Force Protection is the RAF’s ground fighting element that specialises in controlling the ground to ensure control of the air. Globally renowned, Force Protection operates both at home and overseas to ensure the safety of aircraft and personnel.
Due to the various situations in which they can be deployed, Force Protection personnel train in rugged and remote areas.
Air Commodore Jamie Thompson, Force Protection Force Commander and Air Officer Force Protection, said:
“The RAF regiment is at the heart of next-generation force protection for air and space power.
Their arduous training, which enables them to operate in the highest risk environments, demands that we provide the most advanced capabilities to reliably track our servicepeople in training, and to know that they’re ok at all times.”
As of April 2022, every Force Protection serviceperson is now equipped with Globalstar SPOT Gen4 devices while training.
The devices connect to Globalstar’s fleet of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to enable reliable tracking of personnel and support the sending of SOS messages.
“Thanks to the reach and reliability of Globalstar’s satellite network and SPOT Gen4, we now have the assurance that we can continuously monitor our personnel as they carry out their training exercises, and that they can rapidly get emergency help if needed,” Thompson added.
One press of the SOS button on the SPOT device is sufficient to send an alert along with GPS coordinates to ensure a speedy rescue.
Prior to the rollout, Force Protection personnel used a tracking system based on GSM technology. The system offered poor field performance and was also not cost-effective.
“We’re extremely proud that the UK MoD selected SPOT Gen4 to support RAF Force Protection, enabling tracking and SOS emergency help for personnel as they participate in essential training,” commented Mark O’Connell, General Manager EMEA and APAC at Globalstar.
Globalstar claims its SPOT family of devices is now credited with over 8,500 rescues worldwide.
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