Communication Methods and Equipment
1. Many of the Facility’s forecasts are delivered personally by the
forecaster to pilots who come to the flight desk.During these briefings,
forecasters primarily use the MIDDS workstations and the “Wall of Thunder”
to communicate their weather briefing.
2. Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio.The Pilot to Metro Service Voice
(PMSV) (359.6 MHz) is used for communications between “Sherman Metro” and
aircraft within radio range.
3. Unclassified telephone.The forecaster has access to a number of telephone
lines, each of which has access to commercial and Defense Switched
Network (DSN) lines.Outgoing long distance calls should be made using DSN
whenever possible.Forecasters are instructed to accept incoming collect
calls (local or long distance) from pilots needing weather briefs.All calls
must be kept at the UNCLASSIFIED level.
4. Secure Telephone Unit-III (STU-III). NAVTRAMETOCFAC has a STU-III
to use if there must be a discussion involving classified material (up
to the SECRET level).
5. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) Hurricane Hotline. The hotline
is a dedicated unclassified telephone network that connects the NHC, NCEP,
DoD and a host of approved civilian and military agencies for the purpose
of discussing tropical cyclone prediction guidance.These calls precede
the issuance of tropical cyclone warnings and are conducted in conference-call
fashion.As many as thirty agencies may be participating in or listening
to these discussions simultaneously.
6. Unclassified telephone facsimile (fax).Fax machines are located in
both the Operations and Administration spaces.These machines are used for
transmission and receipt of UNCLASSIFIED material only and have access
to both DSN and commercial lines.
7. Flight Weather Briefer.NAVTRAMETOCFAC utilizes a locally developed
Automated Flight Weather Briefer Program as a forecaster’s aide to provide
local area weather briefs for “canned” aviation stereo routes.This program
historically has accounted for as much as 65% of the over 40,000 aviation
weather briefs conducted annually at KNPA. Forecasters update the canned
route data on MIDDS workstations every two hours; pilots are able to obtain
weather briefs from dedicated terminals located in each ready room.
8. Weather Vision (AN/GMQ-27V). The GMQ-27 is a closed-circuit
television system designed to provide rapid dissemination of local METOC
data.The Facility’s Weather Vision transmits local observations, warnings,
and forecasts to the Air Traffic Control Tower.
9. NAVTRAMETOCFAC World Wide Web sites.The Facility operates two web
sites.The first,www.ntmof.navy.mil, is the facility'sprimary Operational
METOC and Administrative support site.A broad range of METOC related products
are hosted as well as administrative support items for subordinate Detachments.This
site is also host to a virtual web site for each of the subordinate Detachments
(www.ntmod-meridian.navy.mil etc.) which allows them to maintain their
own, independent web presence without the need for local expertise in web
site management at each Detachment.The second site, metoc.ntmof.navy.mil,
is the Facility's software support site for in-house developed software
products.This site also serves as backup to the primary website.
10.Automated Weather Information System (AWIS).AWIS is a Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) owned and maintained communications system for transmitting
weather information among the FAA, Flight Service Stations (FSS), NCEP,
and military weather offices in the immediate vicinity.
11. Gateguard is a personal computer (PC) based AUTODIN message traffic
system used to receive and transmit standard Navy text messages.The system’s
configuration allows the transfer of unclassified and classified information
up to the SECRET level without compromise.Gateguard configuration is Navy
standard with an X.86 processor and removable hard drive.Connection to
NCTS takes place via an AT&T STU-III telephone.Beginning in early 2000,
the AUTODIN message system will be replaced by the Defense Message System (DMS).This
system uses identical Pentium based personal computers with Microsoft Windows
NT Workstation operating systems.One workstation is for unclassified use
and will connect to NCTS via standard dial-up data line, while the other
system will process classified traffic and will dial into NCTS via STU
III.Both workstations will process DMS messages with Microsoft Outlook
12. Local Area Network (LAN).The NAVTRAMETOCFAC LAN is a Windows NT
Network comprised of two distinct domains (MIDDS and NTMOF).The LAN uses
a wide variety of hardware and software types including: Web Servers (Intranet
and Internet), Mail Server, CD Server, File and Print Servers, MIDDS Server,
GVAR Server, DNS Servers, hubs, routers, switches, printers, and other
devices.With the exception of the Web and GVAR servers, the entire network
resides behind a firewall and is rated Sensitive but Unclassified.The NTMOF
Domain is primarily for administrative support while the MIDDS Domain is
the backbone of all operational support.Nearly every command workstation
has access to the Microsoft Office Professional suite of tools, as well
as email and NIPRNET/Internet (“Web”) access.Operational use of the “Web”
at NAVTRAMETOCFAC primarily involves accessing METOC data and products
from a vast variety of military and civilian providers.Administrative use
of the “Web” includes email communications, instruction downloads, policy
awareness, etc.Security is monitored closely by Information Systems personnel.