Navy Tactical Interoperability Support Activity
San Diego, CA
- March 1983
decommissioning the Chicago, I reported to the Navy Tactical Interoperability
Support Activity NTISA on Point Loma in San Diego. Shortly thereafter,
I became the assistant officer-in-charge at Detachment One on North
Island, the first of six support detachments. Our job was to haul
a couple of semi trailers full of electronics equipment and computers
down to the piers (or shore commands), hook into a ship and certify
their Navy Tactical Data Systems NTDS software suite. I became more
of an admin officer, because we had several chiefs who pretty much
ran the trailers.
Det One trailers (red arrow). Note a rebuilt pier Juliet - upper
right carrier pier.
this tour, I spent a good deal of my time pursuing a Bachelor's
and Master's Degrees in Business Administration (with an emphasis
in Information Systems) at National University. I had so much spare
time on my hands at work that I was able to do almost all my homework
this detachment, I had one female enlisted person (my one storekeeper)
in the group. She was a single parent, with two kids, and one big
pain in the rear. She caused me more paperwork than all the other
25 guys combined. On one particular day, I had to go up to the hill
(the headquarters on Point Loma) for some business. While there,
I overheard another Warrant Officer say that he was in dire need
for a storekeeper and wasn't having any luck in getting one. I said
to him "you will have one tomorrow!" The next day I told
the female storekeeper to clean out her desk and report to the hill.
About two weeks later my phone rings and it's that other Warrant
Officer. He says "Willis, you son of a bitch! I'm sending her
back!" I said "no you're not!" He never did like
me after that.
Combat Training Center, Point Loma - Location of NTISA Headquarters.
I was at Detachment One, the civilian contractors had a new piece
of test equipment that they were testing. This equipment was called
the Link-11 Monitor and Integrity Test Set LIMITS, and was essentially
a computerized spectrum analyzer. I took a keen interest in this
unique piece of equipment as I could see the real value in providing
one (at the minimum) on each aircraft carrier in a carrier battle
group. I learned how to operate it and became pretty good at Link-11
signal analysis. The equipment could analyze the integrity of the
Link-11 signal from each unit and in some cases we could even tell
them what card to replace in repairing the defective equipment.
I really pushed this piece of test equipment during my whole tour,
but it never really came to fruition until after I left. I understand
it is now used on all aircraft carriers.
NTISA Trailers (red arrow), NTISA Headquarters (yellow
arrow), and Recruit Training Center (blue arrow).
the end of this tour, I put my papers in requesting to retire from
active duty. At that time, the employment picture didn't look very
promising. So, after a couple months, I pulled my papers. I called
my detailer and asked what ships were available. One ship he mentioned
was the Robison, a guided missile destroyer. I just happened to
look out my office window at the time and noticed the Robison anchored
out in the bay. She was going through RefTra (refresher training)
and getting ready to deploy, the perfect time to go aboard a ship.
So, I said to the detailer "I'll take the Robison." Later,
I would come to regret that decision.
Chief Petty Officer, Electronics Technician (Permanent)
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