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(24 pages) Desert Storm Trophies,& JCMEC: By Dennis Starks, & Bill Howard Index: Part I, Our Story Begins; Part II, Early History of JCMEC, by Bill Howard Part III, JCMEC Today; by Bill Howard Part IV, Some Specific Examples; From England, By Dennis Starks Part V, Some Specific Examples; More From England, By Dennis Starks Part VI, Some Specific Examples; From Italy & Germany, By Dennis Starks Part VII; From France, By Dennis Starks Part VIII; From Russia & China, By Dennis Starks Part IX; Conclusions, By Dennis Starks & Bill Howard On the state of Iraqi/Arabian Comm Gear, Desert Storm/Shield; By Ed Zeranski ***************************************************************

Desert Storm Trophies,& JCMEC: By Bill Howard,& Dennis Starks Part I,Our Story Begins; In August 1990, elements of the Iraqui Army crossed the border into the neighboring state of Kuwait and in a matter of hours overran the country. Then then turned their attention to the south and it was feared that they would attack Saudi Arabia. The Saudi╠s requested U.S. aid and with-in hours U.S. military forces were on their way. President George Bush then managed to form a coalition with Great Britian, France, West Germany and many of the other nations in the region. Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf was placed in overall command. As U.S. troops were about to begin deploying, on the second day, the Foreign Material Intelligence Battalion issued a series of booklets to the troops that provided details of the equipment that they might encounter. Buletin No.╠s 1 and 2 were titled ═Equipment Found in Somalia╬ and the rest dealt with Soviet Bloc equipment, known to be in the hands of the Iraqui forces. The ability to iossue these books to the troops was not an accident but the results of some careful planning in the wake of WW II. Korea, Vietnam and other recent regional conflicts. **************************************************************

Part II, Early History of JCMEC; Technical intelligence was once the exculsive preserve of the technical services and each fielded their own cellurlar teams who reported to their branch on captured enemy equipment. The most active teams in WW II were the Ordnance teams and the Signal teams. These were the people responsible for the many various technical reports done on enemy weapons and radios that one finds at gun shows and HAMFESTs. Disbanded after WW II, they were re-created in haste for Korea. They arrived late but did some excellent reporting once in country. Disbanded again after Korea, they were again re-created for Vietnam but this time with a difference. Material procurement for the army had been centralized with the Army Material Command. Intelligence, once a hit or miss operation had become a branch of the Army and in the early 1960╠s the Defense Intelligence Agency was created to provide intelligence support to the military services. By 1963, The Foreign Science and Technology Center, FSTC for short, was established to make certain that technical information about foreign eqipment went to both the intelligence community and to the technical services. During the Vietnam era, the in-country technical intelligence operation was called, The Combined Material Exploitation Center, CMEC for short. Composed of Ordnance, Signal, Medical, Engineer, Chemical and Quartermaster teams and D Co, of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion. This unit had 5 Field teams that operated out in the various Corps areas and evacuated captured material to the CMEC in Saigon. After an in-country analysis, the material was then sent to the rear for further exploitation by FSTC and others. When the U.S. departed from Vietnam, most of the teams were disbanded and D Co along with the rest of the 519th M.I. Bn was returned to Fort Bragg. By 1975, in the wake of two major mid east wars, D Co was brought to Aberdeen Proving Ground and began exploitating the material that had been captured by the Israelis and sold to the United States. Many of the technical reports that were done were issued to the troops as Technical Intelligence Bulletins and as operators manuals. Soviet bloc equipment was now being used by the OPFOR, the more realistic successor to the old AGGRESSOR program, started in 1948 using cast off U.S. equipment. During the period from 1975 until 1988, this unit operated out of old WW II wooden buildings at Aberdeen Proving Ground. D Company was replaced by the designation of the 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion and by 1988 had again been re designated as the Foreign Material Intelligence Battalion and had moved into a new compound costing 8 and 1/2 million dollars. Complete with vehicle rebuild shops, a large foreign arms room and modern electronic test labs, trhis unit was the Armys technical intelligence battalion and was ready to deploy anywhere in the world. Operating under the organization and concepts spelled out in the new FM 34-54 (which I helped to write) this organization was ready even before the President decided to send troops to Saudi Arabia. The next instalment of this series will start with,Part III, JCMEC Today & Part IV, Some Specific Examples; "From England", then "From Italy" etc. Future chapters will include more information about the radios of Desert Storm as existing info is taken from our files & more info is provided by our members. If you own, or have knowledge of a particular item of equipment, we would like to hear from you. And too, if you have any comments on the material already presented, please contribute. Thanks WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail wlhoward@gte.net & DENNIS STARKS MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN military-radio-guy@juno.com ****************************************************************

Part III, JCMEC Today; Once in Saudia Arabia, the unit established a JCMEC, a new acrynom for Joint Captured Material Expolitation Center and had three field teams operating in each Corps area. The JCMEC also had liasion teams from other services and countries with-in its sphere of operation. All the material that was captured passed through this units view and many exploitation reports were prepared. Many of the important national intelligence requirements concerning foreign equipment were satisfied through the efforts of this unit. The conflict in the desert, which was first called Desert Shield became Desert Storm when hostilities were begun. Two important factors of this war became apparent to those of us who watched in unfold across our television screens. The use of SCUD missiles which were latter day WW II V 2 rockets which were detected by sophiscated radars and shot down by Patriot Missiles, themselves latter day German WW II rockets and the ever increasing sophiscitation of electronic warfare. From TV cameras that allowed us to ride the bomb into the target to the communication equipment that was used to command the troops on the ground. My own personal opinion has been that the U.S. has led the world in the development of electronic equipment for the military. Other nations have been catching up and in some areas may well be ahead of us. Let us take a brief look at some of the foreign radio eqipment that was captured during this conflict and has now begun to show up as surplus and collectors items. Bill Howard In the days since Desert Storm took place many of the Iraqi radios(& other technical equipment) liberated by U.S. Forces & brought home as war trophies have found their way to our hands via such avenues as gun shows, hamfest, pawn shops bordering our country's military bases, & even auctioned off via sealed bid by our government. To our advantage was the restriction that for the first time in our military's history, prevented our troops from bringing home items of small arms & various weaponry. Who knows the reasoning behind this restriction, but because of it instead of collecting weapons, we are now able to collect, inspect & display one of the few items that our troops where allowed to bring home, The Enemy's Communications Equipment. Several things become apparent as we gather up & inspect this equipment. #1) Though Iraq boasted the largest military organization in the world for a country twice it's size, it did not spend it's money on communications equipment. #2)The Iraqi's were woefully lacking in their technical expertise, preventative maintenance, or general maintenace of their equipment. #3) they had absolutely no eyes for future supply or logistics problems, which is the single most important consideration for any item of front line combat inventory. #1) With all the money this country had to spend on their equipment, that radio equipment which has been available for our inspection does not reflect a respect for communications ability or need. Equipment found is never of the latest design, or even of the same generation as that used by other nations military's. Instead it appears that the price tag was the determing factor in the acquisition of signals equipment for the Iraqi military. Radios found will fall into two catagories,A) obsolete equipment discarded,or replaced in the inventory of the country of origin.B) second class equipment, that though was intended for military/police/commercial sales, & did reflect some state of the art technolgy, & was physically ill suited for combat service. #2)After the inspection of numorous peices of radio equipment,it is apparant that if a radio should fail, & couldn't be fixed buy a role of electrical tape, it was pitched. In the event it wasn't, & repairs were attempted, it should have been pitched & later was. I think this technical failing can be seen also in every other item of Iraqi equipment that was more complicated than a belt buckle. Especialy if that belt buckle did not include some insignia of rank. #3)The diversity found in the radio equipment used is astounding. Recovered radios show the country of origin as Russia, England, France, Italy & Germany to name just a few. It would have been impossible to maintain any kind of logistic support for such a diversity of equipment types. Thus, the Iraqi army must have considered this equipment as disposable, I/E if it quit, throw it away & get another one, this observation is further supported by item #2. Before we begin to examine this equipment, we must keep in mind that we don't know the original origin or time frame or which the Iraqi's aquired Dennis Starks *************************************************************

Part IV, Some Specific Examples; From England Racal Syncal 30, This radio system of Brtitish origin seems to have been the most common of it's type used. Roughly equivelant in it's deployment to the US PRC-104, there is no comparison in the technology, or quality of design & manufacture it uses. Unlike most European post WW-II designs, the Syncal 30 does not include any commonalities with US equipment, such as basic configuration, audio, antenna, power,or carry accessories. Nor do any of the others in this line of equipment. The basic radio(TRA931X) is of all solid state design, mid 70's technology & could be combined with varoius ancillary equipment to allow use as a backpack set, vehicular installation, & as a semi fixed station. Indeed, this radio system was used in all these capacities by Iraq. My own example was removed from an Iraqi bunker, it's operator killed(several times),his blood all over the thing. It included all the accessories to allow it to be used in the various capacities listed above. The radio features 1.6-30mc operation in 1kc steps, frequency selection is via five rotory dials & a provision for fine tune with the "search" control for continuous coverage. Modes of operation include AM/LSB/USB, & a high/low power output option(20 watts/high). Other features include a built in manual antenna tuner that will allow the use of a top mounted whip antenna, or any wire or dipole type. The basic R/T unit requires 24vdc, & as a pack set this is supplied by a sealed nicad battery attached to the bottom of the radio. Other accesory equipment was avaible to allow the radio to be operated from 12-32vdc, or AC mains. A 100 watt amplifiar is also known to have been available for semi fixed or vehicular instalations. Accessories include,MA.913 hand crank generator for the charging of the MA.913 nicad battery. MA 985 allows the complete remote user control of the radio via hanset or 2 wire line. MA 937 power supply/charger, for radio operation from a vehicular source of 10-32vdc. MA 988, vehicular amplified loud speaker. 8ft sectional whip antenna with fold over & chock absorbing base for packpack operation. TRA 4044 100 watt amplifiar. BCC 540 vehicular antenna tuner. The the Syncal 30 is reported to be in use in "many third would counties". Field servicing is impossible, requireing the removal of 16 screws to gain access to the radio's interior. Once inside, little can be done, and the service manual for this radio is almost completely useless, and the schematics it contains are totally unreadable. Ref;#1,#2,#3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Squad Call, Another very low end radio has also shown up here. It would appear to be a even cheeper alternate to the Syncal 30. Introduced in the 1960's, the Squadcal (TRA-906) would seem to have directed towards the most inexperanced of operators. Similar in consept to the Southcom SC-120, but even more basic than that radio. Below are some comments from one of the sets owners. [The Racal "Squadcal" units I have are xtal controlled 2 to 7Mhz AM CW USB on something like 29 channels, with a single xtal per channel. The case is injection molded plastic, with a battery compartment for 3ea 6V lantern type batteries. All circuitry is on a single PC board. Construction quality is about the same as found on mid 1970's marine radios,Glass-epoxy PC board- no plugins. There are no sealed modules or exotic integrated circuits. Definitely a bargain basement type of radio design, but not flimsy.] Reported to have been originally designed & built in Australia by Racal Australia, the following is taken from their promotional literature. Ops 2-7mc on any of 29 xtal control channels with unlimited spacings. Modes include AME/SSB/CW, with an RF output power of 5watts PEP/CW. Primarily designed for backpack operation with the standard MA 948 nicad battery, other battery options included an adapter for the use of 14 "D" cells, or alternately 3ea 6v lantern type batteries. Power could also be supplied by optional equipment from AC mains or a DC vehicle source. Features & controls include, a built in antenna tuner for use of a top mounted whip antenna, or 50 ohm output connections. A Clarifier control for fine tuning SSB or CW pitch. And an RF gain control, strangely, there's no volume control. The radio is also said to be completely seal, dust & water tight. For a radio set of the 60's-70's,the Squadcal would offer some features that would appeal to the purchaser of equipment for a POOR & BACKWARD country. These would include it's simple operation & construction. The discrete component, single board design would allow for a minimum of logistics problems, & simple servicing, similar to a CB radio. However a more skilled technician would be required & field servicing would be impossible. As we know that Iraq was neither Poor, nor Backward, & they had no skilled technicians. Again a common fact remains, It Was Cheep! Ref;#2,#3,#6,#7 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Racal BCC-349, Also known as the UK/PRC-349, this radio unlike many of those used by the Iraqi army, is a full blown quality military design. But like many others,it was an obsolete type, discarded by the the military in it's country of origin, England. Slightly larger than a walkie talkie, the BCC-349 has no provision for local control & must use external audio accessories. It should be noted too, that the audio accessories for this & other radios of this family built by Racal, are of very sorry design, fragile in construction, sloppy in mechanical design, & built of the most unsuited materials. It seems the Iraqi's also noticed this defeciancy, as "home brew" audio accessories utilizing US type handsets have been encountered(note, the solder job on these examples is such that if they'd left the iron alone & used Super Glue, they would have been better off). The radio set is an all solid state design, of mid 70's technology. It would be deployed in much the same capacities as the US PRC-68, & in some ways is a more attractive radio than it's US counterpart. It is carried in a nylon harness under the arm in much the same manor as a pistol sholder holster. This method of carry is a very attractive & practical one, first envisioned by the US in the early 50's during the development of the PRT-4 & PRR-9. But sorrily, utililized only on various later model European equipment. The controls of the BCC-349 are oreinted down the side of the radio , thus allowing easy access by it's operator. This "under the arm" carry configuration offers many advantages that cannot be incorperated in other carry methods. These include protection from damage, the radio is hidden from general view, extreme ease of user operation & access to controls, & this location is most un-incombering to the operator. The one in my collection was removed from an Iraqi storage bunker by elements of the Marine Second Low Altitude Air Defense Battalian, attached to the Second Marine Division. Also contained in this huge complex were hundreds of items of radio & ordnance, all showing signs of extreme neglect & disrepair, further evidence of the Iraqi's lack of expertise,& maintenance abilities. Two portable antenna configurations were supplied with the radio. The first and most attractive is a "Rubber Duckie" type,approximately 14" long. The second, used for longer range, is a long outdated sectional type reminiscent of WW-II British sets, & barrowed for use on the Canadian/Dutch CPRC-26, & the U.S. SCR-300/BC-1000. When assembled, it is about 3' long. Below is an extract from the book Military Radio Data; PRC Designated Radio Equipment, it should be noted that those returning here from Iraq covered a 30-47mc frequency spread. UK/PRC-349;Hand-held VHF,FM transceiver.Built in England by Racal(BCC-349), the PRC-349 is part of the "Clansman" series of radio equipment. Intended for platoon level personal communications under combat conditions. The set can be slung from the shoulder,worn on the back or chest with it's adjustable quik-release holster.Alternately it is small enough to be carried in a belt worn holster or in the pocket of a combat jacket. Features include operation over any 10mc segment of the band with 400 possible channels spaced 25kc apart.A transmitted 1kc alert tone, protection from open or shorted antenna circuit,& receiver overload. And a battery save function that is in automatic operation during no- signal conditions.Lastly,the PRC-349 can be supplied with numerous battery,& charger combinations. Ops 30-76mc(any 10mc segment).RF power output is a selectable .25/ .5/or 1 watt.Requires 12vdc as supplied by various rechargeable or dry batteries,vehicle adapter cord etc.Size 244mmH x 90mmW x 40.5mmD(with manganese alkaline battery),1.5kg(with antenna). Known accessories include rubber-helical short antenna,whip or trailing wire antennas,light-weight headset with boom mic,throat mic, standard Clansman headsets or handsets,special PTT box for tone signal & various holsters and carry straps. Production started for the British Army in 1978.In 1979 a production license was granted to Spain.It is most likely that both countries are or were exporting PRC-349's.Quantities of BCC349's have been brought to the U.S.as war trophies from recent "Desert Storm" activities. Ref;#1,#2,#4 Racal is a very highly respected name in communications electronics, & builds some of the most advanced equipment in the world. Most communications equipment of British design & origins are of the highest quality, many examples can even be found in current U.S. inventory. However, the systems represented here, with the possible exception of the BCC-349, do not reflect this reputation, & were specificaly designed to appeal to a low budget government for it's military need. Indeed, the company's own promotional material reads,"was designed for high quality low cost military or civil communications". Their mechanical construction is at best marginal for a full blown combat field radio, having a cabinet designs of soft aluminum stampings, with spot welded seems, & little if any water tight integrity. Without exception the audio & antenna accessories are of the most ill suited & fragile designs, with no thought towards ergonomics, practicality, or serviceability. Absolutely nowhere is there a commonality with these radios & that of any other type other than, in some cases, those also built by Racal of the same generation or series. I/E the enter-changeability & compatibility between equipment types, accessoies & generations both old, current, & future is of major importance in every item of military equipment. This basic requirement is not reflected here. There could have been only one attractive feature here, as has been touched on already, The Price Tag! The next instalment on, "Desert Storm Trophies,& JCMEC" will include some more equipment of British origin before we move on to some other countries, & then, our conclusion. Again, if you have any input at all, we'd like to hear from you. Dennis Starks Bill Howard miliary-radio-guy@juno.com wlhoward@gte.net Referanses; #1) the Authors personal collection #2) Janes Military Communications #3) Associated equipments manuals #4) Military Radio Data;Vol.1,PRC Designated Equipment, By Dennis Starks #5) From the Collection of Pat Lumbarti #6) From the Collection of Mark Gluch #7) a source that prefers to remain anonymous ****************************************************************

Part V, Some Specific Examples; More From England Continuing on with our list of captured Iraqi commo gear brought home by troops as trophies, we find more equipment of British origin. Here follows a few of these examples. TRA-967 VHF-FM pack set. Of the several models of Racal radios we've discussed in this series, the TRA-967 is one of the more attractive ones. A pack set smaller in size than a backpack radio, & to big to be described as a handheld, maybe it would be best known as a hand-carried portable. It could be carried over the shoulder with a canvas strap, or worn on a pistol belt, and would be deployed in much the same capacities as our PRC-77. Two versions are known to have been built, & it is not known which was in use by the Iraqi's. The first, TRA-967/1 has a rated RF output power of one watt, while the second, the TRA-967/3 is rated at 3 watts out. Features include a frequency range of 36-76mc, with 25kc channel spacing. Four place rotary knob frequency selection, illuminated by tritium beta markings. RF power output of 1 or 3 watts(dependant on model), from a 12v dc power source. A circuit design that utilizes digital synthesis techniques & linear ICe's. Known accessories include a 3ft sectional whip antenna, canvas carry bag, & various ancillary equipment to allow it's use as a vehicular, or simi fixed installation. While this set is not as ruggedly built as it's U.S. counterparts, it does boast some more advanced features, that though they are more attractive, do add to the complicated nature of the radio set, both in electronic design, & operation. The TRA-967, like others of it's family, was geared towards sales to the "military on a budget". Ref,#2,#7 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

MA-4224 Encryption unit; Another Racal piece of equipment that has been found here, mounted in the top rack of a Racal Syncal 30 HF instalation, is the MA-4224 voice encryption unit. Not much is known about this item other than what info is available from Ref,#2. The current owner has not had opertunity to play with it. Ref,#2 reports it to have been introduced in the late 1970's. Also a Racal product, the MA-4224 appears to be of better mechanical contruction than other equipment of this ilk. The unit uses delta sigma analogue to digital conversion, is connected in the audio line between the handset & radio in use, & will maintain an audio bandwidth of 2kc, so as to be compatable with all HF/SSB, wire line, or VHF/FM systems. Unanimous reports from the field indicate a severe lack of radio discipline on the part of the Iraqi's, "they talked about everything, in the clear, constantly!" in light of this combined with those comments given by Ed Zeranski in a related previous group post, the MA-4224 might be a relatively rare find. Dennis Starks Bill Howard miliary-radio-guy@juno.com wlhoward@gte.net Referanses; #1) the Authors personal collection #2) Janes Military Communications #3) Associated equipments manuals #4) Military Radio Data;Vol.1,PRC Designated Equipment, By Dennis Starks #5) From the Collection of Pat Lumbarti #6) From the Collection of Mark Gluch #7) a source that prefers to remain anonymous ***********************************************************

Part VI,Some Specific Examples; From Italy & Germany >From Italy PRC-638; The most common set of it's type to be brought home by U.S. troops is the PRC-638 Built in Italy by Iret. Basically their equivalent of our PRC-77, it would be deployed to perform the same roles. Though it is of high quality design, manufacture, & boast several advanced features over it's U.S. counterpart (then 25 years old). It is not as robustly built as the U.S. PRC-77, but far less complicated to operate & service than our PRC-119(which is by all accounts,"a nightmare"). References do not list the PRC-638 as ever being used by the military in it's country of origin(Italy) in any quantity, from this we can deduce two things, #1 it was not the best design available, #2 it was most likely intended for the export market. Most if not all examples of this radio coming here from the Gulf War, have all their panel markings in Arabic, one of on;y two radios known to be customized as such. This tends to further support deduction #2 above. Virtually every account from the original owners of these sets said the same thing,"I picked it up out of a ditch, they just threw them there when they were running away". The below description is taken from Ref;#4. PRC-638;Non-US,Back-pack VHF,FM transceiver.The PRC-638 is built in Italy by IRET,& is intended to perform a similar role as the US PRC-77.It can be combined with various ancillary equipment to provide backpack, vehicular,or simi-fixed station operation. Features digital synthesis,with four rotary knob selection of frequency.Modular construction for easy field service by replacement of sub-assemblies.And an automatic antenna tuner operates in the receive mode with either 1 or 3mtr whips. Ops 30-76mc in 25kc steps for a possible 1840 channels.RF power output is a selectable 4 watts high(optional 2 watts),or 100mw low. Requires 11vdc(100ma max rec),1.5amps(trans high),400ma(trans low) as supplied by nicad batteries or vehicular accessories.Size 202mmH x 140mmW x 80mD(with 4ahr battery),3.5kg(with battery pack). Known accessories include PAL-30 30 watt vehicular RF power amplifier(VRQ-109),CU-14 vehicular antenna tuner,CV-3TA optional vehicular antenna tuner,2.75 mtr vehicular antenna,PU-66 24vdc fixed station power supply,PU-64 12vdc fixed station power supply. Note the VRQ-109(vehicular variant)was announced in 1980 aimed at the export market.The PRC-638 though produced for the Italian Armed forces,it is known to have been exported to a number of countries. Quantities of these radios were brought to the US as war trophies from recent "Desert Storm" activities. Ref;#2,#4,#5,#7 PRC-439, Marketed to appeal to military & police organizations, the PRC-439 appears to be a smaller & cheeper alternative to the PRC-639. As with it's big brother,the PRC-439 is built by IRET in Italy, is of early 1970's technology & is similar to the Racal TRA-967 in size, & concept. Normally carried in a canvas bag from the operators shoulder, it does not seem to have had the ancillary equipment available to allow it's use in various other roles, like other equipment of it's type. Below is an extract from Ref,#4, it should be noted that examples returning here from Desert Storm have panel markings in Arabic, a frequency spread of 40-49.975mc, & resemble a smaller PRC-639. Errors exist in Ref,#2 that confuse some descriptions PRC-439;Non-US,back-pack portable VHF,FM transceiver.Built in Italy by IRET,the PRC-439 appears to be a low cost alternative,tactical set for combat troops.It features small size,light weight,extreme simplicity of design & use,and is completely self contained to include a 220vac battery charger built into it's battery box.The radio and all acces- sories are combined in a single canvas bag,provided with a strap for shoulder carry. Additionally it is provided with both carrier & 150cps tone squelch, built in battery test function(indicates battery condition with audible tones),& an antenna connection that accepts either a short steel tape antenna or any 50 ohm type. Ops 40-50mc in 25kc steps for a possible 400 channels(optionally any 10mc segment from 30-80mc).RF power output is a selectable 300mw or 3 watts.Requires 12.5vdc normally supplied by 10ea "C"cell rechargeable nicads contained in it's battery box.Size 244mmH x 154mmW x 62mmD, 4kg(complete). Ref,#2,#4,#7 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Germany; SEM-52A, Some debate has arisen over whether or not this radio is a Desert Storm Trophy. As it stands, the set has a mysterious past that deserves further investigation. Questions have been presented in the past via this forum that have yet to be answered, & I hope to present them again in the future. It is included here because some evidence exist that place it in the Gulf. Built by Standard Elektrik in Stuttgart Germany,the SEM-52A is a design of early 70's technology, & it is a very tough & simple radio of high quality construction. Configured much the same way as the BCC-349 for carry, operation & physical layout, but is much smaller & lighter. As with most equipment of German origin, the quality of this radio is excellant, the only failing that can be observed is also common with ALL equipment of European origin. This is the substandard synthetic materials used in the sets accessories,I/E fragile plastics used in the construction of audio accessories, the elastic used in straps for harnessing & audio acc is very poor, canvas used for harnesses & bags is very thin & of poor quality, & the vynal used in the construction of the carry case is very stiff & brittle usualy haveing badly frayed edges. Though this radio was used by it's parent counties defense forces, it too was obsoleted in the early 80's & replaced by an almost identical, but much more advanced synthesized design. Janes 1979/80 does not list the SEM-52(A), it does list the SEM-52, & other letter designations including N,& E. We can surmise that this letter designation is used to identify the frequency range this radio will cover, in much the same way as the Canadian & Dutch CPRC-26. It is known that the "E" suffix is associated with a cheaper variant, the "N" is high frequency split, & the "S" is the later model synthesized version. The SEM-52A is a crystal control, six channel radio that can be set up for operation on any six frequencies between 47 & 57mc. Though other frequency splits of 39-80 were also built, only the 47-57mc version has been incountered. The RF power output is rated at 300mw from a 6-9.9vdc power supply. Several different battery types are known to have been available for this radio, but the most common is that which utilized descrete "AA" cells. It uses a vinyl covered tape antenna that is similar in length & contruction to US variations, but a BNC compatable antenna connection suggests that other antenna types could have been used. One last accessory worthy of comment is that the headset supplied with the radio is most unpopular with both it's original & current users. Though it is known that an optional handset was available, none have ever been found. The pair of SEM-52A's in my collection were aquired by me early in 1995, & were reported to have been removed from an Iraqi/Russian tank. In mid 1996, the US government sold via sealed bid over 1100 of these sets in a single sale but in separate lots. It is unkown where these examples came from, other than all these example show signs of German use & storage. Currently Fair Radio Sales has quantities of them for sale. An east coast dealer has advertized a couple of these radios for sale, & professes them to be NATO surplus, but as this dealers promotional reteric is normally false, this claim is highly suspect. It is however of the utmost interest to the authors to find out where this large stock of radios came from that the US government auctioned off, & what their intended purpose was. Ref;#1,#2,#7 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next instalment of this series will cover the radios of French origin, & lastly those comming from Russia & China along with some parting comments. As always, if you have any input at all, we'd like to hear from you. Dennis Starks Bill Howard miliary-radio-guy@juno.com wlhoward@gte.net Referanses; #1) the Authors personal collection #2) Janes Military Communications #3) Associated equipments manuals #4) Military Radio Data;Vol.1,PRC Designated Equipment, By Dennis Starks #5) From the Collection of Pat Lumbarti #6) From the Collection of Mark Gluch #7) a source that prefers to remain anonymous ***************************************************

Part VII; From France Continuing on with our list of captured Iraqi commo gear brought home by troops as trophies, we find more equipment of French origin. Generally the French sets were not as common as those from Italy & Britain, and only two models can be confirmed as being used by the Iraqi forces. Possibility this is a reflection of their original cost, as these examples are of higher quality & recent design. With one exception they still fall into the same categories that we have already discussed. One item of interest may prove to be the only evidence of it's type, you may notice it as you read on. Here follows all the known sets. TRC-302, Originaly designed & built by Thompson-CSF, the TRC-302, or more accurately, the TRC-302-4, entered service in 1972. If compared with U.S. equipment of that time(PRC-74), it would have boasted several advanced features. These would include smaller size, greater frequency coverage, better ergonomic design, & operational mode flexibility. The TRC-302 is an HF all mode backpack set, as such it is one of only two sets of it's type to be encountered, the other being the Racal TRA-931. If compared with that radio, the TRC-302 is of a smaller size, better mechanical construction, more advanced circuit design, is completely water tight, & operates from a lower supply voltage, thus overall better suited for a front like combat environment. It's controls are all arranged down one side of the radio as is common in European designs. This fashion does afford better access to these controls by both a secondary, & primary operator while it is in position on his back, also some measure of protection from weather. Though it would appear that they might be more vulnerable to damage under combat conditions. The only known radios in U.S. inventory to utilize this configuration, are also of foreign origin. Features include lightweight waterproof aluminum alloy case, usability by unskilled operators, COS/MOS synthesizer design with extreme stability, & maximized use of integrated circuits & other solid state devices, with no mechanical relays. Modulator internal design utilizing plug in modules & circuit boards. Ancillary equipment that will allow it's use as a vehicular or semi-fixed station with power levels up to 100 watts. Ops 2-30mc, in 1kc steps(some models 100cps steps, & preset channel ability). RF power output is rated 20watts/high, & 6 watts/low, from a 14.5 volt 4 amphour nicad battery. Modes include USB, LSB, CW, AME. For the most part The TRC-302 is one of the more attractive radios sets known to be in use by the Iraqi's, though it too is a dated design, & no longer believed to be in production in it's country of origin. Examples have been brought to the U.S. that display a "Made in Iraq" plaque on them. These models are of the -4 variant which are equipped with the 100cps frequency steps. The TRC-302 is reported to have seen wide spread use in South America, The Middle East, Australia, & South Africa were it is possibly produced locally as the RB25 series. Ref.#2,#7 TRC-570, Probably the most advansed radio to emerge from Desert Storm is the TRC-570. It is a fully modern set using fairly current technology & still believed to be in production today, if for no other reason than examples have returned here labeled "Made In Iraq". Originally designed & built by Thomson-CSF, it entered production in 1979 for use by French overseas armed forces. Primarily designed for vehicular operation, the TRC-570 is far more advanced that it's U.S. counterpart, the VRC-12 series(by 1990, nearly 30 years old). And much less complicated than our now current VRC-87 series(based on the PRC-119). Features include compact size & heavy duty construction. Modular design using LSI & Hybrid circuits. Digital frequency/channel display with keypad entry of frequency & modes with up to 9 presetable channels. 25 or 50 kc channel spacings , with 150cps tone or carriar squelch, 5 or 10kc deviation on FM. X mode compatibility for secure equipment, digital ciphering & data, or TTY via external accessories. Ancillary equipment to allow it's use as a vehicular or fixed station with power derived from 12vdc,24vdc, or AC mains. And a minimum of controls for simplified operation. Ops 26-76mc in 25 or 50kc steps,FM. RF power output is 30 watts/high or 2 watts/low, from a 24vdc power source with a drain of 6 amps/trans, 600ma/rec(external equipmnet will allow 12vdc, or AC mains operation). We can only speculate as to the existence of such a modern piece of equipment in the Iraqi inventory(see below). Though it is true that the TRC-570 does lack many of the high tech capabilities present in equipment in use by the U.S., & other developed countries, there seems to be a worth while sacrifice of bells & whistles, in favor of simplicity which will get my vote every time. You may have noticed with these two radios of French origin, the presents of the "Made in Iraq" tag. It is very possible that these may be the only examples of domestically produced electronic equipment. And perhaps will explain the presence of these more advanced & combat ready designs. This as the result of the French allowing it's manufacture to take place locally, & most likely with a great deal of their technical support. Ref.#2,#7 The next instalment of this series will cover the radios of Russia & China along with some parting comments. As always, if you have any input at all, we'd like to hear from you. Dennis Starks Bill Howard miliary-radio-guy@juno.com wlhoward@gte.net Referanses; #2) Janes Military Communications #7) a source that prefers to remain anonymous **********************************************************

Part VIII; From Russia & China We have so far covered radio equipment of British, Italian, French, Suspect German origin. This chapter will continue on with those from Russia & China. ----------------- >From Russia ----------------- Russian Tank Radios During WW II, Russian armor units did not have a radio in each tank as did the Germans and Americans. Tank platoons had a radio in the platoon leaders tank and op orders were then sent to the other tanks by visual signals. Many Russian tanks were lend lease Shermans and in many others the No.19 Wireless set was the standard radio. This was a British designed dual transceiver type, built for Russia in either England, Canada, or the U.S. having a UHF/AM set for intra-platoon communications, & a HF/AM/CW set for longer range coms with higher echelons. For the most part, AM was the standard means of communication among those tanks that had radio sets. To some degree the reliance on visual signals has carried on into the present day. By the late 1950╠s this began to change and by the time of Desert Storm, most Russian made tanks had a Russian made radio. In the mid 1950╠s the Russians fielded the T 54 tank and later the T 55 tank. These tanks had the R 113 FM set for vehicle to vehicle communication and some tanks had the R 311 , an AM set for monitoring higher level units transmissions. The next major tank to enter Russian service was the T 62 tank which had the R 123 FM radio transceiver. As T 62s began to fill the Soviet inventory, the T 54 and T 55 tanks were transferred to their allies. The T 72 began to replace the T 62.s and by the time of the 1973 mid-east wars, the T 62 was in Arab hands along with the R 113 radios and the R 311 AM sets. By the time Iraq and Iran went to war with each other, the T 72 tanks were being made in an export version. These tanks had the R 123 transceiver. The example that I have was made in Russia , had Russian markings on the case and had English language lables pasted over the Russian lettering. The major Russian tank radios that were captured during Desert Storm were the R 113 and the R 123 sets. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The R 113, Or as the inscription in Russian cyrillic reads ═P 113╬, was a frequency modulated, detent tuned, tube type transceiver with a frequency range of 20-22.375 MC. The radio derives it's power from one of two separate power supplies the BP-2B (for 12vdc operation),or the BP-2A(for 24vdc ops). The operating voltage of the vehicle in which it is installed will determine the power unit that is used as the supply. There is a matrix behind the front panel which must be wired to match the voltage of the power source. A complete station consist of the transceiver, the power supply and the antenna matching unit. If we tried to make a comparison between this set, & that of a U.S. design, the closest match would be the RT-66 & it's associated power supply of early 1950's design, & used by us untill the mid 1960's. The set has a transmitting range of 20 km (12.4 miles) with a power output of 16 watts. It has three modes of operation; listen only, transmit/receive and voice operated transmission The radio has a modular design and can be repaired easily by replacing the defective module which would provide it with one advantage over it's U.S. counterpart, though over ten years to late. The set was normally used in conjunction with the R 120 vehicle intercom system which consisted of a tube amplifier, associated cabling and crew station junction boxes. The standard Soviet tankers helmet has a four pin connector which connects to a cable with a push to talk switch.. This cable is connected to the junction box. It is a quick disconnect system, similar to that found on most of the worlds tanks. Because of it╠s limited frequency range, the R 113 can not net with some of the radios in the Soviet Army such as the R 105 and the R 108 back pack radios which were also supplied to the Iraqi's. This was the reason that it was replaced by the R 123. (Ref.#2,#8) The R 123 and R 123M Transceivers, These are one of the newest FM sets to be issued to the Soviet forces. It is a compact transceiver that has a frequency range of 20 to 51.5 MC and can be continuously tuned over the entire frequency range, along with a provision for operation from any one of four switch selected preset frequencies. There are two antennas for use with this set, a four meter one for when the vehicle is in motion and a ten meter telescopic antenna for when the vehicle is used as a stationary command post. The R 123M has no internal speaker, therefore a headset/mike or CVC helmet must be used. Normally this is also done through an intercom system. The various voltages that are required to operate this set are supplied by a transistorized power supply. The R-123 has a planning range of over 16 to 55 Km (10 to 35 miles) depending on the type of antenna used. The set has excellent frequency stability and because of its modular design, repairs are easily accomplished by replacement of the defective module. However, a problem in that the antenna loading indicators will give several different indications during the antenna loading procedure. It is therefore possible for an unskilled operator to load the antennas improperly and the set will transmit far below it╠s maximum power out put. This set is normally used with the R 124 intercom system, a fully transistorized replacement for the R 120. It is very similar to the R 120 intercom system in that it consists of an amplifier, crew station junction boxes, connecting cords and CVC helmets. The connecting cords came in small leather pouches and I have samples of the push to talk switches both in Cyrillic and in English. The R-123, being the result of the Soviet Union's modernization plan of the early 1970's, it is an odd mixture of technologies dating from 1950's-late 1970's, including 1950's tubes, 1960's solid state, & an almost state of the art LCD desplay. It can be netted with several US sets to include the AN/VRC 12 series of radios, the AN/PRC 77, the AN/PRR 9 and the AN/PRT 4 A. The R 123 has a voice operated mode(VOX) and the R 123M set does not have this VOX capability. It had become the standard set of the Soviet and Warsaw pact armies before their collapse, & was also included in all armored vehicles that the Soviets exported thus the reason for it's prevalence in the Iraqi inventory. The sample in my collection was brought back from Desert Storm and had English language metal tags glued on over the Russian cyrillic writing. The glue did not hold up well in the desert heat and many were falling off. One is also forced to wonder what good are English language tags to an Iraqi tank crewman. As of the mid 1980's, replacement of the R-123 has been underway with the R-173. This is a modern, all solid state, synthesized radio that tunes 30-76 MHz in 1kHz steps. Provision for preset channel memory, keyboard entry for frequencies and an LED readout. The R-173 has not as yet been encountered in Iraqi hands. (Ref.#1,#2,#9) Both of the R-113,& R-123 as well as most of the other Russian sets, were first recovered from various Mid east wars and were gone over and tested by Technical Intelligence Personnel during the 1970's. They were described in technical intelligence bulletins and later in the Operators Manuals produced in support of the OPFOR training programs. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Russian Back Pack Sets,(R-105,R-108,R-109, R-114) The most common of all the Russian radios to be found not just in Iraq, but all over the world, is the R-105 family of backpack radios. The radio is rather primitive by anybodies standards, it is not easy to use, nor does it have any saving graces save one, "If you fire one up, it usually works". First introduced in the early 1950's, it was revamped in the 1960's to use more modern materials(D models), & again in the 1970's(M models). It has been referred to by many as a slightly updated copy of captured WW-II German sets and many of it's characteristics, & accessories will show this lineage. All the sets in this series are of tube type design, with the only presents of transistors being in the radio's internal inverter power supply. Their cabinets(M models) are constructed of a heavy bakelight type material, sealed with paraffin to prevent water & dust seepage. A removable cover allows access to the sets controls which are placed up one edge. The radio is fully operational with this cover in place & it does provide exceptional protection for the controls, as well as further enhancement of the radios water tight integrity. The opposite edge of the radio has an identical cover to house it's rechargeable nicad batteries. The short antenna supplied with the sets is unique in design & also reminiscent of it's WW-II German ancestry. Constructed of a series of aluminum beads strung on a steel cable, a stiff spring on the end keeps pressure against these beads & a semi rigid but flexible antenna results. Releasing this spring tension collapses the antenna allowing it to be rolled up for easy storage. Better than the British system on the PRC-349, US SCR-300, & anything produced in WW-II, but still not as good as the U.S. "Stanley" tape configuration thats been in use since 1949. Accessories are available to allow the set to perform various task. Without exception they exhibit the utmost in simplicity, & crud utilitarian design. Carry equipment consist of a very thin plastic covered cushion that is placed on the back of the radio, & simple canvas straps. A long sectional antenna is provided to increase the sets range while in it's backpack configuration, it does not incorporate a spring to minimize damage. This same antenna is combined with a "C" clamp type mount for use as a vehicular antenna. A metal frame used to secure the radio in it's transit case, can also double as a vehicular mount. It's combination headset/mic is very similar to that used with the WW-II U.S. Navy TBY. A handset could also be used that is virtually a copy of a WW-II German type, & looks much like those used on U.S. EE-8 field telephones. Other accessories include a long wire antenna, & a 50 watt mobile amplifier is also known to have been built, both intended to increase the basic radios range, the later has not been encountered as a Desert Storm Trophy. The R-105 is the most common of the series, & was intended for use by infantry units. Operating in one continuous band on 36-46.1mc, with an intended channel spacing of 25 or 50kc. RF power output is rated at 1 watt, FM. Power is derived from two internal nicad batteries. Differences between the R-105 & other radios in this family can be seen below. R-108, R-109, R-114 The R-108, R-109, & R-114 are identical to the R-105 with the exception of frequency coverage, & the intended branch of service they were to be used by. In similar fashion to U.S. allocations in the 50's-early 60's. The VHF frequency spectrum was sectioned off, the different types of combat units having there own frequency range. To this end we have the R-108 being operated by artillery units, between 28-36.5mc. The R-109, by anti-aircraft artillery on 21.5-28.5mc. And the R-114 20-26mc for command & liaison at battalion level. Though the R-105M series had been reported to be out of production before 1987, the following provided by one of our group would tend to indicate it was produced longer than officially thought. Further, it might reflect the build up of all armaments, do to the hostilities between Iraq & Iran. "One interesting fact: I have an R-105M Russian set that came from the Gulf, the wood transit case has a contract number and date on it. The date is 1986, this is consistant with the other equipment I have seen that seems to have been purchased in the early 1980s. The BCC-349s have a similar production date on them." Documents that were included with my set indicate it entered service in 1982, & had a last inspection date of 1990. Note, these documents are present in both Russian & German. Production of this radio series has taken place in many of the former Warsaw Pact countries. Today, East German examples in near new condition, with all their accessories & in the transit case, can be had from a west coast surplus dealer, though a bit pricie for me. Only the Russian variants of the R-105D,M, & R-108D,M have been confirmed as in use by Iraqi forces. Versions of these radios have also been found that display panel makings in English, & Spanish. Though it is possible that these examples are of Desert Storm origin, that has not been confirmed. And there is a possibility that these variants made their way to this country by way of Granada. Remember that one? Ref.#1,#2,#3,#7 We can easily see why the tank radios of Russian origin were present in Iraq. Basically if you purchased a Russian tank, You got a Russian radio! The question arises, that if the Iraqi's had a choice, whether they would purchase equipment of such extremely antiquated design? In the case of the Portable radios, this answer is simple, and a reoccurring one, those were cheep! Huge stockpiles still exist of these types, they are being dumped today by the trainload(literally) as can be seen by their surplus sales both here & in European publications. In the case of the tank radios, maybe that question will be answered by our Chinese entry into the field. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From China, the Type 889 The Type 889 is the only radio of Chinese origin to return here from operations in the Gulf. Primarily designed for use in armored vehicles, it will fit the foot print of the Russian R-123/113 series, but all similarities stop there. The Type 889 is a fully modern set of all solid state, synthesized design. It features 20-49.975mc operation in 25kc steps. A selectable RF power output of 3watts/low or 20watts/high. And it was intended to be a slide-in replacement for the Russian R-113 or R-123. Though it will fit the mounts of those radios, all connections are completely different. Built by China National Electronics Import & Export Corp, with an obviously eye towards the export market. All panel markings on the set are in English, with the only indication of it's Chinese origin being the characters found inside the radio. In the last part of this chapter, the question was presented,"If given a choice, would the Iraqi's purchase equipment of such extremely antiquated design?" I think our question has been answered! As the appearance of this set ruffly coincides with that of the new R-173 of the USSR, yet was apparently chosen over it, our minds can only ponder as to why? Ref.#2,#7 Unless further information is received, this chapter completes all the known communications equipment to have been brought here as trophies from Desert Storm. The next & final chapter will conclude our series with some parting comments, observations,& information that has been presented since the series began. As always, if you have any input to offer at all, we'd like to hear from you. Dennis Starks Bill Howard miliary-radio-guy@juno.com wlhoward@gte.net Referanses; #1) the Authors personal collection #2) Janes Military Communications #3) Associated equipments manuals #7) a source that prefers to remain anonymous Ref.#8 Pages 69 and 70, Ref.#9 Pages 101 and 102 Soviet Communication Devices(U) OPERATOR╠S MANUAL, the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion, Dec 1981, re printd by the 203rd M.I. Bn(Technical Intelligence) *************************************************************

Part IX; Conclusion Not much new input has come in sense this series was started, so all that is left are some closing comments. We have presented all the "known" equipment that has been brought back here as trophies from Desert Storm, & their counties of origin. And as was mentioned in the opening text, all these radios shared one of two traits, they were cheep, & or were outdated, sometimes extremely so. However this list is by no means complete, as misc equipment from East Germany, Hungary, & Japan have been either identified or rumored. Even the Motorola name has been connected with Iraq. Bill will mention in his closing remarks possible political reasons for the purchase of some of this equipment & this is certainly a viable point. Though the possibility some of this equipment was originally captured from wars with Iran, & the blitz of Kuwait, there is no way of knowing if this is so. Another question comes to mind. If captured Iranian equipment would inter the seen, Then why none of U.S. origin? You must remember, that until 1979 & the Shaw was run out of town, the U.S. had very friendly relations with Iran. I even went through boot camp along side their officers in the mid 70's, in San Diego. And a last consideration is, after the Hostage/Embassy crisis, Iran went to war with Iraq. This action was embraced by the CIA, who at least supplied satellite surveillance images of Iran to Iraq. And this accounts for their knowledge of what could be seen with these satellites, & as a result, how to hide their scuds. What else might have been supplied? There was a lot of U.S. radio equipment to hit the market after Desert Storm, these included, in order of their frequency, the PRC-127, PRC-68, PRC-90, PRC-126, to name just a few. This equipment was however of to late a design to have been acquired as speculated above. Also note the extremely small size of those radios listed, I know for a fact, much of it was "hotter than hell". So these could not be considered trophies, more like souvenirs. If radio equipment of U.S. origin was encountered in Iraqi hands, one major fact would have prevented our knowledge of it. All throughout the twentieth century U.S. military history, it has been impossible for the run of the mill grunt to return home with any type of equipment of U.S. origin, not so much as a web belt, ammo pouch or canteen(if he tries to do so in a above board manor). I know this from personal experience, & the testimony of numerous veterans. This is for two distinct reasons,#1) it eases the unknowing & uncaring minds of those tasked with the inspection of these items, & saves them the trouble of discerning whether or not the equipment in question is really yours, or pilfered US stocks. #2) it saves the US any possible embarrassment. In Vietnam, hundreds of radios, & thousands of small arms of U.S. origins were captured by American troops. Though these items may have been obtained under the most innocent & honorable of circumstances, none of it was allowed home. Ordnance & radio equipment found it's way to this theater by several means including; #1) WW-II Chinese lend lease(commo & arms) #2) OSS supplies to war time Viet Minh partisans(arms) #3) PostwarFrance obtained special permission from the U.S. to use WW-II lend lease equipment in Vietnam, not to mention post war supplies(commo & arms) #4) Originally supplied to South Vietnamese Forces(commo & arms). #5) And lest we forget the entire armies completely outfitted & paid by the CIA in Cambodia & Loas prior to official U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Any of these would be embarrassing to the U.S. government with the GI returning home with his stories of capture in enemy hands, & the questions that might be asked of how it got into the enemies hands, especially in the case of #2, #5 which at the time was still highly classified. The same would be true in the Gulf. In the early stages of the Vietnam war, the above equipment was of WW-II vintage & included such things as BC-611's, BC-1306's, & BC-1000's. The most common small arms were the 30M1 carbine & 1911 45's. Had any of these been Foreign types they would have been legal souvenir fodder. It is not known what became of this early communications equipment, but serviceable small arms were returned to U.S. or South Vietnamese stores. As the course of the war progressed, so too did the captured equipment . Advancing to PRC-6', 10's, 25's, 77's, HT-1's, TR-5's, 20's, GRC-9's & 109's etc, & coinciding later model arms. These too were returned to allied stores or use when practical. Even in the case of re-captured U.S. equipment. The value of the information gained by CMEC, it's forerunners, & sister organizations, is without adequate description. Though Bill will stress the technical intelligence gained from captured equipment & how it relates to re-utilization of the equipment, it's technology, or combating it. These are only the most obvious of the means by which the data could be used. Tracing the country of origins, serial numbers, types & vintage of equipment, netted valuable tactical, strategic, & political information that could be used as ammunition in high level political intrigue, provide insights into enemy supply avenues, & conditions etc. This all whether the equipment in question was of U.S or foreign origin. Indeed it was captured Warsaw Pact, & Communist Chinese equipment(including serial numbers of U.S. equipment traced back to WW-II lend lease & these countries) that would be used by the U.S. government to prove the existence of the outside communist backers of Viet Cong forces, thus convincing the public of the validity in our involvement. I've tried to touch on some points of the value that can be gained from the study of captured equipment beyond the obvious technical aspects. But it just isn't possible to convey. We directly have to thank the intelligence community for much of the information presented in this series especially as it applies to equipment of Communist Block countries. The technical descriptions are the direct result of material printed buy them, including English translations of the equipment's original manuals. Dating back to WW-II, it is to their credit that we now have the very little information available concerning radios of the Axis. I can't think of anything else to contribute without rambling on idly & hopelessly, & my two typing fingers are getting tired, so I'll conclude with our group motto. "We thank you for your interest in our history as it is represented by this equipment." Dennis Starks; MILITARY RADIO COLLECTOR/HISTORIAN military-radio-guy@juno.com --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The deployment of U.S. forces as part of the coalition of nations allied against Iraq saw many new concepts and equipment used in combat for the first time. As a Vietnam vereran, I take some measure of satisfaction that the basic concepts of a Captured Material Exploitation Center supporting teams deployed in forward areas. First started in the Pacific in WW II (and further refined during the Vietnam era), was employed from the start of the conflict. As a result, many national intelligence collection requirements were satisfied. In addition, handbooks on enemy equipment were made available to the troops almost the first day of the deployment. Past wars had seen similar handbooks but not until too late to be of any real use. The information derived from the exploitation of captured material to include radios will no doubt prove useful to the electronics research and development community. It is impossible to calculate the value this will have and it is also impossible to state what future electronic devices will emerge for this conflict. I feel very strongly about the necessity to maintain a strong technical intelligence capability, with trained people during peacetime so they are immediatly available on short notice. An infantry unit cane be trained in a short time, 16 weeks under current training programs but technicalintelligence personnel require a lot longer training period. As Dennis has pointed out in discussing many of the radios, the trend is toward modular components, plugged into a frame of connectors, which makes a great deal of sense for manufacturing and for field repair. What I find disturbing is that in the process, our radio technicians have become module changers, using some proprietary sophisticated test equipment. If a certain test result is obtrained, change module A, if another reading is obtained, change module B and so on. Our technicians are rapidly loosing their understanding of how a radio actually works. As to the Iraqi forces, the diversity of equipment, to include radios, shows the extent of their procurement process. They have procured radios from all over. Some no doubt for political reasons and some because of availability. Their communications must have been a nightmare for those responsible, especially for stocking repair parts. It is to be assumed that they have learned something from this past conflict and may not be so easy to defeat in the next conflict. Time will tell what develops. I can only hope that our technical intelligence people, our signal intercept people are ready when caled upon. William L. Howard LTC Armor USAR CMEC 1967-1968 THE WILLIAM L. HOWARD ORDNANCE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE MUSEUM e-mail wlhoward@gte.net Telephone AC 813 585-7756 *******************************************************

On the state of Iraqi/Arabian Comm Gear, Desert Storm/Shield; Ed Zeranski On the state of Iraqi/Arabian comm gear and attitude toward comm in general...and a few experiences.... My involvement with Shield then Storm started in late July 1990. Our group was at CENTCOM/SOCOM, at Mac Dill AFB on the night of the attack installing a comm system that would see very heavy use in the coming war. The comm pipe into SWA was not that big at the start of the war and the scramble to get theater bandwidth never stopped. Lots of our, US and allies, bandwidth came from leased commercial sources. In fact one of the things I never see comment on when that time is discussed is just how many civilian contractors were in country supporting the 'magic' technology used by'our men and women in uniform'. From Aug 90 until Dec 90 when we went in country we were on the road to Hawaii, Korea, Germany, and US sites setting up new or upgrading existing links all in support of the CENTCOM J2 effort. In DEC 90 my partner and I deployed with the 581st MI CO from Zweibruken GE to Saudi Arabia attached directly to Shwartzkopf's J2/J6. Kinda odd being 45 and humping gear off a C5 with a bunch soldiers my kids age. I kept slipping up and calling Rhiyad 'Saigon'. As soon as we were known to be in country Tim and I started getting requests for help with comm and network problems, shortest day 20hrs and longest approx 50 Dec-March. One of the requests took us into "The Hole", Shwartzkopf's command bunker under the Saudi Ministry of Defence(MOTA). This is where we came into contact with Arabian comm and attitude toward it. Some of the allied networks ran over Saudi telcom which was in poor at best. Some lines were so noisy that comsec gear would not operate reliably. This problem had been ongoing for 4.5 months before Tim and I fixed it. The comm infrastructure throughout the country was a mess, GTE was brought in to install new and extra switches to handle the load put on the Saudi system by coalition needs. Even though I'm talking about Saudi Arabia not Iraq I think there are cultural values and attitudes common to both. These are top down societies and comms between common folk are not valued and perhaps feared amoung the ruling parts of those societies. You are close to the mark with your "If it didn't work..chuck it" analogy and it applied to more than radios. Perhaps that is related to a negative attitude toward people who do 'mechanic'types of jobs. Well, just my ideas and impressions, could be totally wrong but those were my impressions at the time. All in all we learned a lot during Shield and Storm and some of what we did still affects MI comm policy. I do have to admit that some of what was done was 'fast and filthy' not just 'quick and dirty' but it worked and time was tight. Then there were SCUDS and my transportation.."Battlecar Galactica"..but thats another story. (Thanks Walter Slezak) Ed Zeranski This is a private opinion or statement. home email: ezeran@cris.com

(The preceding was a product of the"Military Collector Group Post",
an international email magazine dedicated to the preservation of history
and the equipment that made it. Unlimited circulation of this material
is authorized so long as the proper credits to the original authors, and
publisher or this group are included. For more information conserning
this group contact Dennis Starks at, military-radio-guy@juno.com)

 
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