sanders, joined DCA-EUROPE in November 1964 to assist in the preparation of the AUTODIN Network configuration.

In January 1965, the Electronics System Division of the Air Force Systems Command (USAF) activated a Liaison office at DCA-EUROPE. Major M.E. Strange, USAF, was the first ESD Liaison Officer.

On its fourth anniversary in 1965, DCA-EUROPE had 65 DCS Stations and 3,870 trunks under its operational control.

In July 1965, Colonel Zahn was relieved as Chief, DCA-EUROPE by Colonel Howard E: McCormick, USAF.
 
APPENDIX
Because of an edict issued by the French Government in 1966, all American forces were required to be relocated out of France by 1 May 1967. Since DCA-EUROPE was now effectively collocated with Headquarters, US European Command, it was decided that the unit would be relocated with them at Patch Barracks, Vaihingen, Germany (and that the Seventy Army located there would be relocated elsewhere). This move (called FRELOC-French Relocation) came about in late 1966 and early 1967 while Colonel Howard E. McCormick, USAF (the second DCA-Europe chief) was in command. Major Carl G. Herrmann, US Army and Mr. Kaye Palmer were appointed as FRELOC Project Officers for DCA-EUROPE, and were the first to establish the DCA-Europe office at Patch Barracks.

At Patch Barracks, the unit was initially housed on the third and fourth floors of pre-World War II vintage four story buildings which had been formerly used as troop housing and other purposes. Extensive modifications were required and were never really suitable for operations or administrative purposes. However, a couple years later a new building was made available for the unit at Patch Barracks.

Sometime during this period (early 1970's maybe), the DCA-EUROPE regional offices at DCA-SIA and DCA-MEA were combined at Ankara, Turkey, and another regional office was established as DCA-Germany.

A major organizational change occurred approximately June 1991 as the Defense Communications Agency was disbanded and reorganized as part of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The organization at Patch Barracks was redesignated as DISA-EUROPE. and is now (in 1995) commanded by Acting Commander Colonel Gene E. Schartzlow, USMC.
 
DCA-EUR
Camp des Loges, France

 

1.
DCA-E Operations Center (KB)

2.
HQ DCA-EUR, Camp des Loges, 1964 (KB)
     

3.
Col George A. Zahn (USAF), Chief, June 1961 - July 1965

4.
Lt Col E.R. Daniels (USMC), Dpty Ch, June 1961 - July 1964
 
 

5.
Discussing initial operational problems; RM1 Witt (USN) (l); Lt Col Daniels (USMC) (standing center); SSGT Hoskins (seated); TSGT Reilly (USAF) (r)

6.
Capt. Dan C. Allen (USAF), Admin Officer, June 1961 - Aug 1964
   

7.
Lt Col Robert W. Stowbridge, Ch, Plans and Engineering Division, Aug 1961 - Feb 1962

8.
Mr. Aubrey A. Childers, DoD Civ, Ch, Communications Engineer, Nov 1962 - 1966
   

9.
Lt Col Charles R. Rambo, Ch, Plans and Engineering Division and later, Engineering Division, April 1962 - Jan 1964

10.
Lt Col Thomas M. Holimon, Ch, Plans Branch and later Plans and Objectives Division, Aug 1961 - July 1964
   

11.
Lt Col Carroll H. Donnell (USAF), Ch, Control Division, Aug 1961 - Aug 1964

12.
Lt Col Alfred M. Carter, Ch, Control Branch and later Analysis and Evaluation Division, July 1962-Present
   

 
Defense Communications System (1960s)
 
(Source: Various issues of SIGNAL, Journal of the AFCEA)
The Defense Communications Agency was established in May 1960, primarily to manage the long-haul, point-to-point telecommunications lines of the Defense Communications System.

The Agency's responsibilities were subsequently increased to include the technical development and technical support of the National Military Command System and the communications support of the World-Wide Command and Control System. In addition, it became responsible for the integrated development of the military telecommunications satellite system.

In the 1940's and 50's, each of the three Armed Services developed their own long-haul, point-to-point communications systems (Army - STARCOM; Air Force - AIRCOMNET). These systems were largely incompatible and the equipment, procedures, operating practices, and engineering standards used varied between the three services. In the late 1950's, a growing awareness of the increasing operational and technical dependence between the services and an increasing congressional discontent over evidence of waste and inefficiencies in military communications areas led to the move to create a single managing authority over the long-haul, point-to-point communications of the three services and to merge the separate systems into a single integrated system. Thus the DCA was born.

The Defense Communications System was established concurrently with the activation of the DCA.

To manage the integrated network (DCS), an over-all communications control complex was created that was separate from the technical control arrangements that the three services alraedy had in place for their comunications systems.

The Defense Communications Control Center Complex initially consisted of the Defense National Communications Control Center located in Washington, DC and area control centers located in the continental US, Hawaii, Alsaka and Europe (DACC-EUR at Dreuz Air Base, France). The experience gained by the DCA in the initail period demonstarted a need for further expansion of the control center concept which led to activation (between Oct-Dec 1962) of six regional control centers as subordinate elements of the area control centers (under DACC-EUR - England, Spain, Turkey).

In July 1963, the area and regional control centers were redesignated. DCAA-EUR became known as the Defense Communications Agency-European Area. The three regional centers were redesignated as DCA-Regions. At the same time, the DNCCC was redesignated as the DCA Operations Center.

These centers maintained status information on all DCS communications in their assigned areas of responsibility. On the basis of hourly station reports, instructions were issued to the Defense Communications Stations as indicated - e.g. rerouting of circuits to by-pass a trouble area, or reallocation of resources to meet unforeseen demands and emergencies.

To be continuously aware of the communications activity surrounding them, each control center maintained a data base composed of all pertinent resources, including curcuits, channels, networks, contingency reserves, historical data concerning past utilization, reliability, efficiency of the resources, plus a knowledge of operational rules. Scheduled and special status reports together with answers to specific queries generated by the centers complement the data base and make possible the gathering of complete and current station and circuit conditions, and traffic status for the centers' areas of geographical responsibility.

With the exception of the national center, each center conducts circuit and transmission engineering and in addition provides technical assistance to their respective stations and users. Such assistance may include recommendations for site location, terminal equipment, and maintenance improvements. The centers also monitor the adherence of their stations to established standards.

Each regional center is being equipped with teletypewriter and voice terminal equipment, including a semi-automatic store-and-forward capability to facilitate status report delivery. The regional center is also equipped with a status display manually operated but adaptable for utilization of automatic sensing or computer drives. The system display portrays, by geographical relationships, the Defense Communications System stations and trunking of primary concern to the control center; a network display reflects the conditions of selected networks related to selected stations and trunking. A control console provides for the control of system, network, and projection displays. The installation of the regional communications status center equipment is being accomplished by Army and Air Force installation teams.

STARCOM (Strategic Army Communications System)

STARCOM (previously known as ACAN) was the global communications system of the Army in the early 1960s and, with the formation of the DCA, became part of the Defense Communications System. It consisted of long-haul, point-to-point radio, wire and cable facilities. The radio systems included high frequency, microwave line-of-sight, and tropospheric and inonospheric scatter modes.

The global DCS facilities operated by the Army include relay stations located throughout the world. There are eight primary and thirty-four major relay stations in the Army STARCOM. Subscribers or users of the multipurpose, multichannel system are interconnected at the relay station. Communications to troubled areas (such as Lebanon in 1958, or Vietnam in early 1960s) may also be implemented with extensions from these relay stations.

The US Army supports the DCA mission and the DCS in many ways. The support of DCA embraces the entire field of startegic communications, and broadly includes:
(a) Installing, operating and maintaining assigned DCS facilities;
(b) Providing personnel, facilities, equipment, and other support required to maintain and operate the facilities and activities of the DCA;
(c) Budgeting, funding and accounting for the assigned DCS elements;
(d) Performing detailed engineering for assigned DCS responsibilities and tasks;
(e) Developing and submitting Army DCS requirements to DCA;
(f) Ground environmental support of the satellite communications program.

The STARCOM stations of the DCS provide a network that covers the free worls. The supporting facilities include message centers, switching centers, powerful radio transmitter stations and sensitive receiver stations.

Major Relay Stations
Some information relating to the European segment:

The East Coast Relay Station at Fort Detrick, MD, is an automatic tape relay station. The station serves some 90 tributary stations along the East Coast and it has more than 70 direct trunk line connections to Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Africa, Puerto Rico, Panama and Hawaii, as well as the western relay stations in the US.

The East Coast Radio Transmitter Station is located at Woodbridge, VA; the The East Coast Radio Receiver Station is at La Plata, MD.

The oversea DCS stations operated by the Army are in Panama, Europe, East Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Far East, the Pacific area and Alaska.

 
In the (early) 1960s, (STARCOM Station) Pirmasens was connected with Fort Detrick, Maryland (East Coast Relay Station) through a four-channel, 60-word-per-minute, teletype carrier system via a 30 KW HF circuit.




 

 
(Source: DCS Primary Relay Station Drake, Japan Welcome Booklet, 1962; Assorted Army Acronyms and other Alphabet Soup of the 1950s and 1960s, by James Brendage and Three Years With ADA, by Leonard H. Anderson; these documents and other related information found on Harold Hallikainen's excellent web page "Saving History from the Dumpster" )

STARCOM Network, 1960


Traffic Routing Diagram, 1960

STARCOM - Transition to DCS - Early 1960s

ACAN (or Army Command and Administrative Network) was an important HF world-wide communications system operated by the Army from the WWII period to the beginning of the 1960s. In 1960, this global system was redesignated as STARCOM (Strategic Army Communications). STARCOM consisted of a series of world-wide strategically located relay stations interconnected by long-haul multi-channel and voice circuits. It employed the latest communications techniques including Ionospheric and Troposheric Scatter modes.

The STARCOM network was integrated into the new Defense Communications System and came under the operational control of the Defense Communications Agency in March 1961. Concurrent with this reorganization, STARCOM stations worldwide became known as DCS Stations.
 
I served at the Primary Signal Relay Center at Pirmasens, Germany, from January 1960 until May of 1963.

We had a Classified Relay (Center) manned by the military with TS clearances, and a Crypto Section. Unclassified Relay Center, manned by Military and German Nationals. It was know as RUFP with Circuits  to all Commands in Germany and RUEP in the Pentagon, RUQP in Asmara and other Major Relay Centers including Iran. A Facilities Control, Crypto and Teletype Maintenance Section. I was a Staff Sergeant in Tape Relay and then in the Crypto Section.

 
AIRCOMNET (Air Force Communications Network) - moved to Air Force Communications in Europe Page
 

 

By the beginning of 1970, the following programs had been implemented by DCA:
AUTODIN
AUTOVON (majority of program)
AUTOSEVOCOM (Automatic Secure Voice Network)
Phase I, DSCS (Defense Satellite Communications System)
numerous Transmission Systems projects


 
SUPPORTED COMD
UNIT
STATION
COMMENTS
HQ USEUCOM_
_
_
.
106th SIGNAL GP
Paris, France
An element of STRATCOM-EUR consisted of three companies (1966) and provided communications support for HQ USEUCOM.
.
.
.
.
HQ USAREUR_
_
_
.
516th SIGNAL GP
Karlsruhe
Activated 1 Nov 1965, composed of 72nd and 102nd Sig Bns, USAREUR Sig Cen, 16th Avn Co, 6981st CLG and 4038th LS Co.
.
.
.
.
HQ ??? _
_
_
.
22nd SIGNAL GP
Sandhofen
.
.
.
.
.
HQ USAACOM
_
_
.
4th SIGNAL GP
McGraw Ksn, Munich
Transferred to STRATCOM-EUR on 25 Sug 1966.
.
.
.
.
HQ COMZEUR
_
_
.
1st SIGNAL GP
Harbord Bks, Olivet
.
.
.
.
.
HQ 7TH ARMY_
_
_
.
12th SIGNAL GP
Panzer Ksn, Böblingen
.
.
.
.
.
HQ SETAF_
_
_
.
21st SIGNAL CO
Camp Darby, Livorno, IT
.
.
.
.
.
CORPS_
_
_
.
32nd SIGNAL BN
CFK, Darmstadt
.
.
34th SIGNAL BN
Kelley Bks, Möhringen
..

 
1963
(Source: ROTCM 145-70, Branches of the Army, Oct 1963)
Signal Troops in a Theater of Operations

The principal mission of the Signal Corps in a theater of operations is to furnish effective communications for the operating forces.

In a theater of operations, communications are established by a network of
signal centers,
control centers,
control subcenters, and
switching centers.

Covering the geographical territory represented by the theater of operations are three kinds of area communication systems:
Theater Army
Field Army
Division

These systems form grid-like webs that link together all commands within the theater of operations and also allow alternate routes for communications in the event any center or circuit is knocked out by enemy action.
 
Theater Army Communications System (TACS)
 

TACS (1965)

TACS is a high-capacity, high-quality, multi-means, multi-axis, integrated communications network. The circuits comprising the system extend forward from the theater rear boundary into the field army areas where they interconnect with the field army area communications system. As much as practical, indigenous communication facilities are used. TACS also provides terminals for connecting the theater into the Defense Communications Agency Network (e.g. STARCOM in the 1960s). The system uses radio, radio relay, and field cable, together with associated terminal equipment, in a combination of control centers, control subcenters, and switching centers in conjunction with command and area signal centers.

The operating element of the theater army responsible for installing and operating the TACS is the signal long lines command. (In Europe, per STATION LIST dtd 16 April 1962, the signal long lines command was probably designated the US Army Signal Brigade, Europe located in Heidelberg.)
 
The signal long lines command is organized on a functional basis with TOE groups and units.

The main operating elements of a typical long lines command are
(1) Signal Intersectional Operations Group
(1) Signal Construction Group
(1) Signal Messenger Company
(1) Radio Operations Company
(1) Signal Photo Company
and several assigned or attached units such as
-- Signal Large HQs Operations Companies
-- Signal Medium HQs Operations Companies
 
Theater Army Logistical Command Signal Support
Signal units within the Theater Army Logistical Command (i.e. Base Logistical Command and Advance Logistical Command) fall into two categories:
units that furnish communications and related services for the logistical command;
units that furnish signal logistical support by operating (signal) depots.

A communications support group, one assigned to each advance logistical command or base logistical command, contains the signal units needed to construct, install, operate, and maintain signal communications required in connection with intersectional pipelines, railways, inland waterways, and the military highway system. Therefore, in the communications support group are
Signal Small HQs Support Battalion that includes three signal small hqs operations companies, and two signal communications center operation companies,
Signal Radio Relay and Construction Battalion comprised of a radio relay company and two signal construction companies, and separately, a
Signal Medium HQs Operations Company.
 
Also organic to the communications support group is a Signal Supply and Maintenance Battalion comprised of a number of signal depot companies that operate depots and equipment repair facilities capable of providing both general and direct signal supply and maintenance support.
 
Army Group Signal Support
The Army Group (in Central Europe there were two Army groups: CENTAG and NORTHAG) is the highest tactical command in the combat zone. Signal Corps personnel are required to install and operate switchboards, telephones, teletypewriters, radios, cryptographic equipment, and other communication facilities in the army group hqs. They also establish and maintain the wire, cable, and radio circuits to connect army group hqs to subordinate units and to theater or army signal centers.

Normally, one field army signal battalion can provide the necessary communications for an army group hqs. (Webmaster Note: In the 1960s, the 516th Signal Group was designated to support CENTAG.)
 
THEATER ARMY AND ARMY GROUP LEVEL SIGNAL UNITS - 1960s

17th Sig Bn

29th Sig Bn

447th Sig Bn

Sig Bn
 
 
Field Army Communications System
 

Field Army Communications System (1965)
The Field Army (in Europe the US Army field army was designated Seventh Army) receives signal support from an Army Signal Section, a Combat Area Signal Group, and an Army Signal Group. The Field Army Signal Officer, aided by the Army Signal Section as his staff, normally has operational control over two signal groups.

The Combat Area Signal Group sets up and operates the Field Army Area Communications System which the signal section has devised to support the field army commander's tactical plans. (Webmaster Note: In the 1960s, the 505th Signal Group provided that support to Seventh Army.) This army area communications system is a high-quality, high-capacity, multi-means, multi-axis system that meets the requirements for flexibility, mobility, and dispersion. Basically, the system is composed of area signal centers interconnected by trunk circuits under centralized control. Each area signal center is assigned a geographical area for operations and is interconnected with at least two other signal centers to provide alternate routing and to allow distribution of the traffic load.
The Army Signal Group plays its part in the Field Army Communication System for the field army command posts: main, rear, and alternate. (Webmaster Note: the 12th Signal Group performed this mission.) It also provides communications for the field army tactical operations center and associated air support communications. Internal communication facilities for large logistical complexes are also furnished, as well as ground photographic service for army hqs and air courier and messenger service for the field army. A Signal Supply and Maintenance Battalion, organic to the signal group, operates field army signal depots and forward supply and maintenance points. (Webmaster Note: this would be the 504th Signal Battalion.) Other signal units are attached or assigned to the army signal group to perform such highly specialized missions as cryptologistics, electronic warfare, automated data processing, and signal technical intelligence.
 
FIELD ARMY LEVEL SIGNAL UNITS - 1960s

25th Sig Bn

97th Sig Bn

504th Sig Bn

 

1st Sig Bn

16th Sig Bn

26th Sig Bn

93rd Sig Bn
 

440th Sig Bn



 

 
(Source: FM 11-95, Army Signal Battalion, April 1960 and FM 11-125, Field Army Signal Communications, December 1969)

Type Communications at
Army Main (1960)



Type Communications at
Army Main (1969)
  Details will be added soon

 
(Source: U.S. Army Electronics Command)
Types of Communications Equipment Employed with the Field Army (1965-70)
It would be interesting to hear from Signal Corps vets who can provide some details on the commo equipment used at the different echelons of 7th Army during this (or any other) period. Please contact me!

 
1963
(Source: ROTCM 145-70, Branches of the Army, Oct 1963)

Corps Level Signal Support (1965)
Corps Signal Support

The corps does not establish a separate area communications system of its own. Instead, it ties into the army area communication system and becomes a part of that system. There is a Corps Signal Battalion (Webmaster Note: the 32nd Signal Battalion supported V Corps; the 34th Signal Battalion was responsible for supporting VII Corps) that provides communications for the corps hqs by installing, operating, and maintaining signal centers at corps main, alternate, and rear echelons. These signal centers provide message center, cryptographic, teletypewriter, telephone, and messenger services. Furthermore, the corps signal battalion operates the corps radio teletypewriter nets and radio teletypewriter stations in various army nets. Radio relay communications is set up and used from corps hqs to the divisions under the corps, to the corps artillery, and other attached or assigned units. The corps signal battalion also operates the corps ground and air messenger service and provides photographic service (except aerial photography) for the corps.
 
CORPS LEVEL SIGNAL UNITS - 1960s

32nd Sig Bn

34th Sig Bn


 

 
Division Area Communications System
 
Each combat division has a Division Signal Battalion to provide the signal support necessary for command and control of the entire division. The signal battalion for the armored, infantry, or mechanized division is similar in terms of mission and organization. The airborne division signal battalion differs somewhat.

The mission of the division signal battalion (armored, infantry, and mechanized) is to: provide signal communications for the division headquarters and the division headquarters company (except internal radio nets) and also for the headquarters and headquarters company of the division support command (except internal radio nets); establish and operate the division area communication system; provide each brigade headquarters with multichannel communications to each of the two command echelons of the division; provide a signal center service to units located in the vicinity of the division area signal centers, supplementing those units' organic facilities; establish and operate facilities to connect division artillery headquarters into the division area communication system; operate the division ground messenger service; perform photography (except aerial photography) for the division, and still picture laboratory service for all divisional units; perform third echelon maintenance of all cryptographic equipment in the division and organizational maintenance of signal equipment organic to the battalion.

Items of electronics materiel (i.e., signal supplies and equipment) are supplied to all the division's units by the division support command. The maintenance battalion of the division support command does third echelon maintenance and furnishes repair parts for the signal equipment in the division.
 
DIVISION LEVEL SIGNAL UNITS - 1960s

8th Sig Bn

24th Sig Bn

123rd Sig Bn

143rd Sig Bn
 

144th Sig Bn
       

 
(Source: Army Information Digest, May 1963)
Getting the Message Through

By Colonel G.D. Gray
COL G. D. GRAY, Signal Corps, is Assistant Director, Command & Control Systems Directorate, Office of the Chief Signal Officer.

IF YOU were there, perhaps you will remember those rag-tag wires hanging on shot-up poles along the Main Supply Route from Pusan through Seoul to Uijongbu.

Considering the rough ride and the miserable weather, you may not have paid much attention to them or given them any particular thought. However, those lines were the backbone of the Single Axis Communications System that gave you whatever chance you had at living and performing your combat mission.

Those wires were further backed up by radio relay in the hills and by the old Mukden cable under the road, but they all followed the same single axis over which went the High Command's orders, requests for replacements, ammo, rations -- you name it.

Knock out one link in that system, and things slowed to a trickle until Signalmen got it operating again. Communications didn't stop, of course; there was alternate routing, because in Signal operations, as in the rest of the Army, you make contact with the man or outfit on your flank, one way or another. Usually, however, there was a limited means of getting the message through.

With the coming of nuclear and unconventional warfare, it was soon recognized that events in future combat operations would move too swiftly to tolerate a "trickle of information" capability. Increased fire power and mobility would mean very little in future operations without more effective command control.

To gain and maintain such control, a more rapid, accurate, secure and reliable means was needed -- a system that would sustain single breakdowns and still provide rapid communications to all units, even though they would be much more widely dispersed. This system must also be capable of summoning replacements, ammo, and rations in a hurry while the moving and shooting is going on. In short, a new system, with a new look, was mandatory. It was not long in coming.

BY THE mid-1950's, the Chief Signal Officer was well aware of the Korean experiences, and the weaknesses in the capabilities of the single axis system. He knew that, as a minimum, the communications system required to support our modem field army in this new era of warfare would have to

Be 100 percent self-contained and mobile for quick reaction.

Be operable and dependable even if one or more major communication centers are completely wiped out.

Provide sufficient channels to satisfy user requirements, and furnish alternate routings as necessary.

Provide coverage of the complete area of responsibility, including services to widely dispersed units.

Signal Equipment in the Field (1963)
To meet these requirements, the Army Area Communications System was developed by the Signal Corps.

Today such a system for a field army is composed of an area communications system for each Division, a system for each subordinate Corps, an army area communications system, and facilities for other assigned or attached units. (See figure on left) Throughout the overall system, radio relay and multichannel cable communications support is considered the work horse of a field army. In addition, messenger, wire and numerous low, medium and high power voice and radioteletype radio links are provided for special purpose communications, contact during fluid situations, and to back-up the radio relay/cable networks.

Alternate routes are available from division to corps and to army, and vice versa. Each Signal center is capable of providing communications channels to all units situated in the vicinity. As a result, no unit is ever far from access to the overall area system. When time permits, the radio relay circuits are replaced by cable to conserve radio frequencies.

SO, what is so different? For one thing, we now have a reliable multi-axis, multichannel network with adequate routing facilities for effective command control while our forces are moving and shooting, and to get the replacements, ammo, rations and other supplies up front at the same time. If the bombs fall, the word can still get through.
And what about cost? You guessed it -- requirements for mobile multi-axis communications support has resulted in increased costs of several million dollars for equipment and personnel. But for reasons previously discussed, the importance of this support is of such a magnitude that the costs must, of necessity, be borne. Similarly, we must pay the increased costs for other military equipment in order to obtain the greater mobility and increased fire power required.

Already approximately 1200 of 22 different types of mobile self-contained electronic communications equipment configurations have been introduced in the Field Army Area Communications Systems. Several hundred more will be introduced by Fiscal Year 1965 to complete the system's requirements. These assemblages contain numerous functional combinations of the best radio, switchboard, teletype, telephone, multichannel telephone/teletype carrier, and security equipments available.

Approximately 5,000 more highly trained Signal specialists are required to install, operate, and maintain the new equipment than were required within the Field Army for support of the old single axis system. Service school training programs must be constantly revised to provide the necessary skills required by responsible Signal units. Even then, in some instances, the nature of the assemblages requires additional special training by units in the field.

What are these "responsible Signal units," and what are their capabilities for supporting the Army Area Communications System? The answer depends upon the requirements of each component system. In place of the Division Signal Company previously provided to support the division single axis system, the Infantry Division now has an organic Signal Battalion capable of installing, operating, maintaining, and controlling the new division area communications system.

The Infantry Division Signal Officer (DSO), assisted by his staff, plans and directs installation and operation of the component system. The battalion S3, under the direction of the DSO, establishes and operates a division systems control and Signal information center which supervises circuit routing, circuit assignment, emergency rerouting, and designation of control terminals for the system. Similar support is provided the Armored and Airborne Division.

A Corps Signal Battalion, consisting of a headquarters and headquarters company, a command operations company and a field operations company, is provided to install, operate and maintain the corps communications system. Under direction of the Corps Signal Officer, it provides internal communications for all echelons of the corps headquarters, trunk circuits from corps headquarters to mjaor subordinate units, and corps messenger service.

The Field Army area communications system, under direction of the Army Signal Officer, is installed, operated and maintained by the Combat Area Signal Group (with its Combat Area Signal battalions and a Signal Cable Construction battalion), an Army Signal Battalion, a Signal Communications Center Operations Company, and such other units as required.

Combat Area Signal battalions install, operate and maintain the Army Area Signal Centers and the interconnecting trunk circuits all the way down to division level. The Signal Cable Construction battalion installs field cable trunk circuits and field cable extensions as required.

The Army Signal Battalion provides the command Signal centers which serve the Field Army Headquarters. It also provides personnel and equipment to install and maintain Field Army operations centers. The Signal Communications Centers Operations Company is equipped to provide internal communications for operational headquarters within the Field Army, as required.

In this manner, the Signal Corps has developed, fabricated, and implemented the new Field Army Area Communications System. But there is no intention of resting on laurels. Studies and development activities go on constantly to improve today's methods and techniques for providing Signal support to the Field Army.

No communications system is perfect; it is realized that messages can never be delivered rapidly enough, accurately enough, or with complete security. But accomplishment of the soldier's combat mission demands the very best communications possible. The Signal Corps is determined that you will have nothing short of the best in Getting the Message Through.

 
Army Area Communications System
(Source: FM 11-68, Combat Area Signal Battalion, Area, Dec 1958)
Introduction
Since there is a possibility that nuclear-type weapons may be used on the battlefield, the field army commander must disperse his forces, both tactical and support, to prevent their annihilation by nuclear fires. The field army commander is also faced with the problem of obtaining a decisive action without presenting his forces to the enemy in mass, thereby making them vulnerable to enemy nuclear weapons. Prior to an attack, his forces must remain dispersed until the last possible moment. The dispersed forces converge, launch the attack, and disperse in the shortest possible time. Since this method of troop employment requires the utmost in control, the field army commander must have a signal system that meets the requirements of flexibility, mobility, and dispersion. An army area signal system designed to meet these requirements and to provide the commander with a high-quality, high-capacity, multiaxis signal system is described in the next paragraph.

Army Area Signal System
The army area signal system (Figure 1) normally consists of 18 to 24 signal centers installed in the army area. The area system will normally be confined to the area between the army rear and division rear boundaries, although at times an army area signal center may be located in the division sector. The system is installed and operated by the army area signal group. The group consists of six combat area signal battalions army, and one signal cable construction battalion. The area signal centers will be located in such a pattern as to facilitate alternate routing and easy access to users. Major headquarters and vital troop units and agencies must be provided circuits to more than one center to minimize interruption of service if a given signal center is destroyed by enemy action. The signal centers in the army area signal system are connected to each other by spiral-four cable and multichannel radio relay carrier systems. The number of systems installed between given area signal centers depends on the circuit requirements. In a type situation, this may vary from 12 to 36 channels. Each combat area signal battalion, army, has a capability of installing four area signal centers; each being operated by one of four combat area signal companies organic to the battalion. Normally, these centers will be installed in a rear-to-front axis to facilitate displacement. Lateral communications between adjacent armies will be established from left to right. A combat area signal company of the combat area signal battalion, army operating nearest to a division will be responsible for establishing a multichannel system to that division.

Figure 1
 
a. All military units and installations within the army area can be users of the area signal system. Many of the combat support, logistical, and service units and installations such as air defense, electronic warfare units, army aviation, and various control and coordination centers, will require both sole-user and common-user circuits. Other units will require only common-user circuits. Sole-user circuits, when required, are patched directly through the army area signal centers.
   

Figure 2
 
b. Each army area signal center (Figure 2) furnishes radio relay, field cable trunk, and local field wire circuits to using units in the vicinity. Each center also --

(1) Furnishes telephone, message center, teletypewriter, and cryptographic service for units and installations in its area.

(2) Provides patching and switching of telephone and teletypewriter circuits.

(3) Performs signal equipment repair for units in the area that do not have an organic repair capability.

(4) Provides radio/wire integration service.
The army area signal centers must maintain close coordination with the major headquarters to which circuits are established.

(1) In the case of field army headquarters, the links between the army area signal centers and the army headquarters signal centers (Figure 1) will be established by the signal battalion, army. The signal battalion, army will furnish terminal equipment and operating personnel for this system.

(2) The links from army area signal centers to the corps headquarters signal centers (Figure 1) will be established by the combat area signal companies that operate those particular army area signal centers. The combat area signal companies will furnish both the terminal equipment and the operating personnel.

(3) One link from the army area signal system to each frontline division (Figure 1) is provided by the combat area signal company operating the appropriate army area signal center. Terminal equipment and operating personnel are furnished by the combat area signal company. These links, which should be coordinated with corps, normally are terminated at the division trains signal center. Corps provides at least one additional link to each division.

 
(Source: FM 11-21, Tactical Signal Communication Systems, Army, Corps, and Division, Nov 1961)

Field Army Area Communications System
 
I have superimposed onto the schematic diagram, Type field army multichannel communication system, found in FM 11-21 some information concerning actual signal corps units assigned to 7th Army in the 1961-62 time period.

The purpose is to try to match up the missions of the various signal units supporting
Seventh Army and V and VII Corps with the tactical doctrine of that period
.

NOTE: Division designations, AOR boundaries, location and number of area signal centers do not correspond to the actual situation in Germany at that time but strictly serve to illustrate the principle.

Corrections and further details would be very welcome!

 
(Source: FM 11-15, Signal Cable Construction Battalion, 15 Oct 1959)

Sig Cable Const Bn within the Field Army Area Communications System
 
The mission of the signal cable construction battalion (TOE 11-45) is --
a. To install signal field wire circuits in the field army area
.

b. To perform limited rehabilitation and maintenance of existing indigenous cable (lead and rubber covered) and open wire circuits.

c. To perform limited field cable recovery and field cable repair in the field army area.

Organization and Mobility
a. A signal cable construction battalion consists of a headquarters and headquarters detachment and three identical signal cable construction companies.

b. The battalion is approximately 90 percent mobile. Headquarters and headquarters detachment is approximately 75 percent mobile. Each of the signal cable construction companies is 90 percent mobile.
 
Field Amy Area Communication System
  a. Basically, the field army area communication system is made up of signal centers and interconnecting trunk circuits. Each signal center is assigned an area of signal service responsibility; it provides all signal services required to support the units and activities within its assigned area.

Each signal center of the army area communication system is connected to at least two other army area signal centers to provide alternate routing and to distribute the traffic load more evenly.

b. For identification purposes, code name and exchange numbers are assigned to the signal centers of major commands, such as divisions, corps, and field armies. For example (see graph above), the code name for the 30th (US) Army is Monarch, and the exchange numbers are as follows:
Command signal centers 700-709
 Army area signal centers 710-745

c. The field army area communication system normally consists of 18 to 24 signal centers, interconnected by trunk circuits. The field army area communication system is installed, operated, and maintained by the combat area signal group, army, which consists of six combat area signal battalions, army, and a signal cable construction battalion. The combat area signal battalions, army, install the army area signal centers and their interconnecting trunk circuits. The signal cable construction battalion assists the combat area signal battalions to install cable trunk circuits within the field army area as required.

Transmission Media
Because of the improvements in radio relay equipments and the change of the tactical concepts of the field army, radio relay is the primary transmission medium used in the field army area communication system. This does not eliminate wire as a transmission medium, since it normally is used to back up and augment radio relay systems, and to provide communications when radio relay facilities are being displaced. In addition, wire systems may be expanded, in static situations, to carry the major portion of the communication load. The principal wire facility used in the field army area communication system is field cable (spiral-four), with its associated carrier equipment. The use of field wire and multi-pair voice frequency cable is usually limited to local distribution facilities and for short trunk circuits.
 
Type Operation of a Signal Cable Construction Battalion

Situation
 a. The 30th (US) Army is in a static situation, and the requirements for a signal communications are increasing steadily. To satisfy these increased requirements, it is necessary to install spiral-four field cable circuits to augment existing radio relay systems.

 b. The 706th Combat Area Signal Group, Army, of the 30th (US) Army provides the army area communication system. Each of the six combat area signal battalions of the combat area signal group, army, has four combat signal companies; each of these companies is capable of installing, operating, and maintaining one area signal center. The 774th Signal Cable Construction Battalion of the combat area signal group, army, provides wire and cable construction support as needed. A graphic display of the employment of the signal cable construction battalion is shown above.

 c. The cable lines (see graphic) will be installed by the 774th Signal Cable Construction Battalion.

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment
 a. The headquarters and headquarters detachment of the cable construction battalion is located near the headquarters of the 706th Combat Area Signal Group, Army. It is located to coordinate operations of the signal cable construction battalion with group headquarters.

b. Communication between the headquarters and headquarters detachment and the signal cable construction companies is provided by the army area communication system. The detachment has access to the army area communication system through signal center Monarch 701.

c. Signal supply support for the cable construction battalion is furnished by the army signal supply and maintenance battalion. The headquarters and headquarters detachment can draw supplies from the army signal depot.

Cable Splicer and Repair Section
 a. Cable splicing teams in this section provide limited rehabilitation and maintenance of existing indigenous cable in the field army area, and limited field cable repair for the battalion.

 b. The carrier equipment repairman will remain in the battalion headquarters area to maintain unattended repeaters, as required.

Company A Employment
a. Company A of the 774th Signal Cable Construction Battalion is attached to the 762d Combat Area Signal Battalion for logistical support. Company A will draw signal supplies from the army signal supply and maintenance point in the 2d (US) Corps zone. This company also can draw signal supplies from units that are being supported.

b. Communications between Company A and its parent unit are provided by the army area communication system. Company A has access to the army area communication system through signal center Monarch 724.

c. When an element of the company must remain away from its parent unit, it will mess and bivouac with the unit being supported.

d. Company A is assigned the following mission:
(1) Installation and maintenance of cable lines from 30th (US) Army MAIN (Monarch 701) to area signal centers. Monarch 729 and 730.
(2) Installation and maintenance of cable lines from 30 (US) Army ALTERNATE (Monarch 702) to area signal centers Monarch 724 and 725.
(3) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 724 to area signal center Monarch 729.
(4) Installation of cable lines from 2d (US) Corps MAIN to area signal centers Monarch 738 and 719.
(5) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 712 to 25th Armored Division, and to the 22d Infantry Division.
(6) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 713 to Corps ADVANCE to area signal center Monarch 719, to the 52d Infantry Division, and to the 73d Infantry Division.

e. The construction elements of the company that performed the mission described in d(1) and (2) above will remain at the even-numbered area signal center that they supported, to provide maintenance when required. The construction elements of the company that performed the mission described in d(3) through (6) will return to their parent company as soon as the cable lines are installed.

Company B Employment
a. Company B is attached to the 763rd Combat Area Signal Battalion, Army, for logistical support. Company B will draw supplies from the army signal supply and maintenance point in the 1st (US) Corps zone. This company may also draw supplies from the unite that they support.

b. Communications between Company B and its parent unit are provided by the army area communication system. Company B has access to the army area communication system through area signal center Monarch 717.

c. When an element of the company must remain away from its parent unit, it will mesa and bivouac with the unit that is being supported.

d. Company B is assigned the following mission:
(1) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 717 to area signal centers Monarch 716 and 723, and to 1st (US) Corps MAIN.
(2) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 716 to 1st (US) Corps MAIN and to area signal center Monarch 710,
(3) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 710 to 1st (US) Corps ADVANCE and to the 20th Infantry Division.
(4) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 711 to the 23d Armored Division, to 72d Infantry Division, and to the 65th Infantry Division.

e. As soon as these cable lines are installed, the installation teams will return to their parent company.

Company C Employment
a. Company C is attached to the 765th Combat Area Signal Battalion, Army, for logistical support. Company C will draw supply support from the army signal supply and maintenance point in the 3d (US) Corps zone. Company C may also draw supplies from the units it supports.

b. Communications between Company C and its parent unit are provided by the army area communication system. Company C has access to the army area communication system through the area signal center Monarch 720.

c. When any element of this company must remain away from its parent unit, it will mess and bivouac with the unit being supported.

d. Company C is assigned the following mission:
(1) Installation of cable lines from 3d (US) Corps MAIN to area signal centers Monarch 720 and 721.
(2) Installation of cable lines between area signal centers Monarch 720 and 721.
(3) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 714 to 32d Armored Division and to 21st Infantry Division.
(4) Installation of cable lines from area signal center Monarch 715 to area signal center Monarch 721, 3d (US) Corps ADVANCE, 62d Infantry Division, and 74th Infantry Division.

e. As soon as these cable lines are installed, the construction teams will return to their parent company.

 
Area Signal Center
 

Organization chart of a type Field Army Signal Brigade with operating elements
of the Army Area Communications System
 

Fig. 2: Organization chart of the Army Area Signal Company
 
(Source: Thesis written by MAJ Clare R.J. Rogers, USA, at the US Army Command and General Staff College, 1967)
AREA SIGNAL CENTER
The area signal center, installed by the area signal company (for example - A Company, 440th Signal Battalion), is the basic operating element of the field army communications system.

While its functions are generally similar to those of the 1955-era signal center, the types of equipment to be used differ greatly in many cases, and the communications capabilities of the center have been increased accordingly.

An organization chart of the army area signal company is shown in Figure 2.
The company headquarters provides the necessary command supervision over company activities.

The operations platoon furnishes telephone and teletypewriter switching, radio-wire integration, teletypewriter, cryptographic, facsimile, and message center service for the signal center area of responsibility.

The radio relay access platoon provides the multichannel carrier systems to connect the operating facilities at the signal center to adjacent signal centers, with a total capability of terminating 288 PCM channels. A type installation of this platoon employs ninety-six-channel systems for the front-to-rear links and forty-eight-channel links deployed laterally.

The transmission platoon provides up to four forty-eight or ninety-six-channel extension systems from the signal center to major users requiring communications support from the signal center.

The wire and cable platoon is responsible for installing wire lines where feasible within the signal center area of responsibility.

 
(Source: Special Issue - Army Communications, SIGNAL, October 1964)
Webmaster Note: The images referred to in the sections covered by Maj Evans, US Army Electronics Command, are not included in an effort to minimize space requirements on the web server.

FIELD ARMY

by Lt Col F.P. Stangl, USADC and Maj A.B. Evans, USAECOM

Content under revision


 
(Source: Special Issue - Army Communications, SIGNAL, October 1964)
Webmaster Note: The images referred to in the sections covered by Maj Spell, US Army Electronics Command, are not included in an effort to minimize space requirements on the web server.

THE CORPS

by Capt M.W. Lassen, USAECOM and Maj W.H. Spell, USAECOM

Content under revision


 
ET-A - European Tropospheric Scatter-Army
 
ET-A information has been moved to the ET-A Page.
 

 
Wideband Network in Germany
 
Looking for details (unit and site histories, unit organizations, site locations, call signs, photos, etc.) of long lines tropo and microwave radio relay networks operated by Army signal units in support of CENTAG, USAREUR, and 7th Army in the 1950s - 1980s.
 

USAREUR Radio-Telephone Network, 1958
Use the Telephone List provided by Howard Safstrom to match up the three-letter station ID's with the actual signal site locations.

Click here to supersize
(331 KB)
 

Wideband Network
102nd Sig Bn
See the 102nd Sig Bn Page for a complete list of radio relay sites operated by the 102nd in the early 1960s.
 

USAREUR Radio-Telephone Network, 1963
Use the Telephone List provided by Howard Safstrom to match up the three-letter station ID's with the actual signal site locations.

Click here to supersize
(369 KB)

 
Wideband Network in France
 
 

Wideband Network, 1961
Source: The CommNet, June 1961 Edition, courtesy 12th Radio Relay Squadron Yahoo Group

"The CommNet" was an official publication of the 2nd Communications Group based at Ramstein. The Group was the command and control headquarters for the 1st, 7th, 8th and 12th Radio Relay Squadrons as well as the 13th Communications Construction Squadron, 20th, 25th and 604th Communications Squadrons.
 

Wideband Network, 1966
(France only)
Source: FRELOC, After Action Report


 
(Source: FRELOC, Volume II, Final Report.)
US Army Microwave Sites in France, 1966
STA #
SITE
LOCATION
OPERATING UNIT
COMMENTS
FR 484
Micro Les Plessis
Cucharmoy, Paris Post
_
_
FR 519
Micro Vernou sur Seine
Vernou sur Seine, Paris Post
_
_
FR 477
Micro Fromont
Fromont, Paris Post
_
_
FR 491
Micro les Essart
Les Essarts le Vicomte
_
_
FR 456
Micro Angervillers
Volkrange (Moselle), Eastern Complex
_
_
FR 463
Micro Bois de Beaumont
Mibelle, Orleans Post
_
_
FR 512
Micro Tilloy-Bellay
Tilloy Bellay Marne, Eastern Complex
_
_
FR 470
Micro Clermont en Argonne
Clermont en Argonne, Eastern Complex
_
_
FR 498
Micro Moulainville
Moulainville, Eastern Complex
_
_
FR 505
Micro Soulieres
Soulieres Marne, Eastern Complex
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
NOTE: see comments by former members of the 256th Sig Co and 257th Sig Co.

 
(Source: AIR FAN, December 1990; French aeronautical magazine)
US Air Force Microwave/Relay Sites in France, 1966
STA #
SITE
LOCATION
OPERATING UNIT
COMMENTS
_
Micro Armentieres
_
_
_
_
Micro Aubigny
_
_
_
_
Micro Bethune
_
_
_
_
Micro Braconne
_
_
_
_
RRL Broussy en Blois
_
_
Call Sign: Falcon 18, 1st RRS, 1950s;
_
Micro Champagne-St. Hilaire
_
_
_
_
RRL Chatenay (Orly)
_
_
_
_
Micro Chavigny
_
_
_
_
Micro Cheniers
_
_
_
_
Micro Chillac
_
_
_
_
RRL Clermont
_
_
_
_
Micro Croix Chapeau
_
_
_
_
RRL Euffigniex
_
_
_
_
RRL Flappeville
_
_
_
_
Micro Grand
_
_
Call Sign: Falcon 19, 1st RRS, 1950s;
_
Micro Grand-Villiere
_
_
_
_
RRL Jossigny
_
_
_
_
Micro La Rouscade
_
_
_
_
Micro La Rochelle
_
_
_
_
Micro Le Chenoy
_
_
_
_
RRL Longfosse
_
Det 16, 2059th RRS, 1960s_
_
_
RRL Ludres
_
_
_
_
RRL Maintenay
_
_
_
_
Micro Maison Fort
_
_
_
_
RRL Menetreols
_
_
_
_
RRL Mercy les Metz
_
_
_
_
Micro Monthenault
_
_
_
_
RRL Montsuzain
_
_
_
_
RRL Nanteuil
_
_
_
_
RRL Niederbronn
_
_
_
_
RRL Obersteigen
_
_
_
_
RRL Petit Moliens
_
_
_
_
RRL Phillipsbourg
_
_
_
_
RRL Poitiers
_
_
_
_
RRL Rambures
_
_
_
_
RRL Sacierges
_
_
_
_
RRL Sauze/Vaussais
_
_
_
_
RRL Sommevoire
_
_
_
_
RRL Souliers
_
_
_
_
RRL St. Erme
_
_
_
_
RRL St. Michele Mercure
_
_
_
_
RRL St. Mihiel
_
8th RRS, 1950s_
_
_
Micro & RRL St. Nazaire
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL St. Pere en Retz
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL St. Philibert
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL St. Quirin
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL St. Vincent
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Stonne
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Vaux/Rouillac
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Velles
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Verdun
_
8th RRS, 1950s
Etain AB
_
RRL Vernou le Chesnoy
_
8th RRS, 1950s
_
_
Micro & RRL Vierzon
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Villers en Arthies
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Vouziers/Sechault
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Vouzon
_
_
_
_
Micro & RRL Wintersberg
_
_
link to Langerkopf (Germany)?
_
Micro & RRL Zimming
_
_
_
_
_
_
_

 
(Source: The USAF In France 1950 - 1967, by Jerry McAuliffe. Volume 24, Number 4)
A radio relay network was constructed to interconnect all USAFE facilities in France. It was operated and maintained by the 7th and 8th Radio Relay Squadrons. This intra-theater system connected France, Germany, and United Kingdom air bases and supplemented the frequently intermittent commercial telephone systems. The network used commercial microwave radio sets providing voice/teletype service. Microwave relay sets were installed at 49 off-base sites.

 
(Source: MILITARY GEOGRAPHY FOR PROFESSIONALS AND THE PUBLIC)
CHAPTER 12.

France. The French Government on March 7, 1966, declared its intent to regain "full sovereignty [over] French Territory -- in other words, no longer to accept the presence of foreign units, installations, or bases in France falling in any respect under the control of authorities other than French authorities" and told NATO to comply or leave not later than April 1, 1967. NATO's leaders elected eviction, whereupon the exodus code-named FRELOC (Fast Relocation) uprooted or resulted in the abandonment of many military installations accumulated at great expense over the previous 18 years.

Command and control arrangements were comparatively simple when SHAPE and Headquarters, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) were based in Parisian suburbs 15 minutes apart and lay within easy reach of AFCENT at Fontainbleau as well as Headquarters, U.S. Army Communications Zone (COMMZ), in Orléans. Not so after SHAPE displaced to Casteau, Belgium, and EUCOM took up residence in Stuttgart, 265 airline miles/425 kilometers away. It took months and cost millions for U.S. and NATO command posts at every level to transplant a vast array of computers, data processors, and information retrieval gear connected by space communication satellites, tropospheric scatter stations, microwave networks, radio relays, and countless miles of cable. FRELOC, when complete, concentrated terminals, reduced routing alternatives, and thereby increased vulnerabilities among communication systems that depended heavily on redundancy to survive in wartime. Access to air defense communications in France and to French segments of ACE HIGH, Allied Command Europe's secure voice network that stretched from Norway to Turkey, was no longer guaranteed, because the French Government professed "no automaticity" policies.

 
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ON COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS

Project 486L
"DEEP SEA" Mediterranean Communications System
At radio sites in Italy (such as Mt. Vergine), Greece, Turkey military and commercial agencies worked together to maintain optimum quality communications in support of the 486L Forward Propagated Tropospheric Scatter system and the 490L Overseas AUTOVON network.

Project 490L
Overseas AUTOVON DCS (Automatic Voice Network of the Defense Communications System)
(On March 15th 1970, the overseas portion of the worldwide Automatic Voice Network, or AUTOVON, was completed. (Now Defense Switched Network)

 
Radio Teletypewriter Set AN/GRC-46
 

DoD Film: Radio Teletypewriter AN/GRC-46 (YouTube)
Film discusses in some detail the components, electronic function, capabilities and operation of the GRC-46

 
Manual Switchboards in the Field Army
 
(Source: Tactical Communications for the Field Army, SIGNAL July 1968)
In the current Army Area Communications System (AACOMS) voice communication system , the switchboards used by the Field Army are all manual:
  Level
Positions
Equipment
  Battalion and Brigade
1
mounted on ¾ -ton truck
  Division
2
mounted on 2½ -ton truck
  Corps
3
mounted on 2x 2½ -ton trucks (1)
  Field Army
9
mounted in 2x 26-foot vans (2)
(1) Corps Telephone Switchboard Group - AN/MTC-1
(2) Army Telephone Switchboard Group - AN/MTC-9
 

7th Army Network
mid 1960s
The switchboards used by the Field Army were all two-wire. With the introduction of PCM (pulse code modulation) equipment, the interconnection to the trunking system was basically four-wire. When two switching centers were connected by a trunking group, service was satisfactory. But there was a practical limit to the number of switchboards that could be used in tandem. So, the call from a division headquarters to its corps or from a division to army headquarters provided a satisfactory transmission path, but when a division needed to connect to a lateral division through corps and the adjacent corps, the circuit was barely usable - the two to four-wire and analog to digital conversions that occurred along the path resulted in a degraded transmission.

In the army area system, the problems associated with the limit as to the number of switchboards that could be used in tandem led to the development of a common user switching plan that minimized the number of intermediate switches.
Call handling during busy hour traffic was another problem encountered with the manual switchboards - these led to delays that could easily exceed one minute. It was not unusual at a division with its one hundred and twenty drop, two position switchboard to have services delayed because all the cords were in use.

The situation in Europe follows generally the diagram shown above. The poor transmission factor and the poor call handling capability have caused the signal people in Europe to combine some of the features of the area system with their command systems at army level, but they are still experiencing a great amount of difficulty in providing adequate telephone communications.

 
The 1970s
 
European Command Control Console System (ECCCS)
 
(Sources: Nuclear Command and Control in NATO, by Shaun R. Gregory, MacMillan Press LT, 1996)
Command and Control of US Theater Nuclear Forces in NATO

The special weapons warhead custodial units (59th Ord Bde in Pirmasens) were under the US chain of command, reporting to CINCEUR. CINCEUR managed the special weapons with the European Command Control Console System (ECCCS).

During peacetime, this
command and control system was utilized to pass emergency action messages from HQ USEUCOM to the various 59th Ordnance Brigade detachments that are colocated with NATO nuclear capable forces.

ECCCS was a unique voice system that tied the headquarters of USEUCOM, USAREUR, USNAVEUR and USAFE and various selected sites into a unified conference network which could establish theater-wide master conferences by allowing all users to be interconnected. The system was initiated in 19?? and completed in 1972 when Headquarters, SETAF joined the net.

The system was controlled from Pirmasens with network switching centers located at Mount Parnis, Greece; Sahin Tepesi, Turkey; and Pruem, (West) Germany and user terminals at all nuclear weapons storage sites (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Turkey) in the Central and Southern Regions.

In a serious emergency situation where the use of nuclear weapons was contemplated, the SW warheads would have been removed from their peacetime storage sites and deployed to operational sites where they would have been prepared for use. Some sources say that some weapons would have been taken from storage and deployed at alert level LERTCON 2. This is also the point at which forces would "Chop" from national to NATO command. However, US warhead custodial units would remain under US (EUCOM) control.

At some point during the alerting process, it is expected that the US warhead custodial units would have switched from the peacetime ECCCS to the HF radio Cemetery Net system.
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
There was the European Command Control Console System (ECCCS) but now it is long since closed down.  About 1990 I think.  The ECCCS was the microwave and troposcatter network that controlled the nukes at allied bases. The Cemetery Net was the primary means of communicating with those sites though. Not all the tributary sites of the ECCCS had Tributary cabinets installed or even radio equipment available but they all had HF equipment to communicate with. When it was finally found out that we did not need all those signal people at the nuclear custodial sites to man the HF and/or trib equipment; leased civilian telephone lines were finally used and trib cabinets were obtained and the sites were connected to the nodes (Stein, Linderhof, Bremerhaven, etc.) by leased circuits.

The ECCCS had Console Local Equipment (CLE) at major headquarters in Europe; London for the Navy, Ramstein for the USAF, Heidelberg for the Army and Stuttgart for the European Command. The CLEs communicated with the Console Remote Equipment Sites (CREs) at the ECCCS Nodes at Stein, Linderhof, Bremerhaven, etc).  The CREs communicated with the Tributary Logic Cabinet Consoles (Trib Cabinets) located at the Theatre Nuclear Sites end stations located on Allied Bases all over Europe.
 
CLE -------> CRE --------> Trib 
 
This was accomplished with a dedicated data communications systems that seems pretty primitive now but it actually worked.
 
Theatre Nuclear Sites could be at Allied Air Bases, Artillery Units, Lance Missile Sites (UK only), or Air Defense Sites with Nike Hercules Missiles.  These were sometimes called SW Storage sites by the US troops guarding them.  As I recall the Troops all belonged to the same Infantry unit in Gelsenkirchen (I think) and were the only real foot soldiers left in the Army.
 
Neither ECCCS nor the Cemetery Net tied into the DCS at any point.  One transmitter was used at each node (CLE) site for all tributaries using the node.  One 1kw FRC-66 (V) was engineered just for it's specific node location.  These transmitters with the associated waveguide, splitters, antennas, etc was a unique installation.  One transmitter would feed sometimes more than 8 different antennas pointed in many directions.  Some of the Tributary sites were line of sight shots and others tropo depending on the distance and obstacles involved. All tributary sites received all sites signals but only "understood" the data meant for itself and ignored the rest.  Both Cemetery net and the ECCCS were separate networks.  The FRC-66 would use the same antenna tower as the DCS antennas would and share the stations power, etc.   Tributary sites did have their own towers of course.  The Tributary radios were in a shelter that was usually placed at the base of the antenna tower.  The Tributary console was usually located in the custodial site building.  The Cemetery site antennas were not dependant on the Tributary site tower.  These were usually whip antennas as were the mobile rigs.  The mobile rigs were not RATTY rigs there were no teletypes it was always voice.  Different radios were used in the mobile rigs (ARC-102s).
 
When the custodial site force would deploy to their operational area we would have to provide manning for both the fixed station Cemetery net, the tributary radio equipment and the mobile rig all at once with no additional personnel.

 
US Forces Telephone System in Europe (1975)
 
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, Jan 30, 1975)
The military telephone system that serves US Forces in Europe handles nearly 200 million calls a year. There are about 90,000 telephones in use by the US military in separate but interconnected networks.

In FY 1974, the US Army spent an estimated $30 million in Germany to maintain its part of the telephone system and pay for leased telephone cables (German Bundespost), while the Air Force spent $2.6 to run their smaller system.

In Germany, the Army maintains 110 local exchanges with six primary switching centers:
Frankfurt
Heidelberg
Kaiserslautern
Stuttgart
Nuernberg
Munich

Twelve other dial centers are scattered through England, the BENELUX countries and Italy.

The Army in Europe uses about 70,000 phones (all but 3,000 in Germany).

The Air Force maintains exchanges at its air bases in Germany as well as several in England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey and Italy.

The Air Force has about 15,000 telephones in service in Germany and another 5,000 in the other countries.

The biggest problem and chief challenge for Signal Corps personnel who support the system and for the USAREUR / USAFE personnel who use it is the age of the telephone equipment. In Germany, some of the switching equipment used in the exchanges was installed over 40 years ago (hence the nickname "Hitler's Revenge"). None of the equipment has been in service for less than 15 years. Malfunctions of equipment and congested telephone lines between main troop concentrations are an everyday occurrence. (FRELOC, the relocation of troops from France to Germany in 1967 aggravated the already bad situation by increasing the load on almost every exchange in Germany.)

USAREUR's largest and oldest exchange can be found at the IG Farben Building in Frankfurt. Installed in 1928, the exchange has 2,900 main lines with each line having as many as five extensions hooked to it. In addition, the exchange serves as the central exchange for close to 20 smaller exchanges.

The Air Force uses similar equipment but handles less calls than the Army. Also, Air Force personnel frequently use the AUTOVON system for communications between bases in Germany and other European countries.

Both services have presented plans to improve their telephone systems. The Army's $58 million, five-year plan, not yet approved, would see a modern telephone network replacing the current system. (Webmaster note: this is probably the European Telephone System (ETS) that would be implemented in the early 1980s.) In the meantime, several projects are underway to improve the system by installing new telephone equipment or refurbishing existing equipment -- such as in Nuernberg, Hahn, Spangdahlem, Bitburg.

 
The 1980s
 
Information Mission Area
 
(Source: ECHO, Oct 1985)
Information Mission Area

by Brian Popken

Your word processor and the one in the next office will be able to "talk" to one another. You have all the information in the accessible computer systems at your disposal.

On the battlefield, a forward observer spots a target and punches the coordinates into a hand-held computer. Within minutes the target is destroyed, new rounds have been electronically ordered through the logistics pipeline and maintenance data has been fed into a log.

A majority of these actions are possible today. It's not just a "pipe dream," according to a recent article by Lt. Col. George F. Kolesar in Army Magazine.

But it is riot yet reality. The problem, according to Kolesar, is that the systems have been developed independently. As a result they have to be adapted to be compatible with each other. The "management" of the information systems required for effective use of the information systems required for effective use of the technology was inadequate to make the best of the new developments.

Recognizing the requirement, the first step to improve information management in the Army, took place on May 9, 1984, when Gen. John A. Wickham, chief of staff of the Army approved the establishment of the Information Mission Area (IMA).

For the Army's communicators and 5th Signal Command this means the ultimate integration of telecommunications automation management. It includes tactical and fixed communications systems, data -processing, office machines, audiovisual support and records and publication management. It means that 5th Signal Command units will manage all those functions, off and on the battlefield.

By these revolutionary mergers, the Army intends to receive a greater return for its money. It also signals a drastic change in the way information is managed.

In the 5th Signal Command that means a change affecting the mission of nearly every major unit and organization, according to Ron Selfors of the 5th Signal Command's Office for Plans and Technology, Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations.

His office is the staff agency responsibile for monitoring and facilitating the 5th Signal Command's Information Mission Area activities.

According to Selfors, the assumption of the IMA will drastically alter the way 5th Signal Command does business today.

He agreed to the following interview to clarify what is ahead for the command and its soldiers and civilians who will make the new IMA work.

QUESTIONS - IMA

Q: What changes will assumption of the IMA bring to 5th Signal Command?
A: "To units, the change is largely in numbers of people they have working for them. Of course, that means they also have more to do. On Oct. 1, 29 data processing installations and approximately 1200 civilian (DAC and Local Nationals) and military personnel were transferred to 5th Signal Command. Commanders of 5th Signal Command subordinate brigades and battalions (with the exception of 7th Signal Brigade) became directors of information management (DOIM). As DOIMs, they are dual-hatted. They are still commanders but they are also responsible for providing required echelons above corps (EAC) and sustaining base information services and staff support to commanders in their respective areas of operation in both war and peace. They control and manage the life cycle upgrade and modernization of all information systems in their area of responsibility. These information systems will include not only communications systems, but also fixed and tactical mainframe computers, personal computers, word processing equipment and printing and reproduction facilities.

For the customers, though, there should be no immediate, noticeable changes experienced as to services provided. This is being done without degrading support. Since Oct. 1, however, there is one focal point, the customer's DOIM for all information support by the USAISC family.

Q:What is the most noticeable aspect of the changes for soldiers in the 5th Signal Command?
A: The most noticeable aspect is the way they do business. Communicators will have to become knowledgeable in the computer field and automators will have to become knowledgeable in the communications field. This marriage between communicators and automators will bring about a new breed of Army professionals -- the "Informators."

Q: Why is assumption of IMA commonly referred to as a realignment?
A: It is commonly referred to as a realignment because, although nothing has been physically moved, information management regions have been formed. Data Processing Installations now not only provide support to the command that formerly owned them, but also provide support to the other communities in the region. This region concept will provide expanded information support to communities where it was meager or nonexistent before. There will be three areas, V Corps; VII Corps and 21st SUPCOM, and three regions, Heidelberg, SETAF and Vaihingen. Fifth Signal Command units have realigned their areas of operations to provide staff support and information services to all commanders of USAREUR units in their assigned area or region.

Q: Is this change (the Army having communicators control all information services) comparable to General Motors hiring H. Ross Perot to apply information systems technology to their production of the new Saturn car?
A: Yes, in one aspect this change is comparable to GM buying Electronic Data Systems in the sense that the Army realizes the importance of integrated information systems management in accomplishing its overall mission. The product is not a car but information. And, unlike GM, where H. Ross Perot and his giant company were bought by GM to apply information system technology to its production, the IMA realignment in the Army must be accomplished with no increase in overall resources.

Q: What is the ultimate objective in applying the Information Mission Area concept to the Army?
A: The ultimate dream is to manage information as a valuable resource in its own right, make information available to all who need it at the Iowest life cycle cost, exploit the information technology explosion and get a handle on the real cost of information. Additionally, the Information Mission Area concept in the Army is to provide system standardization, and avoid system duplications. We intend to create "corporate" data bases and provide integrated regional management of information systems. A community in the future will expect to receive information service support that is interoperable and has increased efficiency at a reduced cost.

Q: What can the soldier or civilian working in IMA affected fields or organizations, do to make his job easier and help the IMA transition?
A: The people working in IMA affected fields or organizations should educate themselves in the new way of doing business. The Army's IMA transition will usher in a completely new way in how we plan, install, maintain and operate information systems in the future. The IMA has brought about a change in procedures and terminology. Soldiers should take data processing courses, for example, and participate wherever possible in internship programs, and cross-training opportunities.

Of course, a lot of the education will, at first, take place on the job.

 
(Source: ECHO, Nov 1985)
Information Systems

by Brian Popken

Fifth Signal Command, the field command in Europe for U.S. Army Information Systems Command, has reorganized, according to Ron Selfors of the 5th Signal Command's Plans and Technology Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Plans.

On Oct. 1, 5th Signal Command assumed responsility for the Information Mission Area (IMA) in Europe. It involves the transfer of information systems and assets to 5th Sig. Comd., in phases.

The realignment and definition of geographical boundaries has allowed IMA responsibility to be split along the V and VII Corps boundaries, with additional regions for Headquarters. U.S. Army Europe, as well as for all units south of the Alps.

Additionally, responsibility for garrison information requirements of the entire 3rd Infantry Division has been transferred from the 2nd to the 160th Signal Brigade.
DPI

The purpose of the change is, according to the concept plan approved by Gen. John A. Wickham, Army Chief of Staff, to provide for the ultimate integration of telecommunications and automation management. Fifth Sig. Comd's charter, under the reorganization, is to manage information as a resource in its own right and make it available to everyone who needs it at the lowest possible cost.

To do this, 5th Signal organizations have realigned their areas of responsibility, a move which potentially impacts on every community and unit in the European Theater.

According to Selfors, all people who need information systems support will have one person to turn to for their requirements.

Information systems will include not only the communications systems traditionally associated with 5th Sig. Comd., but also fixed and tactical mainframe computers, word processing equipment and personal computers. Eventually, printing and reproduction facilities, distribution centers and libraries will be included.

He says, that person will be the director, or assistant director, for information management (DOIM), located at a 5th Sig. Comd. unit headquarters.

Under the reorganization there are four DOIMs for V Corps, 21st SUPCOM, VII Corps and U.S. European Command. Headquarters USAREUR and the surrounding area and the USASETAF south of the Alps.

In addition, each battalion commander, under the brigades, is a director for information management. They are located at a lower level of command to address the more finite needs of smaller commands and smaller geographic areas of responsibility. All units and communities in Europe will have a 5th Sig. Comd. DOIM, (usually at battalion level) as their primary point of contact for information systems requirements, Selfors emphasizes.

The commanders, or DOIMs, are dual hatted, according to Selfors. This means that they are the information systems staff point contact for all units and communities in their area as well as commanders of the facilities providing support, answering to their own chains of command, to 5th Sig. Come. in Worms and further to U.S. Army Information Systems Command headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

He points out that the commanders are responsible for managing information systems efficiently; something that is essential to providing the broad range of information services required today. These services will include development and maintance of software programs equipment modernization and procurement and life cycle management of all information systems.

There have been numerous changes affecting specific facilities and areas, according to Maj. Philip Olson, of the IMA Task Force organized at Headquarters, 5th Sig. Comd. to address functional issues of the reorganization.

Twenty-nine data processing installations have been transferred to 5th Sig. control. Additionally, audiovidual and reproduction facilities will come under 5th Sig. Comd. control in the remaining two phases of the realignment.

The approximately 700 soldiers assigned to facilities transferred to the 5th Sig. Comd. were not physically moved. They do, though, now look to the 5th Sig. Comd. units for administration command and control. Nearly 500 civilians who are assigned to those facilities will also be transferred to 5th Sig. administrative control.

According to Sgt. Jerry Anderson, 102nd Signal Battalion, Public Affairs NCO, the system is already working. He reports that on Oct. 1, the day of the realignment, the battalion had its first reenlistment from the Camp King Data Processing Installation near Frankfurt.

Sergeant Ruben Mercado. a 74D computer operator, reenlistcd for four years and after the ceremony said that he sees the realignment as a step forward. "Our unit used to be assigned to 4th TRANSCOM (Transportation Command), with individuals who had little knowledge of communications (systems). I was impressed by our new battalion commander... because we could converse about computers and she was up to date."

The major strength of the realignment, says Maj. Sam Bruce. S3 for the 2nd Sig. Bde., headquartered in Mannheim. "is that we have tied together formerly separate pockets of expertise. The involvement of the chain of command and their ability to pool information systems assets should greatly enhance the level of information systems support throughout Europe."

 
(Source: ECHO, Sept 1986)
Changing Times

The new job of accepting responsibility for the Information Mission Area (IMA) has brought changes to the command during fiscal year 1986. IMA is to be completed in rive phases and the new year finds the command poised at the end of phase IV.

Since the Army Chief of Staff directed the IMA would be the mission of the US Army Information Systems Command (USAISC), changes have come quickly. Ultimately, the result will be the transfer of personnel and equipment associated with information management to USAISC units by the end of Phase V, Sept. 30, 1987.

The IMA consists of associated resources and activities employed in the acquisition, development, transmission, use, integration, retention, retrieval, and management of information.

Today, the IMA is categorized as either strategic, tactical, or base support and is divided into five areas or disciplines of Information Management: Automation, Communication, Records Management, Printing and Publishing, and Visual Information.

Last year Phase III was aimed at Automation discipline and resulted in the transfer of automation personnel and equipment from the Military Community Activities (MILCOMS) to 5th Signal Command. Phase IV involves the transfer of more personnel working in one or more of the five IMA disciplines, from the MILCOMs to 5th Signal Command.

Moving through Phase IV of the IMA realignment, throughout USAREUR, 5th Signal Command will pick up more personnel and equipment associated with IMA. Many of the personnel scheduled for transfer to 5th Signal Command currently work in Administrative Support Divisions (ASD) and Data Processing Installations (DPI) in military communities.

This transfer does not mean these personnel will be given new jobs. However, their chain of command will change to the 5th Signal Command. In the communities, the personnel who perform the mission will be organized into an Information Services Activity (ISA) . . . . ISA will support the community/sub-community in which its personnel are currently located.

The ISA will not replace the existing company, battalion or brigade structure of 5th Signal Command. In most cases, the ISA will become part of the 5th Signal Command signal company that currently provides communication support to the area. People in the companies must also become knowledgeable in the entire spectrum of the IMA disciplines.
Through the ISA, 5th Signal Command will become the user's single point of contact within the community for resolution of information management problems.

Related Links:
Siegelbach - 2005th Communications Squadron (Broken LINK)
The AUTODIN Legacy Project (Broken LINK)
Signal Unit - SSI's and DUI's (Institute of Heraldry)
Feldberg RRL (Broken LINK)

  History of the Defense Information Systems Agency - a Goggle Books DISA, a Combat Support Agency, engineers and provides command and control capabilities and enterprise infrastructure to continuously operate and assure a global net-centric enterprise in direct support to joint warfighters, National level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of operations.  
  The World Wide Military Command and Control System by David E. Pearson - an online, digitized copy of the book offered by Google Books as part of its online library project.  
  Pruem Air Station - wonderful site presenting the Pruem AS, primarily a USAFE communications and radar installation but also home to Company "A", 447th Signal Battalion  
  CommCenter Yahoo Group - this is a discussion group with focus on Communications Centers (fixed-station, tactical, mobile and shipboard). (Facilities covered include teletype, torn tape relay, AUTODIN and DMS.) Membership is restricted.  
  USASTRATCOM HQ - New Yahoo Group for USASTRATCOM, STRATCOM, USASCC, USACEEIA, & USACSA civilian and military personnel moderated by Tom Custer. A great "meeting place" for anyone assigned to STRATCOM or its subordinate groups over the years.  
  Feldberg-Det 12.com - very active website on MyFamily.com moderated by Pat Souders. This is a great "meeting place" for anyone interested in the Feldberg Radio Relay site (Taunus Mountains, north of Frankfurt).  
  The AUTOVON Exchange at Ipswitch - a very interesting page on the Bunkertours web site.  
  American military transmitters in Hoek van Holland - An interesting page on Petr Kazil's web site takes a look at what is left of the strategic DCS Radio Relay site.  
  TUSLOG Det 150 - Pat Shediack's very detailed account of the Air Force strategic communications site at Sahintepe, Turkey.  
  DET 16, 2140th CS (USAF), Yiannitsa, Greece - nice page on one of the Air Force Cemetery Net units in Greece