The lieutenant's stories: the situation becomes tense...

(To Gianluca Celentano)

(Continue) Since that distant 1981, giant strides have been made in the field of transmissions, assigning the Arma delle Trasmissioni a crucial and growing commitment with secure, fast and long-lasting connections with a high degree of technical professionalism of modern transmitters.

The internet itself, originally an experimental network called Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) born for military purposes in October 69, went almost unnoticed even by insiders. Only after the 80s did the evolution of this web of binary codes become ready to completely change the life of humanity, including military life.

The second day

“… everyone preferred them in the command posts, even if the equipment was not adequate and compatible with this type of telephone.” resumes.

“During the 24 hours from the start of the exercise, the system and the network functioned normally.

On the second day, a bureau chief called our company commander and said his EE-8 phone was working intermittently: he was immediately replaced.

After a few hours, a receiver of a small-capacity radio link suffered interference for a few seconds which disturbed the signal, also interrupting the radio link. In those years private radios began to transmit and this interference happened more and more often because they used our frequencies illegally.

Although the interruption of the connection was of a few seconds, for the same time both the military telephone and telegraph - teletype - channels connected on that terminal were interrupted.

The tension of the gunners

In a context where some numerical codes do not arrive or are disturbed, it becomes impossible to determine when to achieve objectives, considering that arbitrarily assuming such important responsibilities does not fall within military ethics.

“Shortly later they called us back, same problem: some phones worked at times.

When the office managers spoke there were interruptions, when we technicians spoke with the same telephones these worked well; it was strange, but it happened. The artillery began to suffer.

The heads of offices continued to maintain that, while talking, the communication was interrupted for a few seconds, invalidating the conversation. This meant that the correspondent had to repeat the sentence which was often composed of numbers. Being sure that the telephones were perfectly efficient, we technicians began to think that they did not squeeze the butterfly of the microphone well.”

With the tension that was being generated and the anguish of not identifying the problem, I let you imagine how embarrassing it was, in the 80s army, having to at least make a furious colonel understand that perhaps he was the incompetent one...

“This time too, for our safety and to appease spirits, we immediately replaced both the telephones and the internal batteries and everything worked again. We tried the replaced phones again and they were perfectly functional.

This type of interruptions lasted in the various telephones almost all day and the consequences were very serious because in addition to the nervousness of the inefficient connections, the messages on the telex line accumulated and could not be bypassed.

A delay that caused the forced extension also to priority messages, those crucial in a hypothetical war context..." (teacher)

Read first part: The lieutenant's tales: a field like many others...

Read the third part: The Lieutenant's Tales: "Electronic Warfare"

Read: The lieutenant's tales: "Sergeant Hartman" (first part)

Read: The lieutenant's tales: "Sergeant Hartman" (second part)

Read: The lieutenant's tales: coffee

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