When this equipment was introduced in early 1969 it was considered the ‘Rolls Royce’ of mobile HF communications and could achieve multi channel service with a reliable range of several thousand kilometres. Despite this, amongst the other troops at 14th Signal Regiment, including 602 Signal Troop, and elsewhere, it was thought too big and cumbersome. In fact it was considered at that time to be ‘a bit of a white elephant’! It proved to be anything but, and built up a very good reputation within the Defence Communication Network (DCN) personnel. However the White Elephant idea stuck so-much-so that Echo Troop adopted a elephant head as its troop emblem.

Full E21 Early Pre Sept 73
A complete E21/R241 station with manpower

The full station with its compliment of 1 officer and 28 men (usually with an additional REME fitter, RAOC cook and an RAMC medic) plus all required stores, could be transported around the world by 5 RAF C130 ‘Hercules’ transport planes.

By relinquishing Cabin 3 (Terminal Equipment) and some ancillary equipment, this was reduced to the ‘Short’ station and only required 3 ‘Hercules’!

Short E21A ‘Short E21/241 Station (Post 1973) with manpower

The specifications for the station can be viewed here Station Specifications

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More detail to be added – Orph