Radio frequency transmissions flight supports communications on Kadena, worldwide
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Communications Squadron system client operations transmissions flight, also known as radio frequency transmissions, is a hidden gem of hardworking Airmen who support communications on Kadena.
The SCOT is a multi-talented flight that serves several important functions on Kadena.
The most visible features setting them apart from the main communications squadron are the three white domes and one exposed satellite set upon the hill by their building. All four are geostationary meteorological satellite antennas.
"These geostationary satellites pull polar and geostationary weather information for weather analysts to predict weather around the world," said Staff Sgt. David Linn, 18th CS RF transmissions systems technician.
The SCOT maintain the four antennas, known as Mark4B, which help weather forecasters keep up-to-date satellite information for forecasting purposes. The Mark4B system is the primary source used for satellite imagery by U.S. Air Force forecasters.
The flight is also responsible for radios throughout the base. They maintain the multiband handheld troop radio, commonly known as a brick, or the larger stationary units that can be found in several airfield support offices.
"Radios go out to different units across the base all the time, particularly fighter units," said Senior Airman William Amarillo, 18th CS RF transmissions systems technician. "We ensure ground-to-air communications."
Any radio used to bridge communication between aircraft or personnel during operations technically falls to the 18th CS. The SCOT routinely monitor and adjust their radios to make sure they are working optimally, and provide these to support operations for all U.S. military branches on Kadena.
"(We) touch all units on base," said Senior Airman Nathaniel Lee, 18th CS RF transmissions systems technician. "We work in the shadows to support aircrafts communications on the ground and to the air."
The SCOT is responsible for several UHF and GPS antenna, all over base and the flightline.
One antenna they possess is the time-of-day antenna that synchronizes radio frequency and prevents radio jamming. It is paramount the time is correctly synced or radio users would not be able to contact each other.
The flight also loans the public address system to squadrons on Kadena for unit and base functions. Although not radio related, managing the PA system further enables Kadena's operations. SCOT personnel have run the PA system during past 18th Wing commander's calls at the theater and the Kadena Special Olympics at the Risner sports center.
Working behind the scenes, the RF transmission shop supports Kadena's mission by keeping operational communications smooth.