Army Replaces Defective Radios With Carrier Pigeons, Smoke Signals B October 9, 2012 Army 17 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: FORT BLISS, TX- Following the failure of a planned communications system that would help all military members communicate more effectively, the Army is now conducting research and development on a new system which leaders say “will take military communications into the future.” The Joint Tactical Radio System, or JTRS, a program designed to allow all four branches to communicate seamlessly, was cancelled late last year by the House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. Costing $15 billion over 15 years, the JTRS was seen by many in Congress as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Despite the setback, the Department of the Army has used the opportunity to explore better options for efficient communications on the battlefield. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno recently spoke with the Duffel Blog concerning the Army’s new direction. “We basically blew the entire communications budget for the next twenty years on the JTRS. Now we have troops with no effective means of communication. I tasked the best and brightest in the Army to come up with a solution to this commo quagmire and the results are nothing less than stellar.” The new system, dubbed KITDFOHS (Kinetic Internal Directly Functional Operational Homing Science), involves the use of revolutionary “direct message deliverers”, also known as hand and arm signals, carrier pigeons, yelling, and smoke signals. Chief Information Officer of the Army Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence informed the Duffel Blog that each of these systems have their pros and cons. “Smoke signals are great for the troops to contact each other in the field. It’s much better than some stupid old radio and only limited by how far the troops can see.” “Carrier pigeons have replaced all forms of e-mail for the Army as well as becoming the go to solution for long distance communication,” she added. “This is due in part to GEN Odierno tasking me with cutting any unnecessary spending on communications to avoid further problems like those caused by the JTRS.” Sergeant Major Kevin McCrary, the enlisted adviser to LTG Lawrence, praised Lawrence’s innovation in the field of communication. “She’s truly a visionary. Without radios it seemed hopeless for the boots on the ground. With her quick thinking she was able to invent several new forms of communication.” McCrary added, “I would have never thought that yelling and hand and arm signals would be so useful. Now, instead of having a radio in an MRAP, the troops just have the lowest ranking stand on top and relay messages to other trucks using hand and arm signals.” Soldiers in Afghanistan have found implementing these new methods somewhat troublesome. Staff Sergeant Chad Moreno, an infantry squad leader, explained the troubles faced by the soldiers on the basic level. “Hand and arm signals, OK. Yelling, OK. But fuck, carrier pigeons and smoke signals? Now on patrol one of my guys has to carry a cage on his back with pigeons in it. Another troop is stuck carrying kindling and flint everywhere we go. Have you ever tried to build a fire while taking fire? It ain’t easy.” He continued, “These pigeons are the nastiest creatures I’ve ever seen. Not to mention anytime we go through a market all the Afghans ask ‘how much, how much?’ Sheesh, I have a hard enough time doing anything with this bullshit ROE, now I have to deal with this shit?” Despite reservations, SSG Moreno did stress some of the benefits of the new system. “While it’s pretty tough to have to carry this stuff, it makes for a good punishment technique. Whoever pisses me off is getting pigeon shit all over their gear by the end of the patrol.” Don't miss the next story.Get the latest news and alerts from Duffel Blog delivered to your inbox—free. Short URL: http://duffelblog.com/dieMl Justin E. Miller says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM Well, good thing I’m getting out. Clearly my days as a 25B (Information Systems Technician) were numbered from the looks of it! Jonn Lilyea says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM Might I suggest semaphore flags to augment these other brilliant ideas. I’m sure the Taliban would love to have soldiers standing on top of tall structures attracting their attention by waving colorful flags. It’ll at least distract the enemy from shooting down the carrier pigeons. Josh Noble says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM The Navy will soon have the Carrier Strike Group Commander shouting orders across the sea from the carrier to the destroyer. I hear we’ll have a man back in the crow’s nest as well. To look for dastardly French clippers. Doug Hall says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM LMFAO Sfc Katy Pritchard says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM carrier pigeon I knew it was coming… Sharon-Burl Wells says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM aRE YOU even KIDDING? Brett Weeks says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM KITDFOHS= Kept In Total Darkness, Fed Only Horseshit; unit symbol is the mushroom. Tony King says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM As long as everyone in the S-6 shop gets re-classified 11B, I’m for this! Bruce Templeman says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM Finally! Some common sense changes in the way the military spends money… Avery Dalton says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM LOL, they had me at the cheesy Photoshop picture. What about the Dixie cups and string? Dale Ebert says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM sure glad the pigeons work! bert and ernie should be very happy. Mark Matteson says: April 16, 2014 at 1:54 AM Its about damn time, and bring back the Signal Corps Flags as well. Col. R.G. Fitzbottom says: October 16, 2012 at 3:56 AM As a brigade commander, this carrier pigeon bullshit is a nightmare. We had one get lost and ended up over Canada. The little bastard had on one of those fucking red baron Bomber Cap with the Gnome goggles. NORAD F-15s forced him to land at Goosebay. Piss ignorant Canadians thought he was trying to bomb one of their maple syrup plants. Saxon says: October 10, 2012 at 10:19 PM LMAO, on a serious note. The Chinese have started using pidgeons for communications with their remote stations. Not a bad idea on the higher command level, in case of EMP’s causing electronic communication failure. Russ Newman says: October 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM What is the vetting process for these pidgeons? How do we prevent the “Stool Pidgeon” from infiltrating the flock? One of those things could fly straight to the enemy with your message! Can they be fitted with a self destruct if they veer off course? TWS says: October 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM I hear the Russians are developing their own answer to the KITDFOHS. They’ve improved on the system by using Magpies making the system voice activated. They have also been investigating Tungus Shamans vision quest communications for long distance secure systems. The Chinese have been developing a ‘whispering telephone’ system for years with little to show for it. Much like their ‘fire drills’, the whispering telephone seems to be going in circles. The United States military should take a backseat to no one in R&D. I eagerly await the second phase of the KITDFOHS, Montel Williams, Shirley Maclain, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Sylvia Browne are working on the Theta Clear Nonverbal Communications System or TCNCS. Gomer says: October 10, 2012 at 4:10 AM So did all the Vietnam era, or older, commo gear finally break ?