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February 29, 2024
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194th Security Forces trials cutting-edge radio technology in the field.


  • The 194th Security Forces Squadron field-tested a new radio network system technology on Camp Murray, Wash., enhancing off-grid communication capabilities.
  • The system uses a mesh network to provide real-time situational awareness and coordination among users.

The 194th Security Forces Squadron conducted field-testing of a cutting-edge radio network system technology on February 2-3, 2024, at Camp Murray, Washington. The new radio devices aim to improve traditional communication networks by enabling connectivity without the need for a central hub, allowing off-grid connectivity at all times and locations. Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Martin, the superintendent of the 194th SFS, explained that the system operates using a mesh network radio system and the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) application. This technology eliminates the constraints of line-of-sight signals, as signals can seamlessly hop between devices. The ATAK application facilitates real-time visibility into mission status, coordination, and situational awareness, enabling users to share geospatial information effectively.

During a training seminar, the 194th SFS personnel familiarized themselves with the radio network system and the ATAK application. The seminar included a training exercise where individuals used the technology to communicate and search for simulated unexploded ordnance and armored vehicles in a predefined location. This exercise demonstrated the potential benefits of the system, highlighting its ability to provide situational awareness over vast distances, without the need for traditional radio communication. Senior Airman Cameron Ashworth emphasized the advantage of visualizing information on a phone and screen, enhancing communication effectiveness.

Moreover, the technology is not limited to military exercises but also has practical implications for real-world threats against the installation, such as gate runners or active shooters. By dropping coordinates on a map, users can relay critical information to others quickly, enhancing situational awareness and response coordination. Senior Master Sgt. Martin emphasized the intention to share this technology beyond the 194th SFS, extending its benefits to other state missions, such as response to wildfires or domestic operations scenarios.

In conclusion, the field-testing of the new radio network system technology by the 194th Security Forces Squadron underscores the importance of modern communication capabilities in enhancing situational awareness, coordination, and response effectiveness, both within military exercises and real-world scenarios.

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