Going the extra mile with boots on the ground service and support • Codan Communications

West Africa, Central Africa

Going the extra mile with boots on the ground service and support

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is a combined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is headquartered in N'Djamena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency.

In 2017, the MNJFT purchased a large order from Codan for the NGT range of radios. These radios were supplied with full MIL-STD-188-141B ALE, AES-256 and the RC50-C modem to enable them to set up a large secure voice and data capability.

MNJTF mission statement reads:

“The Multi-National Joint Task Force will operate within the authorized AU Peace and Security Council mandate to eliminate Boko Haram in order to create a safe and secure environment and facilitate the stabilization in the areas affected by the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups, by using all the necessary means within its capacity”

Since receiving the equipment and training courses the MNJTF had not implemented a robust and secure network and the radios were not working to their full capability. The force were using the radios in their own sectors in a fixed frequency role with various degrees of success. Communications to the main Headquarters in N’Djamena was either poor or sometimes non-existent, as well as being only a voice network over this long distance. They had not set-up any of the data and email links due to the training having been forgotten and their general installations were poor with the basics of grounding being forgotten and poor antenna orientation.

Due to the high risk missions the MNJTF were carrying out, the communications were vital and it was imperative that Codan educated and assisted in getting a fully operational secure voice and data network set-up.

A ten day program was provided that would once again cover the basics of HF theory, profile creation, programming, encryption, data and email configurations, mobile and base installations. This was completed with an individual practical test exercise to ensure that the sector Commanders and Operators would be able to implement a reliable ALE profile to deal with the link issues and eliminate the un-reliability of using a fixed frequency. Training attendees were also taking through frequency forecasting by carrying out real time predictions between locations.

The outcomes of the training meant that all five regional sectors were finally able to speak to each other and share reports via emails over the HF. The MNJTF realised that it was going to help them not only at a sector level but the whole MNJTF organisation.

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