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Military Satcom Part 2

FM 24-11 Chapter 7

UHF Air Force Satellite Communications

7-1. System Description

a. AFSATCOM provides reliable, worldwide, C2 communications. These communications are used by designated Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP)/nuclear capable users for emergency action message (EAM) dissemination, JCS-CINC internetting, force direction, and force report-back. AFSATCOM capacity is also provided for a limited number of high priority non-SIOP users for operational missions, contingency/crisis operations, exercise support, and technical/operator training.

b. The AFSATCOM system is made up of a space segment. This space segment consists of UHF transponders aboard several spacecraft and a terminal segment. The terminal segment consists of standard AFSATCOM ground/airborne, manpack, and special communications system terminals. The space segment is Air Force managed transponders of varying capability and capacity. They are carried aboard the fleet satellite communications (FLTSATCOM), leased satellite communications (LEASATCOM), satellite data systems (SDS), Packages B and C, DSCS III, and Lincoln experimental satellites (LES) 8 and 9.

7-2. System Communications Control Hierarchy

The Air Force Communications Command (AFCC) controls system communications as directed by the AFSATCOM program management directive (PMD). Figure 7-1 shows the hierarchy of control elements as follows:

  • System operational management office (OMO).
  • Master control center (MCC).
  • Primary control center (PCC).
  • Network control element (NCE).

a. The AFSATCOM control objectives--

  • Provide the operator/user with communications with a minimum of control.
  • Schedule satellite accesses in keeping with current system limitations, equipment constraints, and validated priorities.
  • Prevent users from interfering with each other and/or disrupting the integrity of the system.
  • Manage the number and power of satellite accesses ensuring sufficient downlink power margin to those users authorized to operate.
  • Provide a control subsystem with enough equipment to monitor satellite communication transponder operations and to recognize and assist with operational or technical system problems.
  • Provide high priority users reliable communications during crisis or contingencies.

b. The Chief of Staff, United States Air Force (CSAF) is the executive agent for the management and control of AFSATCOM. The Strategic Communications Division (SCD) is designated the AFSATCOM operational manager for the commander, AFCC. The SCD manages the AFSATCOM satellite system on a day-to-day basis, interacting directly with the Navy telecommunications command (NAVTELCOM) on control procedures involving both services.

7-3. Access Requests

Access requests should be submitted to the appropriate PCC at least 14 days before the requested start time of the access. If a ground entry point (GEP) (AN/FSC-82) is part of the access, an additional 14 days are required for coordination. PCCs normally begin preparing access schedules 30 days in advance to allow for changing user requirements. Routine access requests must be submitted between 14 and 30 days before requested access start time. Access request may be submitted earlier if lead-time is required for host nation frequency approval. Frequency approval should be requested for all AFSATCOM frequencies in the operating area. (See Tables 7-1 through 7-11.)

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