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Gerhard Heiming

The German Navy has deployed the F 125 frigate BADEN-WURTTEMBERG for hot water testing in waters off Brazil. During the planning however, it became apparent that national satellite communication facilities (SATCOM) would not cover the test region so support was requested from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI A). Within two weeks, the agency provided the required connectivity in the desired bandwidth via NATO SatCom for the period 7th March to 16th April 2020, as announced by NCI A on the 26th May. In doing so, NCI A was able to draw on existing resources, which were made available on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the Agency signed with four nations. After receiving the request from the German Navy, the NCI A worked with its main customer, Allied Command Operations, to determine whether there was excess capacity that the Navy could use. The SATCOM space segment team in Mons, Belgium, planned, calculated and issued the satellite access authorisation for the vessel while they also took over the technical management of the project. The special hardware required to establish the satellite link was moved from the Agency’s CIS Sustainment Support Centre, the depot for CIS equipment to support NATO’s ongoing global operations and planned exercises, to the appropriate transmitter and receiver facilities and installed. This was not the first time that the Agency has supported the German Navy and the NCI A is prepared to support similar requests from NATO nations in the future.