Monday, April 07, 2008

HF-GCS Goes Crazy

For two days now, activity on the US Air Force High Frequency Global Communications System has been far busier than normal. Right now (0110 UTC) 11175.0 kHz USB is going crazy.

The activity resembles the Nightwatch net (a TACAMO airborne CP and supporting units), but there are way too many players. Emergency Action Messages (EAMs) are going out far more frequently than usual.

At 0110, "Aircraft 113" is working "Aircraft 115" for a radio check.

At 0122 FOUL LINE is passing multiple EAMs, and at 0124 he is "standing by for traffic."

Most other players are also using joint tactical callwords, though there is also a unit with a CHARLIE WHISKEY prefix (US Navy) simultaneously patching to Duty Office. Yes, I have QRM here, though they all seem able to hear each other where they are.

Highly experienced military monitor Jeff Haverlah heard one of the "for" format EAMs, sent to something like six units at once. According to Jeff, this hasn't happened in years.

Best guess is an exercise, and a big one. Anyone who knows what's up can e-mail this column at the usual drops.