During a recent communications exercise (COMEX), we found that three (3) of our AN/TSC-156D Phoenix tactical satellites had identical, quarter-sized holes in the antenna assemblies. We discovered that operators were stowing their antenna assemblies with the lightning rods in the UP position and not in the STOW position. Then, as the antennas were taken down, the lightning rods would puncture the antennas.
Lightning rod punctures create holes (Courtesy photo)
The proper way to stow lightning rods is in the horizontal position. This configuration ensures the antenna assembly has the proper clearance and prevents damaging the antenna assembly.
Improper position of lightning rod during stowage (Courtesy photo)
Correct position when stowing antenna assembly (Courtesy photo)
CW3 Kelshall Williams
Editor’s note: Thanks for another great communications tip, Chief Williams.