Weatherproof PA systems broadcast religious prayers throughout simulated Arab villages to replicate regional culture as soldiers prepare for Middle East deployments
BOSTON, November 13, 2007 – Technomad Associates, LLC announces that the U.S. Army National Training Center at Ft. Irwin in California has purchased 15 Technomad Turnkey Military PA Systems for its Brigade Combat Team training program, designed to prepare soldiers for Middle East deployments by injecting realism of the local culture into the training scenario. The National Training Center already has 15 Technomad Military PA systems in use to broadcast religious prayers within simulated Iraqi villages at the National Training Center. The new systems will be installed in new towns and villages for the same applications as the training area grows, and the program expands to include simulated Afghani villages.
The National Training Center is the Army’s primary training center for Brigade Combat Team training prior to deployment. The 28-day program replicates the regional culture of the brigade deployments, rotating between Iraq and Afghanistan. For a 14-day period, soldiers are deployed into the box, a 700-plus square-mile area that includes 13 towns and six cave complexes, complete with Iraqi-American or Afghani-American actors that speak the native language.
Prayers are broadcast from two Mosques in each town using the Technomad Military PA Systems to cover the towns and its outlying areas, with four Technomad loudspeakers pointing in different directions from the roof of each Mosque. The soldiers plug MP3 players directly into Technomad amplifiers to broadcast prayers. For Iraqi rotations, each town has one Sunni and one Shiite Mosque broadcasting prayers in Arabic. The Afghani rotations, scheduled to begin this fall, will feature prayers in the native Pashto language to replicate Afghani culture.
Calvin Phillips, Deputy of Training Support Division in G3, U.S. Army National Training Center, said that the main point is to overwhelm the soldiers with the regional culture by injecting as much realism as possible into the 24/7 program. We currently have 250 Iraqi-Americans in the box that bring an air of culture and language to the training scenario, said Phillips. The towns are set up to resemble the real thing as much as possible, and we replicate communications, logistics, and other problems soldiers will face when they are in theater. The Technomad Military PA Systems are essential to providing the sound and feel of being in theater, and ensure that all of the soldiers’ sensors are attacked. We use the systems to clutter the battlefield with audio, and the long range of the audio from the loudspeakers allows us to reach the outlying areas of the towns instead of just the town centers.
In addition to the four weatherproof loudspeakers, each Turnkey Military PA system includes a PA control rack with an amplifier and cables, and rugged flight-cases with protective gasketed lids that clamp onto the front of each loudspeaker and PA rack to protect the systems when not in use. The National Training Center’s location in California is susceptible to high winds that continually blow dirt and dust. Winds reach 20-40 MPH on a regular basis, and often reach 60 MPH or higher. These conditions, coupled with high heat and humidity, required a highly rugged and durable PA system that could withstand the harsh environmental elements of the region.
The ruggedness and durability is what initially attracted us to Technomad, said Phillips. We needed weatherproof PA systems that we could mount and leave in the box without the fear of them falling apart during a rotation. We are extremely hard on equipment, and nothing lasts forever out here. But the Technomad loudspeakers and amplifiers are extremely rugged, and with some forethought on our part they require very little maintenance downrange.
Phillips reiterated that the Technomad Military PA Systems are well suited to survive the harsh outdoor elements of the National Training Center. Heat is an issue most of the year out here, with temperatures reaching 115 degrees in the dead of summer, and in September and October the temperature can drop 60 degrees in a matter of hours. But wind and dust are the biggest issues. Dust gets into everything out here, and weaker PA systems would not be able to take that beating. The heat and humidity would dry out the systems, and then the overwhelming amount of dust will kill them. We’ve been using the Technomad systems for about a year now, and the loudspeakers and amplifiers have continued to function at top condition.
Phillips expects to take delivery of the next 15 Technomad Military PA systems this fall, sending 10 of them to new towns for Mosque installations. The remaining five will be added to the National Training Center’s bank of spare Technomad PA systems, which soldiers can sign out for change-of-command broadcasts and other ceremonies. Each Technomad Military PA System also comes with a microphone, which soldiers can connect to the amplifier for use in these applications, as well as loudspeaker stands for quick set up.
The Technomad Military PA Systems are very easy to set up, and the stands simplify the process, said Phillips. It’s nearly impossible to set up the loudspeakers incorrectly, which makes it easy for the soldiers. And the broad audio range of the loudspeakers means they can cover an entire parade field. They don’t have to worry about anyone not being able to hear.
Technomad Associates, LLC, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures loudspeaker systems for the professional audio and security / military technology / mass notification industries. The company invented the first reliable full-range military PA systems and now offers eight networkable models with range up to one mile, as well as the SuperConductor military MP3 player and Firefly ultra-lightweight PA system.