by Major Edward Rouse (USA Retired)

The versatility and flexibility of Psychological Operations make it a combat multiplier and weapons system available to the maneuver commander.

Psychological Operations or PSYOP are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals. Used in all aspects of war, it is a weapon whose effectiveness is limited only by the ingenuity of the commander using it.

A proven winner in combat and peacetime, PSYOP is one of the oldest weapons in the arsenal of man. It is an important force protector/combat multiplier and a non-lethal weapons system. The success of employing PSYOP starts with knowing its capabilities:

In order to accomplish their mission PSYOP utilizes special equipment which facilitate the development of various media (e.g newspaper, posters, pamphlets, handbills, television, internet, radio and loudspeakers).

This article is intended to give the viewer an insight to this unique equipment utilized by PSYOP personnel.

Equipment Stationed in the Continental United States (CONUS)

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1LT Michael A. Merkel Media Operations Complex at Fort Bragg

Media Operations Complex

The 1LT Michael A. Merkel Media Operations Center at Fort Bragg supplies the Joint PSYOP Task Force (JPOTF) with a higher quality and larger quantity of PSYOP products than what can be produced with deployable PSYOP assets. For example, the deployable print production center in theater consists of a Risograph printer, which is a two-tone printer capable of printing 93,000 copies a day. In contrast, the Media Production Center's (MPC) four Heidelberg print press machines can print 1,188,000 copies an hour. The center has the capability of producing audio, video, and print products for broadcast and dissemination in combatant regions. The products are provided through satellite communications (up-linking) or by shipment to theater.

Quantity: 1 unit

• Resides with the 4th Psychological Operations Group (POG) (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, NC

• Reachback capability for PSYOP forces in theaters throughout the world

• Upgrades: modernize video and audio studios to commercial newsroom quality; automate data archive system; modernize and standardize deployable production and electronic news gathering capability


• Audio and video production

• Commercial-quality graphic and print media

• Print and digital imaging studio

• Parallel structure capabilities allow simultaneous support for multiple missions and provide redundancy of capability to minimize mission delay or abort due to equipment failure

• Dual PSYOP Product Distribution System dedicated for Psychological Operations Broadcasting Systems allows for dual major theater of war support

• Consist of four functional sections with multiple subsections: video section (production and edit); audio section (fixed and deployable); digital imagery section (graphic and imaging); and archive support section

• Video section allows acquisition, manipulation, and transfer of video material, and storage/archiving of video, audio, and digital imagery

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Soldiers at Fort Bragg use deployable equipment to process raw video footage harvested by organic electronic news gathering kits in Afghanistan

o Supports National Television Standard Code, Permissive Action Link, and sequential color with memory (SECAM)

o Two video studios with control rooms

o Four electronic news gathering (ENG) kits

o Two fixed video editing suites

o Duplication and format conversion

o TV standards conversion

o Cataloging and archiving

o Two deployable video editing systems

• Audio section allows acquisition, manipulation, transfer, and duplication/format conversion of audio material

o Primary audio standard is CD quality

o Two audio studios with control rooms

o Four deployable electronic news gathering (ENG) kits

o Two deployable audio nonlinear editing systems

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Digital Video Distribution System (DVDS) creates and distributes copies of broadcast video. The DVDS  can
record and broadcast video through the use of a satellite link or Commando Solo or can be placed in a SOMS-B.

• Digital imagery section allows acquisition, development, and printing of still imagery and development of still and animated graphics

o Two multimedia graphics workstations

o Four crystal controlled diode digital still camera kits

o Two digital workstations for processing, manipulation, and printing of photographs

o One workstation for developing digital 3–D animation products

Heavy Print Plant

The Heavy Print Facility (HPF) is a large nondeployable system consisting of four Heidelberg Quickmaster Direct Image Digital Presses. Each press is capable of print speeds up to 10,000 sheets per hour and the HPF can produce 800,000 four-color, two-sided leaflets in a 24-hour period. The quality of work that these presses produce is comparable to the newspaper and film image-setting industries. The Heidelberg presses are organic to the 4th POG (A), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Print personnel assigned to the HPF are trained in product layout and formatting, limited press repair, and are capable of producing multicolor products of various sizes, such as business-card-sized hotline tips cards, leaflets, posters, handbills, books, magazines, and tabloid newspapers.

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Heidelberg Quickmaster Press

Quantity: 4 units

• A group of printers that can mass-produce print media such as magazines, leaflets, and newspapers for reachback support for forces in theater

• Four heavy print press machines reside in the print plant at the 4th POG

• Heavy print press machines that can be used for PSYOP products also are on Navy ships

• Three heavy print plants are located around the country, although they are not all exactly alike. The Reserve units still have wet presses.:

o 3rd PSYOP Battalion, Fort Bragg, NC (Active Army)

o 17th PSYOP Battalion, Joliet, IL (Reserve Component)

o 306th PSYOP Company, 17th PSYOP Battalion, Los Alamitos, CA (Reserve Component) Capabilities

• The facility’s darkroom, layout, and plate-making section supports four large Heidelberg presses.

• The binding section is equipped with a paper folder, collator, paper drill, stitches, and cutters used to produce booklets, brochures, and PSYOP studies.

• Each press can produce up to 8,333 single-color (or up to four-color, single- or doublesided) leaflets per hour.

Theater-Level Equipment

EC–130E Commando Solo Aircraft

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EC–130J Commando Solo aircraft

EC–130J Commando Solo aircraft flies orbits suitable for broadcasting audio and video PSYOP products. Like the SOMS–B, the Commando Solo uses the DAPS to create and broadcast content. Each of the C-130 cargo planes has been converted to flying radio and television stations, capable of preempting a country's normal programming and replacing it with whatever informational broadcast that is felt necessary to get the message through to the listening audience.

"Electrons not bullets" is the motto of the 193rd Special Operations Wing of Harrisburg, PA which fly the EC-130s "Command Solo" flying PSYOP platforms. The 193rd usually receive their mission taskings from the state department, who have identified a "problem area" requiring the use of these specially equipped aircraft. The U.S. Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the only active duty component psychological operations unit is then tasked to develop and produce messages for broadcasts. These messages are then reviewed and approved by the State Department before delivery to the 193rd Special Operations Wing. If the decision is for the message to be broadcast live ( which is preferable to allow for adjustments/ modifications to the message based on late breaking news) rather than by tape message, a linguist from the 4th PSYOP Group will accompany the 193rd to broadcast the message in the native tongue of the target audience.

Once airborne, the mission control chief and five electronic communications systems operators occupy their search, medium and high frequency, very high frequency, and ultra-high frequency monitoring positions in the mission compartment. The compartment has cassette and reel-to-reel audio recorders, a video recorder, television monitors, receivers, noise modulators, transmitters and a live microphone.

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EC-130 Commando Solo supporting Operation Enduring Freedom

The mission control chief, together with the theater commander's planning staff, plans where the orbit areas will be set up to ensure the best reception signal to and from the target audience. Rather than try to overpower an existing signal, the crew of the EC-130 will normally broadcast on an open frequency. The search operator monitors radio and television frequencies to find one that is clear of other broadcasts and is within the range of the target. The operators then tune up transmitters inside the aircraft and corresponding antennae on the outside of the aircraft. Signals can be transmitted from either side of the aircraft, depending on the direction to the target. An electronics operator plays the message tape through a video or audio recorder to other operators who transmit the signal over the airway.

The Commando Solo EC­130J aircraft flies orbits suitable for broadcaasting audio and video PSYOP products. Like the Special Operations Media System Bravo (SOMS–B) shown below, the Commando Solo uses the Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS0 to create and broadcast content.

Quantity: 6 units

• Airborne electronic broadcasting system composed of 6 EC–130s operating under the 193d Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, Harrisburg, PA

• Three Commando Solo aircraft will be configured with enhanced special mission equipment (SME) cross-decked from EC–130 donor aircraft (AM, FM, SW, and TV broadcast capability)

• Three Modular Commando Solo EC–130J aircraft will be configured to carry roll-on/roll-off SME modules (AM, FM, and SW broadcast capability)

• Modular acquisition strategy allows for expansion into future PSYOP capabilities (such as UAVs) and emerging broadcast technologies Capabilities

• Broadcasts radio and TV frequencies in all formats and color

• Broadcasts PSYOP messages on standard AM, FM, HF, HF TV and military communications bands

• Flies as command, control, and communication countermeasures

• Can broadcast programming over all of its systems simultaneously, allowing multiple programs over several frequencies to be sent to the target audience

Modular Print Systems (MPSs)

The Modular Print System is a compartmentalized, mobile print plant for in-theater production. It is generally deployed in a truck and trailer combination and uses heavy print press machines (HPPMs) to print multicolor products. Some HPPMs are used on board Navy ships (e.g. U.S.S. Constellation) as well. The Modular Print System contains three modules: A, B, and C. Module A contains printing equipment that is no longer used. Module B consists of two expandable shelters, each containing one Heidelberg GTOZP52 offset press that can print in two colors at one time or one color, front and back. The maximum paper dimensions for this system is 14 inches by 20 inches, with the largest product measuring 13 3/8 inches by 20 inches, allowing for marginal areas. Module C is also expandable and contains a large paper cutter, press plate marker, and a small light table. Modules B and C are capable of limited paper storage space when expanded.

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Modular Print System

Quantity: 7 units

• Deployable light printing facility designed to produce mid- to high-quality multicolor products

• Consists of 2 light medium tactical vehicles (2.5- ton equivalent) and 2 medium tactical vehicles (5-ton equivalent) with 3 dolly sets (7.5 ton)

• Requires 22 soldiers to operate

• Broken down into 3 components:

o Module A prepares duplicating capability

o Module B has two shelters designed to take two colors in the 20 X 14 Heidelberg GTO2P process

o Module C is finishing shelter, providing paper cutting Capabilities

• Can print high-quality pictures in two colors

• Can print up to 550,000 single-color leaflets in 24 hours

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Theater Media Production Center (TMPC) Air-transportable Tractor-Trailer

• Transportable, modular system capable of producing, editing, and distributing broadcast quality audio, video graphics, and other multimedia products

• Can function as a theater hub for PSYOP media production with the embedded assets to distribute these media products to other Psychological Operations Broadcast System (POBS) subsystems

• Video and audio subsystems are each contained in an air-transportable tractor-trailer with a 5-ton Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle tractor as its means of conveyance

• Multimedia/graphics and maintenance subsystem are each contained in Packhorse trailers conveyed by High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs)

• Each system has its own generator and environmental control units so it can operate as stand-alone unit


• Video: contains the production, editing, and duplication equipment necessary to produce and distribute broadcast-quality PSYOP video products. It also will be outfitted with electronic news gathering (ENG) kits and electronic field production equipment to allow incorporation of local, in-theater footage to enhance the effect of the video products.

• Audio (radio and loudspeaker): contains the production, editing, and duplication equipment necessary to produce and distribute high-quality PSYOP audio products

• Multimedia/Graphics: contains the graphics workstations, photographic equipment, scanners, and printers needed to produce high-quality PSYOP multimedia products

• Test/Repair: contains the equipment necessary to conduct preventive maintenance and repairs on the equipment contained in the other TMPC subsystem

Joint In-Theater Injection (JITI) System

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Joint In-Theater Injection (JITI) System

JITI systems located at Fort Bragg and in theater have two-way and one-way communication capability with Commando Solo aircraft and SOMS–B systems in the field. PSYOP forces sent audio and video products to and from the theater with the system. A recent addition to the inventory, the Production Distribution System (PDS), uses recently developed improved video compression techniques to transmit information between systems in theater and in CONUS while using significantly less bandwidth.

Quantity: 6 units

• Global Broadcast System (GBS) in two pieces: a satellite and a trailer van containing power supply and connectivity

• GBS network is designed to send broadcast audio and video directly to the warfighters Capabilities

• Capable of a total broadcast of 48 Mbps with near-real-time dissemination from multiple sources

• Consists of 2 subsystems: the Receive Transmit (RT) and the Receive Only (RO)

• Transportable by a single C–130

• Self-sustaining power via integrated commercial generator (also allows for numerous shore power standards)

• Fault-tolerant transmission systems integrated into mission shelters

• Ability to accept numerous external audio, video, and data sources

• System designed as open architecture platform based on commercial technologies

• The RO is a lightweight flyaway system designed to receive audio, video, and data to include combinations of clear and encrypted broadcasts. It is a mission-scalable system allowing for flexibility in special circumstances to accommodate video and audio-only missions.

Tactical Equipment

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Deployable Print Production Center (DPCC)

The Deployable Print Production Center is similar to but smaller than a Modular Print System (MPS). It is an M1037 high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) -mounted/ transportable print system. The print system includes a Product Development Workstation (PDW)-Light, a high-speed digital duplicator (Risograph), an electric paper cutter, a generator, and an environmental conditioning unit, some of which is mounted on a trailer for transport. The PDW-Light is a system that provides forward-deployed units in the field limited PSYOP product development. It also provides users the capability to electronically transmit and receive PSYOP product files and related information via the product distribution system (PDS). The PDS is a commercial off-the-shelf satellite communications earth terminal, Moving Picture Experts Group-2 encoder workstation, and a Windows server used for secure and nonsecure product distribution. The PDS transmits products via commercial/military satellite transmissions Jiti and Cheetah), single-channel ground and airborne radio system radios, or through phone lines. The system consists of a ruggedized laptop computer, removable hard drive, and printer. The PDW-Heavy is similar in concept to the PDWLight, but uses a desktop computer and color laser printer for increased printing quality.   Both MPSs and DPPCs have to carry a gas generator to power the equipment.

Quantity: 5 units

• HMMWV-mounted transportable print system. System includes dual 200MHz Pentium processors, with 128MB of RAM, scanner, and 600 dpi color laser printer.

• GMS-1497 communication shelter

o Commercial off-the-shelf components

o Mounted on an expanded capacity vehicle HMMWV 159

• Trailer System

o One 20KW turbo generator

o One 3-ton environmental control unit (ECU)

o One DHS model 2 Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) tent

o Associated peripherals


• HP Color LaserJet 5M Printer

o Laser-quality proofs (600/2,400 dpi)

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A Risograph

The Risograph is a deployable digital duplicator that combines the basic output speed of a small press (120 copies per minute) with the simplicity of a copier.  It can produce up to 93,000 single-color leaflets in a 24-hour period. Although Risographs do not require connection to a computer, a direct connection to a computer does provide a better image quality and the ability to develop print products at the PDC or TPDD, and produces print materials farther forward, thus reducing distribution and dissemination time. Risographs are organic to some PSYOP units and are pre-positioned in many theaters of operations.

• RISO GR–3750 Duplicator

o High-speed production 

o Can be run by one operator

• Triumph 3915 Paper Cutter o Electric paper cutter (11”x 17” paper)

• AN/VRC90 F VHF Transceiver o SINCGAR tactical radio

• AGFA ARCUS II Scanner o 600x1200 dpi optical

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PSYOP Product Development Workstations (PDW)-Light

• PSYOP Product Development Workstations

o Dual Pentium 200MHz processor

o 19” rack mounted, 20” monitor

o 128MB RAM, 512 KB cache

o 32-bit fast/wide SCSI III control

o Adaptec ultra-wide SCSI

o Integrated 64-bit graphics accelerator

o 300W power supply

o CD ROM, sound card, uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

o Windows NT V4.0 operating system

o Keyboard/touchpad pointing device

o Two removable Seagate 4.3GB SCSI III HDDs

o Iomega Jaz 2GB/Iomega ZIP 250MB

o Internal 56K data/fax/voice modem

• Includes a paper cutter.

Special Operations Media System Bravo (SOMS–B)

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Special Operations Media System Bravo (SOMS–B)

The SOMS–B consists of four HMMWVs outfitted with radio and video broadcast equipment. In this configuration, the vehicles serve as broadcasting studios that can produce audio and video for events in theater through the use of its Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS). The SOMS-B can broadcast television over any known channel and/or transmit radio shows over AM, FM, high-frequency and shortwave bands.

Quantity: 6 units

• PSYOP system housed in HMMWVs consisting of two mobile radio broadcast systems (MRBS) and a mobile television broadcast system (MTBS)

• MTBS is capable of producing high quality audio and products for PSYOP requirements and then transmitting those products on commercial television channels using PAL, SECAM, or NTSC station

• Each SOMS–B carries a mission trailer containing a 33kW commercial generator, an ECU, and a DRASH tent system

• MTBS and MRBS can be deployed separately Capabilities

• Capable of producing high-quality audio products for PSYOP requirements and then disseminating those products on commercial AM, FM, and SW frequencies

• One FM transmitter o One kW, 88–108 MHz range

• One SW transmitter 162

o One kW, frequency agile, military system

o Operates in the 3–30 MHz range

• Production/Editing Equipment

o Samplitude 2496 audio non-linear editor with CD writer

o One audio mixer

o One standard audio cassette deck

o Three digital mini-disc decks

o One digital audio tape (dual deck) player/ recorder

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Inside the video production and editing tent of the SOMS-B complex at Kandahar, Afghanistan during a broadcast in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

• Two wideband receivers capable of receiving AM, FM, SW, and TV audio

• Mobile Television Broadcast Systems (MTBS)

o One VHF television transmitter

o 1kW, frequency agile, commercial system

o Operates on commercial television channels 2–13

o Operates in PAL, SECAM, or NTSC formats

o Production/editing equipment

o One AVID Xpress Elite video non-linear editor

o One audio mixer

o One multi-standard VHS video tape deck

o One standard Beta video tape deck

o Three Beta SX decks

o One DVCAM tape deck

o TV demodulator capable of receiving TV, VHF, and VHF video/audio signals in NTDSC, PAL, or SECAM formats

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Soldiers erect the antenna of the Special Operations Media System-Broadcast (SOMS-B) capable of providing local radio and television support including editing of radio and audiovisual products.

• Both MRBS and MTBS contain

o HF transceiver (used for command and control)

o 125W military system (Improved Special Operations Forces High Frequency Manpack Radio System)

o Operates in the 2–30MHz range

o VHF transceiver (used for command and control)

o Operates in the 30–88 MHz range

Product Distribution System

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Product Distribution System

Product Distribution System:

• Sends audio and video products in and out of the JPOTF

• Electronically transmits and receives PSYOP product files and related information Capabilities

• Transmits and receives real-time/non-real-time PSYOP products (broadcast-quality digital video, CD-quality digital audio, print-quality graphics) to/from a forward-deployed PSYOP task force for the purpose of editing, approval, and dissemination

• Two-man lift transit cases

• National Security Agency (NSA)–approved encryption

• MPEG–2 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 sampling

• Variety of I/O ports for interfacing to various I/O devices

• Digital interface with SOMS–B non-linear editor

• Single channel per carrier (SCPC) or multi-channel per carrier (MCPC) Operations

o Multicast high-bandwidth IP data

o Secret Internet Protocol Router Network/Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET/NIPRNET) connectivity Satellite Earth Terminal Design

o Deployable Multi-Channel SATCOM (DMCS) Satellite Communications Earth Terminal

o 450W Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier (TWTA)

o Laptop PC for control

o DMD–15 satellite modem

o Up to 9.3 Megabits per second (Mbps)

o Binary Phase Shift-Keying (BPSK), Quadrature Phase Shift-Keying (QPSK), Offset Quadrature Phase Shift-Keying (OQPSK), and 8 Phase Shift-Keying (8PSK) Modulation Schemes

o Veritibi and Reed Solomon concatenated Forward Error Correction (FEC)

o DM–240/DD–240 Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) satellite modulator/demodulator

o Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) compliant waveforms

o High data rate operations 164 Encryption Devices

o KIV–19 National Security Agency (NSA) approved encryption device

o Up to 13 Megabits per second (Mbps) throughput Audio/Video Design

o Production digital video server (PC-based)

o 3.5” floppy and 24X CD-ROM drive

o Shock isolated transit case monitoring, 2-man lift digital mass storage

o 432 GB useable storage minimum

o 52+ hours of video storage

o 2.0 kilo-volt ampere (KVA) power conditioner/Uniterupted Power Supply (UPS) Mass Storage Display

o BETA SX video tape player/recorder

o Mini-disc player/recorder

o MPEG-2 encoder/decoder

o Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) or Multiple Channel Per Carrier (MCPC) operations Power Generation and Distribution

o Multiple 6KW stand-alone diesel generators (GENSETS)

o Compatible with SOMS–B GENSETS trailer

o Compatible with 3-phase 208 volt active current (VAC) shore power

o Power distribution unit for power distribution/conditioning

o UPS for video server/redundancy array independent disks (RAID)

Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS)

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Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS)

Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS):

Quantity: 4 units

• Audio production system that can be moved around in the theater Capabilities

• Mini-disc recorder and player

• Sound editing equipment

• CD player Leaflet Delivery Systems

• Provides accurate dissemination of large quantities of leaflets in denied areas from short and long-range off-sites

• Currently there are 2 short-range variants:

o Precision guided canister bomb (PGCB)

o Wind supported aerial delivery system (WSADS)

M129E1 Leaflet Precision Guided Canister Bomb

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M129E1 Leaflet Precision Guided Canister Bomb

M129E1 Leaflet Precision Guided Canister Bomb:

• Munitions-based delivery system with standoff distance of up to 40 nautical miles Capabilities

• Can be deployed from a fixed wing aircraft and is used to disseminate PSYOP products

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Loading rolls into an M129E1

• Can hold up to 30,000 machine- and hand-rolled leaflets

• 3 to 4 soldiers needed to assist in loading leaflets

• Can be mounted on F–16, B–52, and FA–18

Wind Supported Aerial Delivery System (WSADS)

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Wind Supported Aerial Delivery System (WSADS)

Wind Supported Aerial Delivery System (WSADS) is a powered parafoil UAV platform integrated with an airborne guidance unit and a payload dispensing system that can drop leaflets or other materials , will enable delivery of payloads to multiple areas flying as high as 18,000 feet for distances up to 800 miles and at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.


• Capable of both ground launch and air launch

• Autonomous landings in a wide variety of unprepared terrains

• 600 pounds total fuel and cargo

• Maximum airspeed of 50 kilometers an hour

• Can fly more than 19 hours carrying 75–100 pound of cargo

• Autonomous payload deployment directly from cargo bay

Tactical Loudspeakers

Tactical PSYOP forces have a set of vehicle-mounted loudspeakers from the family of loudspeakers systems that are designed to broadcast messages. This speaker system is also mounted on manpacks so that individual soldiers can play prerecorded PSYOP messages wherever they go. The majority of their recordings are on mini disc players that are connected to the loudspeakers. Tactical PSYOP groups also carry news gathering kits that consist of a digital camera and camcorder to gather information. In the future, tactical units should have more routine access to leaflet delivery systems that are able to fly over target areas and drop leaflets. These deployment systems can be bombs or remotely controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Currently, not enough prototypes exist to be routinely supplied to tactical PSYOP units. Similarly, the units need video dissemination capabilities to present audiovisual messages directly to local audiences.

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Tactical Loudspeakers

Tactical Loudspeakers remain the primary and most responsive dissemination tool for Tactical PSYOP Teams.

• Group of modular amplifiers/speakers forming loudspeakers

• Provides spot and large-area broadcast capability

• Enables communications with large audiences or harassment and deception of enemies or target areas, either close in or at significant distances from operator

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Manpack loudspeaker

Dismounted (manpacked) systems add diversity to the growing PSYOP equipment inventory. Missions may dictate dismounted operations. Dismounted systems can also be used for operations using vehicles and watercraft. Dismounted systems output 250 or 350 watts, depending on the system used. Maximum range varies between 700 and 1500 meters, depending on the system used, terrain, and atmospheric conditions. All systems operate with rechargeable batteries and nonrechargeable lithium batteries (BA-5590). A dismounted TPT consists of one system and three personnel. Although a team can operate light, with two personnel, this configuration greatly reduces the team's ability to conduct continuous, sustained operations.

Manpack used by Tactical PSYOP Detachments (TPD) and Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPT)

• 2 battery-operated loudspeakers weighing 27 pounds that can easily be carried in soldier’s modified rucksack


•Designed to make PSYOP messages mobile with PSYOP forces

• Broadcast range of 700–1,500 meters

• Power output of 132 decibels a 1 meter

• Power source 3 BS 5590 or BA 590 batteries

• Battery endurance of 8+ hours • Frequency response of 580 to 6000Hz

• Ground reliability of 4,900 hours mean time between failure (MTBF)

• Broadcast range of up to 2–3 miles

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HMMWV mounted loudspeakers used by Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPT)

The loudspeaker mounted on a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) is the primary system and the workhorse o used by Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT)/Tactical PSYOP Detachment (TPD). It can also be used in deception operations. It has an output of 450 or 900 watts and a normal broadcast range of 1,000 to 1,800 meters. The system is normally operated by a three-man team and employed in the mounted mode. However, due to increased range and maneuverability requirements, the mission may require the team to operate dismounted using the backup manpacked units.

Vehicle mounted loudspeakers used by Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT)/Tactical PSYOP Detachment (TPD)

•Attached to M–1025 or M–1114 HMMWV

• Shock mounted speakers

• Six-speaker configuration for ground vehicles

• Each system can be rotated 360° to reach target audience


• Mobile PSYOP messages

• Broadcast range of 1,000–1,800 meters

• Weighs 146 pounds

• Power output of 137 decibels at 1 meter

• Power source of 24 to 32 Volts DC

• Frequency response from 400 to 6,000 Hz

• Ground frequency response of 2,200 hours mean time between failure (MTBF)

• Ground reliability of 4,900 hours mean time between failure (MTBF)

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Loudspeakers mounted on patrol craft

Maritime version is mounted on the Special Operations Mark V patrol craft, perfect for detaining or instructing suspicious watercraft

• Shock mounted speakers

• Six-speaker configuration for water vehicles

• Each system can be rotated 360° to reach target audience


• Mobile PSYOP messages

• Broadcast range of 1,000–1,800 meters

• Weighs 146 pounds

• Power output of 137 decibel at 1 meter

• Power source of 24 to 32 Volt DC

• Frequency response from 400 to 6,000 Hz

• Naval frequency response of 1,500 hours mean time between failure (MTBF)

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Loudspeaker equipped Blackhawk helicopter

In addition to the HMMWV-mounted systems, limited numbers of helicopter-mounted systems are available in the active component. The airborne systems can output 2,100 or 2,700 watts. They can operate in either the UH-lH or UH-60 aircraft. Vehicle-mounted systems may also be used in rotary-wing aircraft, but range is limited due to difficulty in overcoming the sound of the aircraft. These systems can also be mounted in boats for waterborne operations.

Aerial Loudspeaker System Description

• FOL mounted on Blackhawk helicopter

• One of the highest-powered FOLs


• Weighs 290 pounds

• Power output of 144 decibel at 1 meter

• Power source of 24 to 32 VDC • Frequency response between 580–6,000Hz

• Rotary frequency response 1,000 hours mean time between failure (MTBF) 

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The Cheetah portable Satellite

Cheetah is a portable telecommunications satellite dish used for voice communication and to transmit data -- including print materials and video -- to and from remote sites. The Cheetah  comes standard in two airline checkable, wheeled hard cases capable of T1 data rates. It is a light-weight, completely auto-acquiring terminal with embedded iDirect or Linkway modem options. The Cheetah includes a fully auto-acquire 85cm parabolic antenna system, Outdoor Unit with embedded iDirect CX-751 or e850MP modem, 5W commercial Ka-Band BUC/SSPA, controller/processor and Ethernet switch.


• Proven auto-acquisition Roto-LokTM design with zero backlash

• Embedded iDirect CX-751 or e850MP Modem

• Field connectivity over CAT-5 cable

• Renowned GCS ViewSAT-e monitor & control software simplifies deployment and operation

• Designed to operate on Inmarsat Global Xpress

Antenna System case: less than 70 lb. RF System case: less than 70 lb.

This has been a brief overview of the equipment inventory unique to Psychological Operations. Should the reader have additional information on equipment shown here, or information on new equipment not shown, are encouraged to write the author at