TYR Tactical

US Army Space Company Replaces Communication System with Portable Alternative

FORT CARSON, Colo. – The 1st Space Battalion’s 4th Space Company is trading in their old ground satellite terminals for a lightweight, portable option – the Ground Antenna Transmit and Receive.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carlos Gil, network management technician, 4th Space Company, said the GATR‘s portable design will provide the company the satellite terminal mobility Soldiers need in theater.

“It’s a lightweight, portable and durable system that will be beneficial in remote areas,” Gil said. “We can pack it in just two cases and we can set up in 30 minutes or less.”

4th Space Company provides support to geographical combatant commanders and U.S. Strategic Command by supplying critical information and timely data on the health and status of various satellites, ensuring reliable communication channels. This means being able to communicate from anywhere, even remote locations difficult to reach in large vehicles.

The GATR is replacing the company’s Secure Internet Router/Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Access Point ground satellite terminals, which weigh 300-400 pounds and are typically transported in the back of high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles or helicopters.

The GATR, consisting of a flexible, inflatable ball and a dish, weighs approximately 25 pounds and can fit into two cases the size of checked airport baggage. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathan Paquette, a 4th Space Company network management technician, said it is small and light enough for Soldiers to carry.

“The antenna is easily deployable and provides the same high-bandwidth satellite communications as the larger, heavier SNAP ground satellite terminals,” Paquette said.

The company recently completed a 10-day training session to become familiar with assembling and operating the new system. All three companies in 1st Space Battalion will receive GATRs for field communications.

1st Space Battalion, which generates and provides space combat power for Army and joint forces to conduct global and continuous multi-domain planning and operations, is assigned to the 1st Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

By SFC Aaron Rognstad (USASMDC)

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