United Architecture 101, bridging communications

During United Architecture 2009, both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit communications airmen provided coalition ground base defense.  The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit.  UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection. Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

During United Architecture 2009, both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit communications airmen provided coalition ground base defense. The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit. UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection. Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

During United Architecture 2009, both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit communications airmen rush into position to provide coalition ground base defense.  The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit.  UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection. Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

During United Architecture 2009, both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit communications airmen rush into position to provide coalition ground base defense. The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit. UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection. Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen from both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit serve side-by-side guarding the entry control point at United Architecture 2009. The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit.  UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection.  Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen from both 5th Combat Communications Group and 90 Signals Unit serve side-by-side guarding the entry control point at United Architecture 2009. The exercise folded in both US and United Kingdom airmen participating as one unit. UA2009 saw nearly 150 Airmen participate in coalition Communications, Command and Control, and force protection. Currently the members of the 5th CCG are participating in UA 2010. (Courtesy photo)

Royal Air Force LEEMING, North Yorkshire, UK -- (Editor's note: This article is the first in a series of three articles about the United Architecture 2010 exercise.)

United, u·nit·ed, (yoo-nahy-tid)... -adjective made into or caused to act as single entity: a united front. Architecture, ar·chi·tec·ture, (ahr-ki-tek-cher)... -noun the structure of anything: the architecture of a novel.
United Architecture - u·nit·ed, (yoo-nahy-tid), ar·chi·tec·ture, (ahr-ki-tek-cher)... noun interoperability of United Kingdom and US communications equipment

Members from the 689th Combat Communications Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. are participating in the joint exercise United Architecture 2010, June 21- July 2 in the United Kingdom.

Since Joint Operations in 2003, Combat Comm Airmen from the 5th Combat Communications Group and British airmen from the 90 Signals Unit have worked to ensure interoperability of their equipment and processes to bridge Department of Defense and Ministry of Defense communications.

To ensure this partnership and interoperability continues, both countries setup an exchange communication officer position. Previous United Architecture exercises have been held in locations in the UK and at Robins AFB, Ga. in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009.

"UA2010 is similar to my experiences in UA2006 where we had 20 personnel from the 5th CCG," said Staff Sgt. Gabriel Scarberry, UA2010 Team Leader. "...but this exercises focuses on solving communications with Everything over Internet Protocol technologies and are our lab should prove to be an excellent opportunity to make real progress."

"It is always great to work with our British counterparts in the 90 Signals unit," said Sergeant Scarberry.

Eight Airmen from the 5th CCG and seven from the 90 Signals unit are participating in the exercise. These airmen from both sides of the Atlantic are experts in their fields and they have clear goals to replicate secure conditions as in theater operations.

"Our Airmen have a complex task at hand but the resources and expertise to pull it off," said Flight Lieutenant Paul Jennings, UA2010 Lead Project Officer and British Exchange Communications Officer assigned to the 5CCG.

"Although this exercise is not of the scale and magnitude of UA2009 where we provided coalition force protection and command and control elements, it does bridge the much needed EoIP secure voice gap," Flight Lieutenant Jennings said.

"I am certain that they will get both the British and American sets of equipment talking to each other. This exercise is truly important as no matter where in the world the fight is both British and American Airmen are with each other side-by-side," the flight lieutenant added.

Events like UA2010 are critical to combat comm's joint field missions on the tactical edge of Air Force Space Command, whether in Air Force ABU's or British Camoflague, like the definitions state 'structured as one single entity' providing efficient, high-tech communications to the coalition warfighter.