Thanks to a new ultra-high-frequency radio system, the 821st Air Base Group at Thule AB, Greenland, can track and communicate with all of its personnel on a single network, said unit officials in a release. Since Thule is positioned only 900 miles from the North Pole, the base frequently suffers whiteout conditions in which wind speeds exceed 100 miles per hour, they said. During storms, headquarters must account for all personnel moving on the base’s 2,400-acre expanse. The new Terrestrial-Trunked Radio system consolidates three previous radio systems, allowing uninhibited communication between headquarters, security forces, emergency responders, contractors, and base personnel, said group officials in the May 4 release. The hand-held TETRA system incorporates a Global Positioning System signal, displaying each unit’s location on a digital display, increasing safety and accountability. Using UHF wavelengths instead of VHF ones also improves reception inside the thick weatherproofed walls on base, said the officials. Thule’s unique TETRA system went operational in April.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.