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In this paper we consider the problem of organizing a set of mobile, radio-equipped nodes into a connected network. We require that a reliable structure be acquired and maintained in the face of arbitrary topological changes due to node motion and/or failure. We also require that such a structure be achieved without the use of a central controller. We propose and develop a self-starting, distributed algorithm that establishes and maintains such a connected architecture. This algorithm is especially suited to the needs of the HF Intra-Task Force (ITF) communication network, which is discussed in the paper.