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101 Course Information

This is a three-day, instructor led delivery of basic level Link 16 knowledge. This course design focuses on the operator in mind - relating the technical capabilities and procedural actions an operator must consider when using Link 16. Attendees of this course will understand the relationship between necessary planning and operational documents, such as the OPTASK Link, and the technical functions of Link 16 terminals. Attendees will also be able to recognize the different access modes of a Link 16 terminal within the TDMA architecture and understand the impacts these different modes have on operations.

The number of delegates is only limited to the size of the room. TCG instructors have provided this course to as few as one student and to as many as near 200 students in a given setting.

While this course has the operator as the priority user of the knowledge, it is valuable knowledge for engineers, program managers, and platform designers. New or novice users of Link 16 will benefit greatly as will anyone needing a refresher on Link 16 knowledge.

Intro to Link 16 Outline

  1. Introduction to Link 16
    1. History
    2. Terms
    3. Interoperability
  2. Terminals
    1. Types
    2. Capabilities
    3. Application
  3. Waveform
    1. Stream of Pulses
    2. Frequency usage
    3. Frequency remapping
  4. Protocol
    1. TDMA
      1. Frame
      2. Timeslot
    2. Access Modes
      1. Dedicated
      2. Contention
        1. CCR details/impacts
        2. Machine controlled
      3. Timeslot Reallocation
      4. Stacked Nets
      5. Multi-Net
        1. CMN4 details/impacts
        2. Reasons
      6. Timeslot Reuse
    3. Capacity
      1. Packing Structures
      2. LET (details)
  5. Connectivity
    1. Line of sight
    2. Indirect/Relayed connectivity
  6. Link 16 Information
    1. J-series messages
    2. NPGs
    3. Organization
  7. Network Management
    1. Information Exchange Requirements
    2. Design
      1. NDD introduction
      2. Timeslot, slot block, slot group relationships
    3. Planning
      1. OPTASK Link
      2. Network Parameters
      3. Platform Parameters
      4. Deconfliction
    4. Initialization
      1. IDL identification, loading and modification
      2. Crypto loading
    5. Operation
      1. Synchronization
      2. Troubleshooting
      3. Navigation
      4. Network Monitoring/Management
  8. JREAP
    1. JREAP A
      1. Details
      2. Use cases
      3. Considerations
    2. JREAP C
      1. Details
      2. Use cases
      3. Considerations


TCG is proud to have a full complement of talented instructors, each with decades of experience in the employment of tactical data links. This group of instructors are all Joint Interface Control Officers (JICO) and all three were lead instructors at the Joint Staff, Joint Interoperability Division (JID) before joining TCG.

Brian Bass


  • 1990 - Graduate, Oklahoma State University - Bachelor of Science, Political Science, minor in Aerospace Studies

US Air Force

  • 1987-1990 - Security Specialist, Tinker AFB, OK, (E-5)
  • 1990-1991 - Undergraduate Air Weapons Director Student, Tyndall AFB, FL, 2nd Lt
  • 1991-1995 - Elmendorf AFB, AK, 744th Air Defense Squadron, 11th Air Force, NORAD (2nd Lt to Captain)
    • Weapons Director, Weapons Assignment Officer, Senior Director and instructor for all positions
    • Attached Weapons Director, 54th Fighter Squadron (F-15C)
    • Allied Liaison Officer, Thailand and Singapore
  • 1993 - Deployment, US Embassy, La Paz Bolivia - Detection and Monitoring Planning and Assistance Chief
  • 1995-1998 - Luke AFB, AZ, 607th Air Control Squadron (Captain)
    • Chief, Standards and Evaluations; Chief, Weapons and Tactics; Flight Commander; Director of Operations
  • 1995 - Deployment, Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait
    • Mission Crew Commander
  • 1996 - Graduate, US Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV –
    • Command and Control Operations Instructor
  • 1997 - Deployment, Operation Southern Watch
    • Mission Crew Commander


  • 1999-2002 - C2 Operations Instructor, Raytheon C4I, Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 2002-2016 - Joint Interoperability Division (JID), Joint Staff/J-7, Fort McPherson GA and Fort Bragg NC
    • Link 16 Engineer and Network Designer
    • Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) instructor
    • Program Manager
  • 2016 - Tactical Communications Group LLC (TCG), Huntsville, AL
    • Director of Operational Support

Link 16 Speaker and Published Articles

  • Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)/Association of Old Crows - Security Cooperation Symposium - invited guest speaker on Link 16/Interoperability
  • International Data Link Society - 8-time speaker on Link 16 Network Management, Training and Joint Range Extension Application Protocol (JREAP)
    • Implemented an industry lead effort to migrate MIL STD 3011 (JREAP) to a NATO Standards document
  • Published - “Overcoming Joint Interoperability Challenges”, Joint Forces Quarterly 74, July 1, 2014
    • Co-Authors: David Bartels (USAF, LTC Sam Escalante (USA), Maj. Dale Fenton (USMC) and Maj. Kurt Rathgeb (USAF)

John Sones


  • 2016 – Graduate, University of Maryland University College – Bachelor of Science, Computer Networks and Cybersecurity

US Marine Corps

  • 1984-2005 – Air Control Electronics Operator/Tactical Air Defense Controller
    • Multiple deployments
    • Air Defense Instructor
    • Master Instructor
    • TDL SME
    • Operations Chief


  • 2005-2006 – Requirements Analyst for USMC
  • 2006-2013 – Joint Interoperability Division (JID), Joint Staff/J-7, Fort McPherson GA and Fort Bragg NC
    • Link 16 SME
    • Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) Instructor
    • Allied Training Branch
  • 2016 - Tactical Communications Group LLC (TCG), Newnan, GA
    • Field Engineer/JICO
    • Multiple FMS fieldings

David MacDonald

US Marine Corps

  • 1986-1990 - Tactical Air Defense Controller, Marine Air Control Squadron 5, MCAS Beaufort SC (E-3 to E-5)
  • 1990-1991 - Guard Chief, Marine Corps Security Guard Company, NSF Diego Garcia (E-5)
  • 1991-1994 - Marine Air Control Squadron 5/2, MCAS Beaufort SC (E-5 to E-6)
    • Weapons Controller, Surveillance Director, Traffic Director, Weapons Director, Senior Air Director
  • 1994-1995 - Interface Control Officer, Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 18, MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, JP (E-6)
    • 1st Marine Air Wing Contingency Theater Advanced Planning System instructor
    • CTAPS support for Exercise Cobra Gold 95
  • 1995-1999 - Marine Air Control Squadron 6/2, MCAS Cherry Point NC (E-6 to E-7)
    • Senior Air Director, Weapons and Tactics Instructor
    • Graduate Marine Enlisted Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course
    • Deployed in support of operations in South America
  • 1999-2002 - Joint Interoperability Division, Fort McPherson, GA
    • Link 16 and Multi-Link operations and planning instructor
    • Deployment, Operation Enduring Freedom
  • 2002-2005 - Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 38, MCAS Miramar, CA
    • Operations Chief, Joint Interface Control Officer
    • Deployment, Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 and 2


  • 2005-2019 - Joint Interoperability Division (JID), Joint Staff/J-7, Fort McPherson GA and Fort Bragg NC
    • Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) instructor
    • Allied Training Instructor
  • 2019 - Tactical Communications Group LLC (TCG), Hiram, GA
    • Field Engineer/Joint Interface Control Officer