We’ve talked about Squad Radios, we’ve talked about Patrol Radios, now let’s move to the next layer in the echelon: the Base Radio Station(BRS).
Squad Radios(read: Handhelds) are for intra-team communications on the ground. They’re limited in range and utility. Why? Because you don’t want everyone in the valley hearing your chatter when you may only be 1-2km apart. The Patrol Radio’s purpose is for communications with a higher echelon- to relay intelligence and situation reports, send and receive orders, and call for extraction. It is Beyond Line of Sight. (Do you see why you may need to get a license and get on the air now?)
The third echelon, and an essential part of the Scout Team, is the Base Radio Station. Each BRS handles all radio traffic for the Scout Team in the field. They are the integral supporting unit of the Long Range Patrol, and your first line of support should you find yourself in trouble(and believe me, you will.) They relay all reports from the field to the Headquarters element to be disseminated to your Intelligence apparatus. Your BRS is the linchpin to mission success.
Setting up a successful BRS package
QRP, as covered here, is ideal for teams. For the BRS, due to their mission set, a bit more is required. Their equipment absolutely must be rapidly deployable, and ready to move at any time, but unlike the Scout RTO the BRS equipment is more sophisticated. For these needs, a larger field radio works well, working out of a compound like this:
Allow me to explain- your BRS sets up a compound to work out of, normally in a bit more secure area in your operating environment. A bit more power than QRP levels is required; while I don’t recommend the full 100w, between 10-20w will work just fine. Keep in mind, the teams need the lowest power possible in the field to make contact; the BRS may need a bit more, as they may be communicating over longer distances or more likely broadcasting “do not respond” messages to the teams.
Any of the “shack in a box” radios work for this purpose; Icom, Kenwood, and my favorite in this role, the Yaesu 897:
It requires larger batteries and a bit more to support it; this is where your solar panels and deep cycle marine batteries come in. Everything is still run very low profile- the DF and accompanying indirect fire(artillery and airpower) is a very real threat. Due to this, the BRS operates on commo windows coordinated with the teams, as well as windows coordinated with Headquarters.
The BRS is a high-speed, low drag relay station. It takes a team, folks. Get to it.