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U.S. Forces in Japan Launch Big Communications Project.

A $100-million, first-of-its-kind project will modernize and improve communications for US forces in Japan.

The Japan Reconfiguration and Digitization (JRD) Program is a massive realignment and digitization of the Defense Communications System (DCS). It encompasses two major Defense Communications Agency (DCAe projects--the DCS reconfiguration in the Kanto Plain and digitization of the Japan DCS.

Air Force Communications Command (AFCC) is the lead command, with the Program Management Office (PMO) located at the 1843d Engineering Installation Group, Wheeler Air Force Base (AFB), Hawaii, and its subordinate Field Project Office at Yokoya Air Base, Japan.

Lieutenant Colonel Carlton Luka, who heads the PMO, said, "Although the 1843d EIG is used to big projects, this program will use virtually all the engineering and installation skills and affect every aspect of the DCS in Japan. It includes the installation and cutover of new Autodin and Autovon/Tandem switches, the installation of a major technical control facility, and the digitization of both microwave and tropo transmission systems throughout the DCS on mainland Japan."

The Defense Communications System Reconfiguration (DCS-R) in the Kanto Plain Project is a result of lengthy negotiations with the government of Japan since 1976. Following the successful completion of the Kanto Plain Consolidation Plan (1970 to 1976), which relocated major headquarters, family housing and support facilities to Yokoya AB, Camp Zama and Yokosuka, the Autodin switch became the only major facility remaining at North Camp Drake. Likewise, the Autovon and Tandem switches were also the only major facilities remaining at Fuchu Air Station.

Upon completing a comprehensive assessment of transport costs for personnel and equipment to an dfrom the sites, maintenance of the facilities, and physical security factors for the critical switches, it was determined that these functions should be consolidated at Yokota. A firm government-to-government agreement to complete the project was reached in 1982. At this time, the digitization of the DCS in Japan project was combined with the DCS-R project and retitled, Japan Reconfiguration and Digitization Program.

Under the DCS-R agreement, Japan agreed to provide a 76,000-square-foot building at Yokota AB, a 6700-square-foot building extension at Fuchu, major cable connectivity for the new facilities, funds to relocate the commercial broadband interconnects from Fuchu to Yokota, and the primary backup power systems at a cost exceeding $30 million. US obligations include activation of a new digital Autovon/Tandem dual-function switch at Yokota and functional relocation of the Autodin switch from North Camp Drake to Yokota. The total cost of the DCS-R and conversion of existing analog microwave and tropo radio systems to digital microwave radio systems will be in excess of $70 million. Rockwell-Collins was the successful bidder to provide the radio and multiplex equipment for the project.

Completion of the facilities to be provided by Japan is scheduled for this September, and activation of the Autodin and Autovon/Tandem communications systems is scheduled for April 1985. By April 1986, all of North Camp Drake and major portions of Fuchu will be returned to Japan for disposition. Activation of the digital microwave and tropo systems will be in 1988. The 1843d EIG and the 1837th Electronic Installation Squadron at Yokota AB are responsible for engineering, installing and activating the new digital radios, multiplexers and cable. Maintenance and Manpower Cuts

As the operation and maintenance (O&M) manager for the DCS in Japan, the 1956th Communications Group anticipates benefits to include $5 million in annual O&M savings and 43 manpower reductions. The 475th Air Base Wing will also reap benefits through reduction in transportation, civil engineering and supply costs and manpower.

Currently, personnel of the 1843d EIG are working closely with the DCA, the Defense Communications Engineering Center, the Department of the Army and Headquarters AFCC to organize the engineering and installation efforts to meet the April 1985 start date. The Army's Communications-Electronics Engineering Installation Agency is responsible for refurbishing the Autodin switch salvaged from Clark AB in the Philippines, and installing/Activating it in the new building at Yokota. AFCC will handle procuring the new digital Autovon/Tandem switch and activating it at Yokoya. Also, personnel of the 485th EIG at Griffiss AFB will be responsible for engineering and fabricating the new technical control facilities for Yokota and Fuchu.

REconfiguration of the switches and DCS in the Kanto Plain will significantly improve voice, data and record communications throughout the Pacific and provide more users with responsive communications. Physical security of the nodal switches will be greatly enhanced, and a substantial reduction of O&M costs for the Air Force will be achieved. During the project, customers should experience minimal difficulty in communicating with other units in Japan, Korea, or any areas in the Pacific or Indian oceans.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Connors, D.; Channave, C.
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1984
Words:778
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