KABUL, Afghanistan –
Communicating is an essential function for professional militaries.
With that in mind, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are forging a new way forward for communication operations throughout Afghanistan.
The ANDSF is integrating its newest graduates into units around the country. These soldiers are responsible for ensuring accurate radio frequencies for combat operations, rescue missions and logistic support.
In simple terms, imagine a phone book with a lot of numbers and hundreds of people requiring to be assigned a number [frequency] to be able to communicate. These professionals are responsible for allocating the right number [frequency] to the right people while eliminating any type of interference or detection of the messages being transmitted.
“It is vital for all of our forces to have communication without interference. That is the only way they can coordinate air or ground operations. The completion of this training means that we are in the right path to make our army stronger and modern,” explained 1st Lt. Ahmad Shoaib Nabizada, honor graduate for the class.
Any interference, wrong allocation of a frequency signal, or enemy detection of the messages being transmitted could cost lives, he added.
Identify it, find it and destroy it: these graduates also learned to identify foreign frequencies, find them in a windows based system called Spectrum XXI, and physically locate enemy forces transmitting messages on the field.
“These graduates, now spectrum managers, are prepared to resolve interference issues and identify digital and analog radio signals. They also know how to operate the Spectrum XXI, a great tool used to create frequency proposals and assignments for use within the Ministries,” explained Dr. Massimiliano Del Nista, instructor from NATO Communications and Information Agency.
Commanders on the battlefield rely on these experts to communicate for attacks on enemy forces. Pilots and forwarded observers require unique frequencies to conduct airstrikes. If the pilot can’t communicate with the ground observer, the mission is automatically cancelled, Del Nista added.
NATO has been providing spectrum management and Spectrum XXI courses since 2010. This iteration of training was hosted by Turkish counterparts.
As part of the Train, Assist, and Advise mission Resolute Support plans to continue providing spectrum management related courses to Ministries with the goal to have spectrum managers at each Corp, explained Boyd, RS senior advisor.