Noteworthy UK Exercises, Demonstrations & Trials

Uk 70 to 71_edited.jpgTotals –      Exercises 9      Demonstrations 7      Trials 8

TRIAL (7th – 17th February 1970)
The second UK/TSC-500 was collected by T Troop from GEC-AEI at Stanmore on the 6th February 1970 and moved to the main SKYNET station compound at RAF Oakhanger (almost on the site of 14th Signal Regiments old COMCAN Standby Receiver Station). The TSC 500 station was give the designation M TWO.

This move was to prove feasibility of the UK/TSC500 being used in-toto, or in part, to replace the SKYNET main station in an emergency. The trial was carried out in conjunction with SRDE.

REFURBISHMENT (13th February – 15 July 1970)
The S Troop UK/TSC-500 station was moved to GEC-AEI at Stanmore where it was handed over for a complete refurbish. . Members of S Troop had already been at Stanmore for a fortnight carrying out acceptance tests preparatory to handover

TRIAL (March – April 1970)
The T Troop TSC500 moved to Worcester and the station was erected. Extensive testing, viz- CSOTP tests and trials to SRDE, Singapore and HMS INTREPID were carried out.

EX. TALISMAN (20th – 27th Apr 1970)
A DCN exercise with E Troop E21/R241 working to DCN Cyprus with Transmitter sited at WOODFARM CAMP and the Receiver at Norton Barracks. After a phase of technical trouble traffic availability improved during the latter part of the exercise.

These trials were not a success due to equipment faults so much so, the equipment from further trials by manufacturers and returned to Plessey on 13th July1970. Sgt Armstrong was engaged on a liaison visit to DCN CYPRUS for the duration of the station trials.

DEMONSTRATION (2nd – 3rd May 1970)
The E21/R241 of E Troop was set up for the Regimental Freedom Weekend. This also included a demonstration of erecting a Grainger Antenna, with Sgt WEST as NCO i/c team.
Additionally a TSC500 Station (T Troop) was moved onto the main which allowed public viewing whilst the station was working to Cyprus on station trials.

DEMONSTRATION (14th May 1970)
An SR D13/R234 of 1 Squadron (A or B Troop?) was set up and shown to RMCS Course at Blandford.

This was part of a major Royal Signals demonstration of equipment to HRH Princess Anne at the School of Signals, Blandford. A SR E21/R241 of D Troop provided a voice circuit engineered to Cyprus but QRM (man-made interference) at the last moment prevented contact between HRH and Cyprus.

Additionally a TSC 500 of T-Troop was visited by HRH Princess Anne and HRH talked to Singapore via the satellite. HRH also received greetings from Singapore via the teleprinter.

Both stations were visited by Lieutenant General Sir Williams Scott KCMG CB CBE, the master of Signals, during the demonstration.

T Troop moved to Aldershot As part of NEW ENVOY VIII –a Military show – the station was on view to the general public. The public sent messages to relatives in Cyprus during the link time. A link was also set up to Gan.

TRIAL (22nd – 26th June 1970)
T Troop moved to RAF Old Sarum for air portability trials.

DEMONSTRATION (2nd – 5th July 1970)
An SR D13/R234 of B Troop was set up and shown at the School of Artillery Open Day at Manorbier.

EX VINEYARD (2nd – 8th July)
This was an inter-troop exercise between the E21/R241 of E Troop in Scotland and the E21/R241 of D Troop in Chickerell Camp, Weymouth. Four channels were engineered and a fifth was attempted. The latter failed due to poor frequencies.

TRIAL (July – November 1970)
The S Troop TSC500 station erected at Worcester and now involved in HQ 90 Group, CSOTP, SRDE and SKYNET link trials.

DEMONSTRATION (19th – 22nd August 1970)
An SR D13/R234 of B Troop was set up and shown to the Royal Radio Society.

EX. TERMINATE (25th – 27th Aug 1970)
This was a DCN exercise with E Troop E21/R241 working to DCN Malta. The transmitter site was sited at Pershore and the receiver site at Droitwich. Due to VHF path difficulties the transmitter was also moved to Droitwich. Outage was high initially due to DCN Malta not having a BID 650 or EDC immediately available, but improved later.

A demonstration of the E21/R241 was staged in Norton Barracks for the visit of the GOC-in-C of Army Strategic Command

Ex. RAMPART (7th – 13th September 1970)
In this exercise the E21//R241 of D Troop worked from Droitwich to Commcen Mauritius. This was a non-EDC exercise working into TARE on normal VENDOR circuits. Traffic quality throughout the exercise was extremely good

EX. VULCAN (5th – 6th November 1970)
B Troop detachment operating a remote JRS transmitter with their R234 receivers to provide a link from Pounden, Oxfordshire to SR E21/R241 of E Troop located in Nassau.

EX. BRINDLE (23rd – 30th November 1970)
The E21/R41 of D Troop worked to Commcen Cyprus. A generally good exercise but there were problems with EDC, probably due to the high traffic volume.

TRIAL (10th – 24th November 1970)
S Troop TSC500 station erected at Verne Radar Site, Portland and recommenced 90 Group trials and SRDE wind trials.

EX.TOSS (23rd November – 4th December 1970)
An inter-troop communications exercise involving SR D13/R234 detachments of A and B Troops located at Barry Buddon and Bovington respectively..

TRIAL (25th – 30th November 1970)
S Troop TSC500 station transported to RAF Oakhanger and erected at the side of type 1 station to carryout interface trials with type 1 station. This was a simulated “crash move”.

TRIAL (January – February 1971)
S Troop TSC500 carried out lengthy and detailed Communication Satellite Orbital Test Programme (CSOPT) Trials.

EX. TOWARDS (1st – 5th February 1971)
This was a D Troop E21/R241 exercise staged for the visit of the CSO Army Strategic Command and the Annual FFR Inspection. A good voice circuit was engineered to Cyprus, and a good drill load traffic was passed, but again there were EDC problems. One NODUF compassionate message was passed to a hospital in Oxford

EX. VIOLIN (15th – 24th March 1971)
An inter-troop communications exercise involving SR D13/R234 detachments of A and B Troops with the former located at Blandford working to B Troop deployed in Scotland.
Some exercise detail missing from Regimental Historical Records (August 1970- March 1971)

Overseas Operations & Exercises

Overseas 70 to 71_editedTotals –      Exercises 7      Operations 2

OP SHEEPSKIN (Continued)
The mixed detachment of 14th and 30th Regiment continued to man the D11 deployed in Anguilla. Their routine was well established and uneventful. Personnel turn rounds took place in September and January. Administration continued to be done by 33 Field Squadron, RE

EX BERSATU PADU (1 April – 1 June 1970) .
A detachment from the 1 Squadron flew to Singapore to assist 19 Brigade to set up a national rear link, using a loaned a local SR D13. The crew was made up from the local Signal Troop and 14th Signal Regiment with detachment commander, Staff Sergeant (F. of S.) Frank Gadman.

EX. TALONS HIGH (April – May 1970)
The D Troop E21//R234 operating in Sennelager, BAOR

EX PALM (29th June onwards – )
B Troop detachment on Gan with D11/R230 (CW) and D13/R234 (SSB) working to Mauritius. The detachment also took a RACAL R329B in order that FSK reception could be compared with that given by R234 and associated equipment.
(Steve Wright recalls – From my “red book”, we departed RAF Lyneham 28 Jul 70 in 2 x Hercules refuelling at RAF Muharraq then on to RAF Gan, returning 7 Sep 70, the first Hercules arrived at RAF Lyneham a week earlier, I was on the second one which had a problem and we spent a few days at RAF Muharraq awaiting for spares from UK. The half det. lived in the transit accommodation, getting very bored some of us took a walk across the causeway to go “downtown” the place was a sh1t hole and quickly returned. The Hercules was “fixed” and as last we took off, however the Hercules was still broke and needed to land in Cyprus at RAF Akrotiri and needed to wait a few more days and we enjoyed topping up the tan, BTW pretty sure it was only a D13 Det not with a D11 as recorded, willing to be corrected. As the Det ED was banned from driving on RAF Gan after failing their Ishihara colour blind test, the Forman was more than happy to drive me around the airfield for the duration.
also see The Wire Nov-Dec 1970 page 511)

EX FOXBERRY (3rd – 18th August 1970)
A Troop det. operating D13/R234 from Mourmelon, France to UK and Cyprus, the equipment having travelled by road from the UK.

EX VULCAN (26th September – 12th November 1970).
This consisted of E Troops E21 based at Nassau, Bahamas, working DCN to Bodington and a D13/R234 station of B Troop at Pounden, near Bicester, UK. The troop was accommodated for five weeks under canvas at Oakes Field, and then for three weeks in the Hotel Victoria, Nassau. On return the troop took seven days block leave before the equipment arrived back in the UK. Despite various technical failures, traffic times were generally good.

EX SURF (17th August – ??)
The TSC500 of T Troop moved to Singapore (More details to follow)

OP SHOVELLER (21st September – 4th November 1970)
B Troop. D13/R234 provided Rear Link from Amman, Jordan to Cyprus for British Contingent with International Red Cross in Jordan.
(See ‘The Wire’ Nov-Dec 1970 pages 305-307 and Dec 70 – Jan 71 page 550)

EX LAWSUIT (3rd – 25th January 1971)
An SR D13/R234 of A Troop was deployed to Nassau, Bahamas for a communications exercise to an SR D13/R234 in UK and also to Commcen Siggiewi, Malta. The exercise was a deliberate “overstretch” but showed that a few hours communication in the SSB mode were practical each day from Nassau to the UK. The Malta phase was not successful because of the extreme range.

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