Right behind apple pie and Thanksgiving dinner, few things are more American than watching the Super Bowl. And on Feb. 3, thousands of U.S. service members participated in this tradition thanks to Raytheon technology.
Raytheon’s Global Broadcast Service (GBS), the same system that delivers video from unmanned aircraft, transmitted the game to personnel serving on ships and submarines in the Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Troops at remote outposts in Afghanistan also received the transmission.
“It’s more than just watching a football game,” said Terry Hill, operations and maintenance product manager for Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems. “For a few hours, our troops get to forget the miles that separate them from home and just enjoy the camaraderie of their crew.”
Mike Bellando, who manages GBS service for Raytheon from a base in the Pacific, knows firsthand how important those transmissions are.
Bellando, a diehard San Francisco 49ers fan, spent 30 years in the Navy. In the 1960s and 1970s he and other sports fans at sea got their account of the game from teletypes, and the news often came a day or two late.
“If circuits were not up due to atmospherics or some other anomaly we might go weeks, or perhaps even a month -- usually waiting until we pulled into a port -- before we were able to catch up on news and sports,” Bellando said.
On Super Bowl Sunday Bellando was on duty, making sure that today’s service members didn't go through the same anguish.
“I've been there and done that, and I know what it means to be able to feel closer to home, especially so far away,” Bellando said.
The broadcast was a partnership with the American Forces Radio and Television Service and a result of Raytheon’s ongoing relationship with the U.S. Air Force to develop, manage and improve GBS.