Marines Eye Exotic Condoms for Field Radio Antennas

By Bob Brewin

July 16, 2013

Military manpack radios -- as I learned long ago as a 2531 Marine radio operator -- work best with 6-to-10-foot radio antennas that can fry the operator if they hit an overhead electric wire.

To resolve this problem, the Marine Corps Systems Command has developed an elegant but simple solution: Buy a bunch of perfluoroalkoxy tubing to prevent shock, sort of like antenna condoms.

This is definitely a good idea for Marines who have spent more than a decade operating in desert environments with few trees. 

This will not protect against the hazards I encountered in Vietnam, where the VC hung booby traps from trees, which could be tripped by the long antenna – hence, I opted for a short antenna with lower range.

Marines may end up operating in a landscape with trees, so I suggest the Systems Command work on improving 3-foot whip antennas. 


By Bob Brewin

July 16, 2013

http://www.govexec.comhttp://www.nextgov.com/defense/whats-brewin/2013/07/marines-eye-exotic-condoms-field-radio-antennas/66833/