[LMB] Commo for intel ops

Bart Kemper bkemper at bigdogz.com
Sat, 02 Feb 2002 10:11:21 -0600

My two bits on the long running discussion....

Communications (commo) is vital to any military or intelligence 
operation.  Its not something you forget easily...its up there with 
weapons and snivel gear.  In the military you usually have constant 
contact unless you're on a long range patrol or something else more 
"intelligence" flavored (don't want signals giving you away)...and 
then you have to check in on a regular time period.  For covert ops 
you generally make periodic reports and have a bailout radio or 
something for screaming "help come get me now/I'm running send the 
pick up" type thing.

This is driven by function.  Assuming that there will continue to be 
some way of detecting emmissions for comms, it will likely to be the 
same.  Therefore:

1.  If you are in a "hot" mission (guns out, kicking down doors), 
you will have continuous comms to your overwatch, controller, and 
"busdrivers" (whoever is moving you).

2.  If you are in a stealth mission that has a strong possibility of 
going hot, you will have someone monitoring continuously but there 
will be actual contact only periodically, usually on a time hack 
and/or on performance points.  The person monitoring will be able to 
provide backup, egress, intel, etc. as well as record your final 
report as you lay behind cover, bleeding out and dying, if need be.

3.  If you are doing intel or under cover work, it will likely be 
only periodic reports through highly secure comms (encrypted and in 
high speed squirts) to a relay, or through double blind drops.

These are the needs of those on the ground.  The other side of the 
equation is 'where is the cavalry?'  This drives the means.  If its 
all in-system, you could tap commercial comms if not using onboard. 
  However, the question becomes what if you're in "injun country" 
and can't have flagged vesseles standing by in-system.  Being the 
sneaky engineer I am, I have a simple system that ImpSec prolly uses....

1.  Drop rock-looking or otherwise stealthy satellites monitoring 
certain bands, looking for the correct encryption, etc.  Set the 
trip for "on" and scan another band for the "dump" command.

2.  Have all flagged vessels with ImpSec elements be able to squawk 
the trip and get the "dump".

3.  Have non-flagged vessels have a contract with ImpSec to carry 
sealed equipment that also does pickups...this increases the 
frequency of pickup and doesn't limit Impsec to using stuff they 
own.  For all the cargo hauler knows, its a box of goods.    You can 
play fancy games with the dump, such as hanging on to data for three 
dumps before dropping it from the cue to make sure the data gets to 
ImpSec HQ.  It wouldn't be good to have the data get picked up and 
not make it home...redundancy is good, but has to be balanced 
against operational security.  This covers standard intel gathering.

4.  If there is an operation where a Mayday is more likely, then 
schedule more traffic to try to snag the signal and/or have a 
stealth listening craft (like the current trawlers) in overwatch, 
ready to bolt to the wormhole and scream for help waiting on the 
other side.

5.  Of course, having the cavalry hiding in-system if things are 
really dicey *and* short term.

Bottom line....comms is something that is factored into every 
operation.  There is no 'one way' of doing things that you have to 
use regardless any more than there is only one kind of weapon and 
one kind of vessel.  Being professionals, i would assume they have 
their comms lined out well enough that if things are within the 
mission profile it won't be the issue of "how does it 
work"...someone has MADE it work.  The bad thing would be on a deep 
cover  or long term op and suddenly things go bad....and THEN there 
is the question of how long until someone hears, then how will they 
respond, etc. etc. etc.

bart the sneaky