Single-channel TACSAT planning.
a. Unlike most communications systems, single-channel TACSAT radio has no planning range.
The capability to communicate depends on the satellite's location for LOS. The controlling authority
can change the satellite's geosynchronous position to improve the area of coverage. TACSAT is
specifically suited to provide long-distance communications for critical contingency operations. These
may range from a strictly Army mission, to a joint operation among several services, or to a
b. Single-channel TACSAT is mostly used for forced entry operations. A forced entry
operation has five phases. The phases are predeployment/crisis action (phase 1), deployment/initial
combat (phase 2), force buildup/combat operations (phase 3), decisive operations (phase 4), and
(1) During phase 1, the communications assets are introduced and coordination occurs.
Liaison officers bring their TACSAT equipment with them.
(2) During phase 2, communications are conducted using man-portable radios, such as the
AN/PSC-3 and the AN/URC-101.
(3) Phase 3 involves moving combat, CS, and CSS assets into the area of operation. Special
forces and ranger units deploy manpack TACSAT terminals. Operators must ensure they have LOS to
the supporting satellite.
(4) Phases 4 and 5 involve sustaining, exploiting, and redeploying operations. TACSAT
assets are retained, even though MSE is used.
c. Signal planners need to consider the following:
(1) What power sources will be available. If the radios will be used where commercial
power is available, the PP-6148 power supply can be used. A battery pack or generator can be used
during field operations.
(2) Requests for satellite access are forwarded through the unit spectrum manager (corps or
division) to the Air Force Ground Management Authority.
(3) Whether COMSEC devices have been obtained.
(4) Planners must coordinate with all units that will be in the nets. Areas of concern include
frequencies and changeover times.
(5) The need to interface TACSAT with the ACUS network. For this to occur, the needed
interfacing devices must be obtained.