MOBITITY OF

COMMUNICATIONS
By LT. COL IVALTEN G. lvILSON
Depuly Chiel of Stafi, Comrnunicotiols, Civil Air Pqtrol

i.l

'-1t.

II fl

RO:tt bot h a milirarv and civilian

cations systems its vast telephone networks (both local and long lines), telegraph, and fixed radio nets from coast-to-coast. Together with highly developeil air', rail, and highway systems, Americans are enormously "in touch" with one another at this Twen-

slandooint the unit;d slaies ( an oe Juslry prouo ot tts communr-

caused fixed communications failures.

sibility of communications severance is a strong one, where fixed types of any nature are concerned-resulting in communications "black-outs." The recent gas-main explosion at Brighton, N. Y., is an example of fixed communications failure in a real disaster. Brighton, for a time, was cut off lrom the world when explosions

munications effciency is, "How vulnerable are these systems if subjected to all-out bombing attack?" It does not take an expert to realize that the pos75OO

tieth Century midpoint. The only disturbing thought that enters into this rosy picture of com-

lVithout lantare, Cir:il Air Po,trolrt

ZZ,OOO

tnatnbers rrr.d. otar g5O0 rad,io stalions stand. tead,U to render" aid when ernergenctes arl*a.
may sound impressive. experience indicates that the communications coverage necessary in any widespread emergency could not be accomplished without a much larger network. Civil Air Patrol envisions an organized net comprising 35,000 mobile v.h.f. stations controlled by 4000-5000 fixed control stations, rvith mobile control stations as a back-up in the event 'fixed facilities are rendered useless. The 35,000 mobile stations would afthe three Terrilories- Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Plans are going forward to provide the mobile net with adequate types of

arc mobile. While these figures

In last

summcr's Midwest flood disaster fixed communications played a

in keeping traffc going. A year ago during a Mississippi ice storm, fixed
communications again bowed to mobile
types.

poor second 1o mobile communications

meet this problem

How, then, can the United States
?

ford a virtually complpte communications coverage of the 48 states and

supply known to radio communications

class. Much of this radio equipment is of the surplus military type, some is commercially-built equipment, while in other instances the gear is,'homebrew"-like ham equipment. Every conceivable type of po\rer

plane, car, boat, horseback, or hand. At the present, CAP equipment consisls of many different units. ranging in power from 500 watt a.c.-powered fixed stations to self-contained batteryoperated transceivers of the .25 watt

that prototype tests can be set will be transportable by light
hoped
made not later than May, 1952. The

the missions of Civil Air Patrol, official auxiliary of USAF. Among these missions, CAP was charged with the

.Much thought was given the problem when the U.S. Air Force set forth

may be found operating in the CAp radio network. Such units as vibrator
pack supplies, dynamotor supplies, a.c.

communications system characterized by high mobility and flexibility, USAF stated that the system, or network, would be at the disposal of civil defense agencies when not being called upon by the ,,mother,, organization. Over a period of a very few years Civil Air Patrol has developed a radio communications network of more than 9500 stations, of which approximately

job of selling up a

lightweight portable v.h.f. set. This set would consist of a four-channel, crysincorporated. Output power would be low, The desire here is to limit the working range of the equipment so as to avoid mutual interference with adjacent CAP stations and traffc. It is

equipment. fn cooperation with Col. William P. Lear, communications advisor to Maj. Gen. Lucas V. Beau, National Commander, CAP is developing a means to meet requirements for a

rectifier units, and battery packs all
equipment. The voltage outputs from
these various supplies may range fi.orn

play a prominent role in powering CAp

tal-controlled v.h.f. transmitter anal tunable receiver, with battery power

90 volts from the battery pack to as much as 3000 volts from the rectifier type supply, depending on its application and the equipment with which it

is used,

Some

May, 1952

net control stations in the CAP are of the type designed for and used extensively by the military during World War Il; the most popular of lhese is

of the transmitte$ in use

as

35

'

Ccpl, Leonqld I. II€iD6e!, Cotlloldet ol Croup 761, operal€s Slclion trOND t! lhe CAP networL. The Nsbradla WinE noi/ hd3 liye slalions opelclilg ott 23t4 Lc.

This CAP rqdio unit ot th6 lowc rfftnq HeqdquarleE in Des Moires ccr provide covercge lor lhe ellire 3tole o[ 10l''6.

few years may be found at some CAP
station. Thus, the CAP is a vast anal practi-

cal proving grounal for all types ot
radio equipment, fixed or mobile.

"Does CAP have the organizational structure with which to man the proposed net and operate in a disciplined
manner ?" Indeed, that is a primary considera-

The next logical query could

be,

tion and one which Civil Air Patrol can fulfill. Such a network as CAP has now and the one which it envisions calls for a military or semi-military administration or command. CAP is semi-military in nature, although a completely civilian volunteer outfft. It
has been so since December 1, 1941. A brief study of the CAP framework

the BC-610 transmitter which is capable of providing both voice and telegraphic communications in the 500

NC-125, and NC-5?; the Hqllicratterg s388, S40B, SX-71, SX-22, SX-28, 5-76,

watt class. Other types of transmitters which

are used as fixed base stations, mobile units (land portable and airborne) are

and S-72; Hqmmarlund, receivers include the "Super Pro" and the HQ729Xi RME units are the RME-50, RME-45, and VHF-152; Corlias is represented by the 754.1 and the ?5A2;
RC.4's AR-88

indicates tremendous capabilities for control anal coirmunications coverage, in a truly alisciplined manner. National Heaalquarters, at Bolling AF Base, D, C., actually is an Air Force

l:sted in the table below. As in the case of transmitters. there is a wide variety of receivers in use by CAP. Included are commercial types,

is also used. Militarytype receivers include the BC-348, BC-342, BC-312, BC-744, Bc-fig, and
TC-10?A. These are only a few models that are being used daily in the vast CAP com-

headquarteG, in that all personnel are USAF, from General Beau down through the rtnks of some 70 officers and airmen. This headquarters serves

surplus military units, and various "homemade" receivers. Among the surplus and commercial gear being
used are the Notional NC-173, NC-183,

to discharge the USAF obligation to CAP in providing administration,

munications network. Actually, every type of receiver produced in the past

Tsbulalion ot lhe trqftmill€r. currerUy bsing used by the ClvU Ait Pclrol.

SQI'IPMENT POWER .75 scn.sll 6 scB.szz t5 scRJg3 300 sc8-399 25 sca-287 25 AN/TBC.2 tRc,4 l0 8 ABC-3 ARC-I 8 ARC-5 50 l0 sca-245 7C/t2A l0 rsocT(cohE.coJ 25 a0 L.liitro 240 VikirE I (Ioh$on) 50 l0 a-E t-22 ARCI3 100 15 BCA T-10{ 7 ncA AvT-rs RCA AVl-ll2A 7 HT-ll(Bdllicrdlter.) r5 wnl-406 40 TCS-9 23 ,10 B.ldixATD

POWER

SUPPLY EQUTPMEM
Hcdroy

POWER
75
50

POWER SUPPLY

training aid, and general monitoring of the national program, The scheme is further enhanced by the Air Force liaison ofrcers from this headquarters who serve in each Wing, or State, to promulgate the plans and policies of
USAF-CAP.

SCB_s{? D.IRA-62 or pE-94) Si.benrhcler AW-50 o. rr r r G-E 4G686 ^ -V. o!

B.

DorR
DorR DorR

i iir'.isi1',-;i.c.
;
{hcrd) D D D D D (12 vJ V (5 v.) D D or A,C. (rl0 vJ D R
G
D o! R (4.C.) D o! B {A.cJ

iP-E;;i;;'-' F5X"1H'13'"" D.c. (... v., B.litix TA.36
c,E

rM-roo

50 73

?!
IOO

lClct l5 cG-20 lcoait Gucrd) 20 lll6i.!r€! t50B 150 5 rBGlog H.rey-W.u3TAS{0 50 25 Ly.co l40T 30 TCS.I2 rc96 15 20 TCS-5 20 Tgr/a 50 SCB-632
scR-69{ sca-637 scR.s83
25 50

DorA DorB Do!R DorR v (6 v,)
Y

CAP." A wing is

From that point on CAP is "strictly
commandeal

by

a

DotB
DorA DorR DotR DotR DorR

16

v,)

CAP colonel, known as the "wing commander." The wing stafr is similar to any "air stafl" and performs the various duties requireal to keep the State program going. Among these staff of-

D (PE-ss) or

A.c, (rr0 vJ
A.C, (l l0 v.)

ficers is a communications director, such as the writer, a deputy commander. executive officer, public information offcer, adjutant, anal so on.
There are 52 wings. Following the Air Force pattern, the next level is the "group," of which CAP has 16?, evenly distributed in such a way as to aid wing administration.

a(6vJ
DorR

D (PE-sg) or G (hcnd)

A.c. (rr0 v.)

D o! A.C.

DotE Do!R
R

acn.28{
scR-s36

l5

5

sca.l83

.027 5

{hdd) (d!y) DorB
G B

' D li dyncboto!, V ir vibrcpccLr

ir toctitrglr

B

ir

bct'-6ry.

s6

Next are the 1400 squadrons. These nearly 1600 CAP units are not located just in the South, or the West, or overseas, or in close Proximity NADIO & TD|,NIIISION ND.WS

county.

to the metropolitan areas. They are to be found in every State and Territory soon, CAP executives hope, in every

framework the organization is able to work some small miracles of public
when an emergency or disaster strikes. It doesn't have to travel a half day to get to the scene and go into operation. When Roods ravaged Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma last summer,

Through such an

evenly-woven

service. The reason: CAP is

,lzere

CAP went in with the first relief. in many cases hours before other types. Communcations in many instances were restricted to CAP'S mobile radio
units.

of wings, groups, and squadrons. Additionally, CAP has manpower. Personnel strength at this writing has passed the 75,000-mark with some 34,446 senior members and almost
43.000 cadets. 5000 airplanes and 13,000 pilots, these

Likewise, this evenly-distributed organization affords a natural chain through which "command" may proceed. Also, following the Air Force pattern, CAP personnel perform their duties in a swift and precise manner, through this widespread organization

Clvil Ai! Pdtrol cddet! set up a ponqble pol'er unii tor use duling .,Op€rction Flood." Thts simulcled emelgercy operqtion wcs oaly one ot rhe mqiy sucl prob. lems x'hich dre conducted to plovtde redli.tic rrdinins Io! rhemb€r" oi rle U"ir.a Slcles AL Force's cuxiliary ai! qrtrl-the CivU AL PoFol, kro\r! as CAp.

in snowy climes, there also are ski and

Added to that, CAP has mobility. The organization counts more than

But all is not plans with the Civil Air Patrol radio network. In exist-

sled outfits.

backed up by thousands

Headed for the scene of an emergency or aerial search, CAP airlifts all possible personnel and stock, and moves the rest by truck, bus, car, or motorcycle. In the interest of mobility, CAp has horse, boat, and Jeep units in som6 parts of the country. You guessed it:

of pieces of various "rolling stock" and boats.

tional Headquarters' radio station (VP@), ssleing 65 a net control station in scheduled operation with its eight

a national net, a regional net, and a lving net. The first consists of a Na-

ence today is a structure consisting of

these stations are of the fixed type. The 7500 CAP mobile stations in all CAP levels of command operate independently or on a controlled basis, as the situation demands; but in no case is the mobile network rendered lifeless due to fixed

regional net stations. Each regional station, in turn, serves as a net control station for the CAP wings in its prescribed area. A wing net consists of a wing control and satellite stations, after the above pattern. AIt of
antenno

projected communications program, an ambitious undertaking calling for added manpower and leadership. You are invited to investigate CiviI Air Patrol and the possibility of a berth in it for your "know-how." -&l-

the 11th year of CAP history-the organization seeks to speedily fulfill its

At this point-in the early part

failure for any reason.

of

A Civil Air Pottol lield unit erecb iir trdllsEillils

ss high q! po3sible to obtaid the moximrm siglcl coverqge. teeps ol ths lhird Plstoon, Ccvsl.y RecoDndk3qnce Squqdron, lesl equipment ql EouDdcry PeqL, Nev., betorE starting d ffeld probleE. Radio equipheDt plcyed { prcminenr role ir; prob. l6ms, cooriliddtilrq the progr*s ol the ieeps in mountsin conyon6, Unils were coltrolled lrom pofldble tronsmitter units.

lfey! le52

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