CAFB exercise tests special ops communication

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

Inside what looks like an 8-foot tall green beach ball is a satellite terminal that represents the future of special operations communications technology.

Tethered by cables tied to four metal plates, the inflatable satellite was surrounded by three tents housing millions of dollars worth of communications equipment.

The mobile communications unit is the hub of a two-week long exercise at Cannon Air Force Base involving special operations forces units from Air Force, Marine Corps and Army.

“This is the only exercise in (the U.S. Special Operations Command) of its nature,” said Col. Anthony Faughn, director of the communications for AFSOC.

The goal of the exercise is to synchronize communication technologies during special operations missions, according to Capt. Johnnie Jones of the U.S. Marine Crops Special Operations Command.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to marry our communications skills and train with our component brethren,” he said. “It’s essential for us to be able to communicate with the Air Force and Army and the like.”

High-technology communications have changed the way wars are fought. Instead of the trench warfare used in World War II,