Improving Global Communications

Representatives from Air Force Space Command, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and Air Combat Command gathered for three days at Scott AFB, Ill., to discuss the High Frequency Global Communications System and identify improvements for introducing updates and ensuring the system’s proper performance. HFGCS is a worldwide network of 13 high-powered, high-frequency radio stations that transmit emergency action messages to US nuclear forces, support space launches, and provide voice and communication data to the President in flight. A recent government inspection revealed deficiencies in the HFGCS’s information assurance process. For example, the inspection found that an automated tool was incorrectly reporting when software patches were being pushed to the system. The participants developed “countermeasures” to address the issues, includiing clearly defining each organization’s roles and responsibilities. (Scott report by Maj. Chuck Hansen)