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Update on the Joint STARS Common Ground Station.

Last August, I became the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) System Manager, or "TSM," for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS), Common Ground Station (CGS), and the Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT). For those of you not familiar with the TSMs, they are the Army's designated centralized managers and "user representatives" for high profile systems. They manage the combat development requirements, as well as oversee the TRADOC mission areas of doctrine, training, leader development, organizational structure, materiel, and soldiers for the designated systems.

TSMs are the counterparts to the Program and Project Managers (PMs), the designated materiel developers for the systems. Colonel Ron Nelson at Program Executive Office, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, is the PM for the CGS, Joint STARS, and JTT Colonel Nelson also arrived last summer. Although we are both relatively new to the positions, I can assure you that the TSM-PM team is engaged to support. If you have an issue or need information relating to the Joint STARS Common Ground Station (AN/TSQ-179) or its associated equipment or components-Joint Services Workstation, Commanders Tactical Terminal, or Joint Tactical Terminal-the TSM is the first stop for information and support.

CGS Version 2 (V2) Fielding

Last August, the Department of Defense Acquisition Executive approved the CGS for full production. We will procure and field 96 CGSs, and upgrades to the system will continue until mid-2004. We have already started to produce the upgraded Version 2 (V2) CGSs and have positioned three in Korea to support user testing and evaluation, six are in the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) to support the First Digitized Division (FDD) Division Capstone Exercises (DCXes), and other V2s are in use at the Intelligence Center for training.

Formal fielding of these systems will occur when the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command gives the system a formal materiel release. Based on this likelihood, this summer we will begin to replace CGSs with upgraded V2s, in the 525th MI Brigade, 313th MI Battalion, 311th MI Battalion, and 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. Fielding to the rest of the active force and to selected Army National Guard (ARNG) Enhanced Brigades (eSBs) will commence in fiscal year 2002 (FY02). The V2 is a major improvement of the earlier CGS (V1). The improved V2 CGS has the added capabilities of connectivity to tactical collateral local area networks (LANs), access to various Imagery Product Libraries, enhanced imagery manipulation tools, connectivity to Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Multifunction (ARL-M), U-2R, Predator Ground, and an enhanced simulation capability.

CGS-Joint Stars Connectivity

During Joint STARS live flights, CGS operators often report failure to link with the aircraft or report receiving the down link but cannot uplink with the aircraft. We believe that many of the problems are attributable to encryption or encryption devices.

The TSM Office and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) 93d Air Control Wing are collecting data and reviewing joint tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to correct this problem. We need feedback from units with CGSs when problems occur, and we will provide information on corrective actions at a later date.

High Mobility Trailer

The Army deadlined the M1102 High-Mobility Trailer (HMT) for safety reasons in 1998, due to problems with the trailer brake actuator and tow bar, which in turn caused problems to the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) bumper. This has affected fielding of the CGS. For this reason Army fielded the CGS in an interim three-vehicle configuration. This interim configuration includes the mission vehicle, one support vehicle, and one additional cargo HMMWV. A skid-mounted generator is available at the unit's option. The Army conducted extensive testing of the trailer, with a modified brake actuator mechanism and strengthened trailer chassis and tow bar. CGS fielding will recommence in the objective two HMMWV, two-trailer configuration in mid-2001. One HMMWV will mount the mission shelter, and the other is a standard four-passenger HMMWV support vehicle. Each will tow an M1102 HMT mounting a mobile electric power (MEP)803A 10 kW Tactical Quiet Generator (TQG).

Field Engineer Support

The TSM office often receives inquiries about contract field service representatives (FSRs) support for exercises and normal maintenance support. As part of the system fielding for CGS, there are regional Field Support Offices at Fort Bragg, supporting units with CGSs at Forts Bragg, Campbell, Drum, Stewart, Polk, and Gordon. The Fort Hood regional office is responsible for the area including Forts Hood, Sill, Carson, and Bliss; the Motorola Scottsdale Activity supports Fort Lewis, Hawaii, and Alaska. There are also FSRs in Europe and South Korea.

These field engineers are part of the maintenance support provided with the fielding. One caution, the contract for field engineer maintenance will expire in FY02. However, the 33W (Electronic Warfare/Intercept Systems Repairer) maintainers are trained and capable of performing maintenance on the CGS system. In order to lessen the impact when the field support maintenance contract expires, ensure that you have established a relationship with your support organization 33Ws; they to perform maintenance on the system when required. Meanwhile, the maintenance contract is in place and the contract holder has an Online Technical Support Center staffed Monday through Friday, 0700 to 1700 Mountain Standard Time. If you need assistance, call toll free 1-888-898-4187. After hours, there is a voice-mail service at this number, or you can E-mail the Center at

SCDL Hotline

The developer of the Surveillance Control Data Link (SCDL) antenna and the CGS Ground Data Terminal (GDT) recently established a user hotline. Users with SCDL or GDT maintenance problems, questions, or concerns may contact the contractor directly at 1-858-864-2299 or go to to send an E-mail message.

Colonel Steve Bond is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) System Manager (TSM) for Joint STARS, Common Ground Station, and the Joint Tactical Terminal.
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Article Details
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Author:Bond, Stephen J.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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