Sunday, June 28, 2015

Site R Challenge Coins

Challenge coins are used as awards for outstanding performance and are presented by unit commanders in recognition of a special achievement. They are also sometimes given to dignitaries or special  guests as a mememto of their visit to certain installations.

Below are six challenge coins related to Site R. There is also another Site R challenge coin displayed on the Fire & Emergency Services blog post.

Raven Rock Mountain Complex challenge coin - 114th Signal Battalion
Signal Masters of the Rock:  114th Signal Battalion Command Team Coin of Excellence

AJCC Site R coin - Raven Rock Mountain Complex challenge coin
Alternate Joint Communications Center Site R: Well Done From the Headquarters Commandant

JSSC Raven Rock challenge coin - Site R
Joint Staff Support Center: Presented by Chief JSSC Site-R Raven Rock Mountain Complex

Raven Rock Mountain Complex Site R: Installation Commander Coin of Excellence

Raven Rock Mountain Complex - Site R - Ready, Always, Period

1111th Signal Battalion Site R challenge coin - Fort Detrick
Commander's Coin of Excellence: 1111th Signal Battalion Fort Detrick, MD. Site R

Site C

Site C in Highfield-Cascade, Maryland

Site C is a satellite communications facility connected to the Raven Rock Mountain Complex and located atop Quirauk Mountain in Washington County, Maryland.  The photo above was taken several years ago. You can see the radomes that were added later in the Bing Maps image below.  You can zoom in and rotate the image by accessing it directly on Bing.

The Division of Emergency Management in Frederick County, MD was allowed to install some of their public safety radio equipment at no cost to the county at Site C in 2000. However in 2010, Frederick County was notified by the Army that they would need to relocate their equipment from the classified space in the main building to accommodate some "significant facility renovation work" scheduled in 2011.

Also in 2010, the Raven Rock Mountain Complex submitted a request to the Maryland Public Service Commission for approval to install a Type I emergency generator at Site C. Approval for two additional 600 kW emergency generators were requested in 2012.

Aerial view of Site C from Bing maps 

A 2011 solicitation on FedBizOpps for antenna maintenance due to personnel shortages contains a link to additional documentation which includes a listing of 31 towers and antennas at Site R (RT) and Site C.  Below is a subset of the list for items related to Site C:

302nd Signal Batallion (A Company)  Site C resume

  • Supervises, plans, and directs the installation, operation, and maintenance of satellite communication systems and networks, including strategic, tactical and commercial interfaces and gateways
  • Managed the operation and maintenance of a 24-hour operation three terminal satellite communications facility to include two AN/GSC-49 DSCS Terminals and an AN/FRC-181 MILSTAR Ground Command Post terminal valued at over 40 million dollars.  Supervised four shifts comprised of three soldiers and one Noncommissioned Officer per shift.
  • Performed quality assurance test procedures, troubleshooting, configuration, programming, scheduling, maintenance, repair, and training on secure and non-secure equipment, satellite transmission systems, FDMA, TDMA, SSMA, DAMA, CDMA, PSK, BPSK, QPSK, OQPSK with data rates in the T1+ range, analog/digital data, fiber optics (3M certified), interfacing data formats, COMSEC Crypto, STU III, STE, KOI-18, KIV-13, CZY-10, SIPR net, NIPR net, Red Phone, and computer networking.

Encounter with Site C Security

At an elevation of 2,140+ feet, Quirauk Mountain is the highest point in Washington County, MD. This makes it of interest to the County Highpointers group, which seeks to hike up to the highest point in 3,143 counties across the nation. There were a total of eight visits recorded here between 2000 and 2011. The 2008 trip report describes an encounter with "gun-toting guards".

This is as far as you can go up the road to Site C before encountering the "No Trespassing and Warning" signs

Site C on Flickr

This photo of Site C was taken at night in 2008.

Photo of Site C - 21st Signal Brigade (website no longer online)
Enterprise Gateway Locations map - Network Modernization - SATCOM
Frederick County - Site C relocation memo
Maryland Public Service Commission - 2010, 2012 memos
County Highpointers - Mt Quirauk trip report
Antenna list -