Fort Rucker pilots train with CSEL tactical radios. They provide communication between a downed helicopter pilot and rescue teams.
The 10,000th one that was made was presented to the commanding general at Fort Rucker.
Steve Long recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan after training 11 aviation battalions how to operate the CSEL handheld radio. The two and a half pound water resistant radio is designed to save a pilots life if their aircraft goes down.
“Aviators were surprised at how easy this was to use.”
In production for almost a decade, this radio has a GPS system which provides precise location for a downed soldier and a UHF antenna to communicate with satellite.
The 10,000th CSEL radio was presented to commanding General Virgil Packett Friday.
Used in combat for years, Fort Rucker just recently began training pilots on them in 2005. Now it's integrated on the flight line, in classrooms, and in survival training for all pilots and special operations.
“We hope we never have to use it, but if they do they need to know how to use it.”
The Army is the leading user of the CSEL radio in combat. Pilots and special ops are the only ones who use the CSEL radio because they operate across large areas.