06 Oct 10. Electronic communications centre opens at Devonport. A sophisticated land-based electronic communications centre has been officially opened by DE&S’s Intelligence Information Solutions Delivery Team Leader, Adrian Bailey, this week at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard site. The centre is a Pre-Deployment Facility (PDF) for the SKYSIREN programme (which is the delivery and sustainment of the UK’s Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) capability), and has been set up by Babcock working with the SKYSIREN prime contractor L-3 STRATIS. The facility has potential for expansion in future, and further underlines Babcock’s vision as the UK’s electronic communications Centre of Excellence. The PDF centre is a secure electronic environment in a high security site. It will be used by Babcock engineers for the assembly and testing of individual IBS systems to de-risk performance before installation into strategic fixed buildings, and Royal Navy vessels/platforms. It will also be used as a repair and development centre for IBS systems. The SKYSIREN programme will provide an integrated communications capability to the MoD and its operational forces. Using advanced satellite and computer technology it is a communications infrastructure and data dissemination system designed to support Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force personnel on operations on a global scale. The build and system specification for the PDF was developed by Babcock’s SKYSIREN team. The site was made ready, and the building and fitting out of the facility has been managed by Babcock. The opening event involved a tour of the facility and a technical demonstration of the capability, both present and future. Babcock SKYSIREN Project Manager Philip Burns-O’Brien commented: “The PDF is a key project facility asset for Babcock. To be able to build and test IBS systems prior to deployment is crucial for the successful delivery of the SKYSIREN programme. The facility is modular-based, so further expansion becomes easier to implement. This underpins the Babcock vision going forward with the development of a UK electronic communications Centre of Excellence.”
L-3 STRATIS Vice President Steve Cummins stated: “Opening this centre is a meaningful milestone in Team L-3’s delivery of a combat enhancing capability. It reflects our strong partnership with MoD and the hard work by our badgeless team of committed professionals.”
Adrian Bailey, MoD’ Intelligence Information Solutions Team Leader stated: “The Integrated Broadcast Service to be provided by SKYSIREN offers an important operational capability to all three front-line services. The programme is benefiting from joint working between Babcock, L3 Stratis and MoD providing complementary sets of skills and expertise.
“Babcock’s investment in this modular pre-deployment facility demonstrates the shared desire to manage risk early, and will help Babcock maintain and enhance its reputation as a respected delivery partner.”
Babcock engineers helped the MoD develop, and successfully install the legacy IBS system for use in RN vessels/platforms. The company is now delivering a new IBS capability as a partner within Team L-3. To support the rollout of the IBS capability, Babcock has also designed and installed a SKYSIREN training facility at HMS Collingwood in Portsmouth.
27 Sep 10. Germany: The Borona Programme for Relocation. The Lord’s Spokesman on Defence said (27 Sep 10) that the Borona Programme has been active since 2006, relocating some units from Germany to the UK. There are three major formations involved. The move of HQ ARRC to Gloucester was completed in August 2010. 1 Signal Brigade (7 and 16 Regiments) is due to move to Stafford in 2015. 102 Logistic Brigade is planned to move to Cosford in 2018. A total of 3,600 military personnel and their families are involved in the moves.
Comment: With the completion of the Borona Programme, some 15,000 military personnel will continue to be based i