Communications Innovation – Looking Back As We Look Ahead

By Capt. Kelly A. Aeschbach
Commanding Officer, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT)

As you speak with a friend, colleague, or family member using your smart phone or tablet with video later today, consider how far technology has come over the past century. Then take a minute to recall that 98 years ago on this date, the first ship-to-shore radio telephone voice conversation took place.

The year was 1916 and the transmission came from the USS New Hampshire (BB 25) off Virginia Capes to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels in Washington, DC.

Radio telecommunication until then had been transmitted using morse code. Radiomen spent hours with a telegraph key to send messages and manual typewriters to receive them over radio telecommunications.

Voice communication brought a vital advance to the accuracy and timeliness of communications.

Platforms and technology mattered then as they do now. Just as the battleship gave way to the aircraft carrier, we now depend on cyberspace to communicate. Messages are prepared on computers, transmitted and routed electronically via the Department of Defense information networks (or DODIN) using the Command and Control Office Information Exchange (C2OIX). 

C2OIX is another example of how we continue driving to harness the power of technology and improve communications. It is designed to simplify messages for both the user and administrator. C2OIX will save the Navy more than $15 million a year when fully operational. By 2015, C2OIX will seamlessly interface with or absorb the existing legacy messaging capabilities.

Navy messages had historically been formatted in all capital letters, but an April 30, 2013 message (ALCOM 085/13) sent to all commands notified the Navy team that both upper and lower case (or sentence case) messages could be sent. C2OIX allows mixed case messages to be delivered to all messaging systems.

A hearty BZ to U.S. Navy communications then and now! We will keep innovating and facilitating the information superiority you need.

NCTAMS LANT delivers and defends responsive, resilient, and secure computer and telecommunications systems, providing information superiority for global maritime and joint forces.

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Communications Innovation – Looking Back As We Look Ahead