Allied Forces Central Europe
Allied Forces Central Europe, or AFCENT, is a military installation in Brunssum, the Netherlands. This installation is comprised of members of the central European NATO countries, including American, Canadian, British, German, Belgian, and Dutch personnel.
The communication group located on the base is Central Region Signals Group, or CRSG, and it ensures communication throughout central europe.
One of the communication systems that is part of CRSG is the Communication Improvement System - 67, or CIP-67. This communication system is a line of site sytem using microwave radios and multiplexers posted in various sites throughout the Netherlands, Belguim, and Germany. The CIP-67 system is controlled by the FB-40 and FBM-40, which is a primitive computer system, used to monitor alarms on the network. One interesting piece of information to know about the FB-40 is the fact that it was originally designed for the German rail system, but not meeting their very strict specifications, NATO decided to purchase it to monitor the alarms on the CIP-67 system. Everyone in Central Europe should therefore be able to rest easy knowing a computer monitoring system that was not good enough for the German rail network is now being used to protect them and keep them safe during times of strife. Another piece of equipment that is used in the CIP-67 system is the Standard Interface Equipment, or SIE, and this is used to make a voice frequency channel from a multiplexor usable with a telephone.
AFCENT has a very nice social life and is one of the nicer military installations that one can be assigned to. It is so nice that military members attempt to stay there for years and years. There is a large percentage of civilians at the installation, so much of the military feel of other installations is not present, making it a quite pleasant place to work.
On the base is Club 13, which is the all ranks club, and a lot of social activity takes place there. Club 13 is run by the British, so many acts from Great Britain perform there on the weekends. In addition to the all ranks club, AFCENT has a movie theatre, a drama club, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool.