Military Embedded Systems

U.S. communications terminal becomes operational in Qatar


January 22, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. communications terminal becomes operational in Qatar
Photo by U.S. Air Force/ Master Sgt. Joshua Strang

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar. At the Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the first fully funded modernization enterprise terminal (MET) outside the U.S. is now operational. Costing $15 million, MET provides secure communications capabilities that include voice, video, and data services. The terminal links service members in the U.S. Central Command area with military leaders around the world.

The terminal is part of the Defense Department’s MET program, says Lt. Col. Carlos Alford, the 379th ECS commander.

The MET system features anti-jamming software using the latest technology, says Vernon Jones, the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron plans and programs manager.

“It ensures the CENTCOM commander has the communication capability to get his guidance to his subordinate commanders to execute the mission,” Jones says. “It also provides the assurance to the warfighter that when an extraction team or a rescue helicopter is needed, it will be there.”

“Having been shot at, I understand the criticality of having dependable communications,” Jones says, “and that’s what this terminal provides."

“The program’s goal is to install new terminals around the world to enable U.S. military forces to take advantage of increased data capabilities of its constellation of Ka-band wideband global communication satellites,” Alford says. “The MET will simultaneously handle both X and Ka-band signals which use WGCS."

Al Udeid Air Force Base has the distinct possibility to have a second MET set up by 2018, says Alford.

Installation of the terminal began in September 2012 and in January 2014, the Defense Information Systems Agency certified the terminal.

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