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Joint US-Australia Military Drills Feature Old, New Tech

US militaryU.S. and Australian troops used Internet chat rooms and backpack radios to communicate during a recent joint military exercise off the Pacific Ocean, Nextgov reported Thursday.

Bob Brewin writes the Talisman Saber 2013 exercise involved the USS Blue Ridge, USS Bonhomme Richard and USS George Washington, as well as 27,000 personnel from the combined task force.

Communications hardware included six satellite systems onboard the Blue Ridge, which served as the command and control center of the three-week operation that finished on Aug. 5.

Capt. Susan Bruce Joyner, 7th Fleet assistant chief of staff for communications, told Nextgov the 7th Fleet flagship’s network was beefed up for the exercise to accommodate 66 workstations and an additional 50 CENTRIX-powered thin clients.

Brewin reports the exercise also featured video teleconferencing suites that used the Defense Information Systems Agency-s voice over secret Internet protocol technology, Nextgov reported.

Marines onboard the Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship used 10-pound Harris AN-PRC 117F portable satellite radios, Maj. Todd O’Brien, communications officer for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, said to Nextgov.

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