Ahead of Project FM our signals officer speaks about how communication has changed during Covid-19.


17 February 2021

  • Essex ACF

From the Signals Officers Desk:

At risk of stating the obvious, for the 11months Essex ACF has faced its greatest ever peacetime challenge. However due to the wonders of modern Communication & Inform Systems (CIS) we have remained operational here on the home front. We have rapidly developed communication countermeasures and continued to deliver our APC Training, Signals, D of E Award and BTEC Qualifications.

Our Cyberpunks lead the way and our technophobes had to play catch up and be trained on the march. We have adapted and overcome using text, email, FB, messenger, Moodle, Teams and Zoom. The likes of PP, Word and Excel have became familiar and ever reliable allies, as we confront the constraints of this terrible Pandemic!

Ironically, if I had suggested 12 months ago that we deployed one of our Company’s to STANTA (a Norfolk training area) and controlled the exercise from Chelmsford, I would have been told it could not be done! Last year we imposed C2 (Command & Control) on a whole County and operated at Detachment, Company and County level and even delivered an Annual Camp. I personally sat on an interview panel and our applicant was in Pakistan!

It must be said that if this Pandemic had struck in 1998, when I joined the ACF, we would have been defeated! As we move, this year, to a mandatory CIS component within our APC Syllabus we must change our whole perspective towards CIS and remember that it was only by the medium of CIS that we, as an organization, have survived at all!

To my fellow instructors and to all cadets now residing in your own individual Covid Command Bunkers, you may not have the hiss of HF radio static to remind you that you are connected to the Net, but you do have the bings, bongs and bleeps of your Lap Top’s that announces you are connected to the Net! CIS is the only way we can survive and thrive!