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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Hup! Twoop! Three! Four! - Part 2
My barracks at RAF Mildenhall, 1969
Hard at work on a burger & chips
Now I am stationed in England, more specifically, RAF Mildenhall, November, 1968. There is a pretty good history of the base here. I have previously made mention of England in another entry, so let's review! Ok, are we up to speed? Pay attention, there will be a test later. The unit that I was assigned to (as a 'Tech Controller') was Detachment 7 of the 2nd Mobile Communications Group which had the nickname of Talking Bird. Typically, mobile communication groups are over-the-road packages, that, of course, could be transported by air. We were a communications outfit that was on standby if emergency communications needed to be set up in a hurry. It was comprised of an HF (high frequency) package that had (if my memory serves me correctly!) a four channel multiplexed system, two voice channels and two teletype channels with encryption. It was all mounted on a rolling frame of sorts. It could then be rolled up into a C-130 cargo plane along with the antenna package and all the peripherals. Then the plane would deploy somewhere and we would set up. The most difficult part of the set up was the antennas. They were log periodic antennas which means they were large at one end and got smaller toward the other end. The large end was a telescoping tower that probably went up about 40 or 50 feet. The small end was a mast about half as high. Strung in between were all the elements in incrementing lengths. It looked like a very odd fence when completed. Similar to the picture below.
Unfortunately, I never went on a deployment so never saw the unit in action. After a year, I was reassigned and I think Talking Bird was phased out.