The Florida Army National Guard 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion of Jacksonville will be completing a communications exercise Feb. 9-11 at the Suwannee County Airport.

The event is a part of the North Florida Signal Operations Field Training Exercise (FTX). The FTX will provide a signal communications link from Live Oak to Marianna.

Sfc. Tom Aycock said the exercise will have a two-part mission -- to execute wartime communications exercises and natural disasters and homeland defense exercises.

The exercise will integrate military and civilian equipment allowing the battalion to provide support to civilian authorities in times of natural disasters or other state and federal emergencies.

Emergency Management Director Johnny Wooley said emergency management recently obtained new communications equipment with the capability that allows the military to communicate with local dispatch centers in time of emergency.

The battalion will be setting up tropospheric and satellite communications equipment. They will be testing the equipment and demonstrating how it works.

Aycock said the battalion will not be flying any aircraft or interfering with airport traffic.

The battalion filed a land use request to utilize the airport property that was approved before the County Commission Jan. 2.

Vanessa Fultz can be reached by calling 386-362-1734 ext. 130 or by e-mail at

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