US Army pilot commercial satcom training program
Serving with the United States Army Signal Activity (USASA) – Camp Roberts after a tour with Intelsat General through the US Army’s Training With Industry (TWI) program, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeramy Cosner has spearheaded a pilot of the GVF commercial satcom training and certification program within the 302d Signal Battalion.
The first milestone for the 302d Signal Battalion GVF Pilot Program was achieved on 20 October 2017, with 40 uniformed and civilian staff completing first the required online courses, then a hands-on skills test (HOST) at a session held at Camp Roberts, California. The mandatory HOST requires candidates to demonstrate the knowledge and skills covered in the online courses, including building a VSAT antenna, pre-setting polarization, finding the target satellite, and using the “beam balance” method to accurately point the VSAT antenna with least interference.
This session was supported by SatProf and Intelsat General, who each provided a certified GVF examiner, with additional support from AQYR Tactical SATCOM Solutions.
“The US Army is a heavy user of commercial satcom resources, and the GVF training courses are an ideal complement to the Army’s training on military satcom systems.” Chief Cosner said. “I believe every US Army NOC techician and tactical satcom installer/operator using any commercial or military satcom resources would benefit from the GVF program, not only for operational efficiency, but in learning important interference-reduction skills.”
“The GVF training program has greatly increased the mission readiness of USASA – Camp Roberts,” said Major D. Susan Rogers, Commander at Camp Roberts, “and significantly improved the technical proficiency of the Soldiers and Civilians at the Camp Roberts Satellite Communications Station.”
The pilot program is continuing, with more than 80 USASA students participating across the 302d Signal Battalion. To bootstrap availability of GVF certifications within the US military, several Camp Roberts personnel are qualifying as certified GVF HOST examiners.