Thursday, September 13, 2012

Longest USAF EAM Ever?

EAM stands for Emergency Action Message.  They aren't really only for dire national emergencies like nuclear war or terrorism, though they are definitely another way the command structure of the US military would get essential orders out in either of these.

It used to be thought in the more conspiratorially minded parts of the Internet that very long ones would mean a lot of orders going out at once, and indicate that something very large is up.  This has not been shown as the case.  The really long ones come in sections, and in the past they've been related to exercises or unknown situations.

With this, let's note that tonight they sent just possibly the longest one ever.  It was 270 characters long.  (Normal is around 35.)  It took the poor operator at Andrews HF-GCS 23 minutes to get through the required two broadcasts.  He barely made it.  You could hear him trying to catch his breath.

The loudest frequency heard in California was 6739 kHz USB. The broadcast was parallel on other HFGCS channels.  The ones heard here were 8992 and 11175.

Here is the (offline encrypted) text of the EAM Note the sections delimited by 4 repetitions of a letter, which is typical of this particular extended message type: