Thursday, October 30, 2014

NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russian Air Activity in Europe

Norwegian Air Force F-16 Intercepting a Russian Bear Aircraft

Blog Editor Note: We have been following this military situation on our @MilcomMP twitter feed via various Bear HF Net frequencies. Will post more on them on the MilcomMP twitter feed as they pop up.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
MONS, Belgium – NATO detected and monitored four groups of Russian military aircraft conducting significant military manoeuvers in European airspace over the Baltic Sea, North Sea/Atlantic Ocean, and Black Sea on 28 and 29 October 2014.  These sizable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace.

Eight Russian Aircraft Intercepted over North Sea / Atlantic Ocean on 29 October 2014

At approximately 3:00 a.m. CET on 29 October, NATO radars detected and tracked eight Russian aircraft flying in formation over the North Sea. F-16 aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force were scrambled, intercepted and identified the Russian aircraft, which included four Tu-95 Bear H strategic bombers and four Il-78 tanker aircraft. The formation flew from mainland Russia over the Norwegian Sea in international airspace.  Six of the Russian aircraft then turned back to the north-east towards Russia, while two Tu-95 Bear H bombers continued south-west, parallel to the Norwegian coast, heading to the south-west. The Russian aircraft continued over the North Sea, and  Typhoon fighters from the United Kingdom were scrambled in response.  While over the Atlantic Ocean west of Portugal, the two Russian aircraft were intercepted and identified by F-16s from the Portuguese Air Force. The Russian aircraft turned back heading north-east, flying to the west of the United Kingdom. NATO aircraft from the United Kingdom and Norway were standing by and NATO assets on the ground and in the air tracked the Russian aircraft throughout. At present, the two Tu-95 bombers appear headed back to Russia, but as of 4 p.m. CET the aircraft were still airborne.

The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control authorities and they were not using on-board transponders. This poses a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.

Four Russian Aircraft Intercepted over Black Sea on 29 October 2014

During the afternoon of 29 October, NATO radars detected and tracked four Russian aircraft flying over the Black Sea in international air space, including 2 Tu-95 Bear-H bombers and 2 Su-27 Flanker fighter jets.  Fighters from the Turkish Air Force have intercepted the Russian aircraft and NATO is continuing to track them in international airspace.  As of 4 p.m. CET the aircraft were still airborne. 

Multiple Russian Aircraft Intercepted over Baltic Sea on 29 October 2014

During the afternoon of 29 October, NATO radars detected and tracked a number Russian aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea in international airspace, including 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets.  Portuguese F-16 Fighters assigned to the Baltic Air Policing Mission were scrambled in response and the Russian aircraft returned to Russian airspace.   

Seven Russian Fighter Jets also Intercepted on 28 October 2014

During the afternoon of 28 October, NATO radars detected and tracked seven Russian combat aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.  The aircraft were detected at approximately 2:30 p.m. CET on 28 October and included 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets.

The Russian aircraft were flying in the Gulf of Finland and were intercepted by German Typhoon fighter jets from NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission in order to identify the aircraft and protect Allied air space.  The Russian aircraft continued into the Baltic Sea and were subsequently intercepted by Allied fighters from Denmark as well as fighters from Finland and Sweden, which are not members of NATO.  The Russian fighters continued to the Kaliningrad Oblast.  The Russian aircraft had filed a flight plan with air traffic control authorities, were using transponders, but did not maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control.

NATO jets were on standby throughout the duration of both Russian flights and Russian aircraft were continually tracked using Allied assets on the ground and in the air.  NATO has conducted over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft in 2014 to date, which is about three times more than were conducted in 2013.

Scrambles and intercepts are standard procedure when an unknown aircraft approaches NATO airspace.  However, such flights pose a potential risk to civil aviation given that the Russian military often do not file flight plans, or use their on-board transponders. This means civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft nor ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.

NATO Allies protect their airspace on a 24/7 basis. Allied air defense efforts are focused on stopping unauthorized incursions into NATO airspace and on preventing acts of airborne terrorism.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 26 October 2014 - Btown NC


Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

AE1ED6 166081   ---  2014-10-26 23:40:22 T-6B United States ---
AE54DB 166201   ---  2014-10-26 21:36:16 T-6B United States ---
AE4A21 166152   ---  2014-10-26 21:20:00 T-6B United States ---
AE2FB0 08-8204   RCH490 2014-10-26 21:11:31 C-17A United States USAF | 437AW [KCHS]
AE1ED6 166081   ---  2014-10-26 20:53:18 T-6B United States ---
ADFF6A 70-195x   ---  2014-10-26 20:49:45 T-38C United States 560thFTS 
AE1ED3 166078   ---  2014-10-26 19:48:52 T-6B United States ---
AE060A 83-0487   SKIER87 2014-10-26 18:51:15 C-130H United States NY ANG | 109AW | 139AS [KSCH]
AE015F 58-0119   SODA81 2014-10-26 18:51:08 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]
AE11C7 03-3701   ---  2014-10-26 18:02:48 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 41FTS [KCBM]
AE1E7F 166033   ---  2014-10-26 17:52:39 T-6B United States ---
AE015F 58-0119   SODA81 2014-10-26 16:44:29 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]
AE1E7C 166030   ---  2014-10-26 16:43:47 T-6B United States --- 0000  6400   
AE1EA0 08-3931   ---  2014-10-26 16:36:44 T-6A United States ---
AE13B1 04-3731   ---  2014-10-26 15:51:34 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE13C9 04-3755   ---  2014-10-26 15:46:59 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE01ED 97-3021   ---  2014-10-26 15:40:23 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 41FTS [KCBM]
AE1EA0 08-3931   ---  2014-10-26 15:32:07 T-6A United States ---
AE1E5E 07-3894   ---  2014-10-26 15:29:09 T-6A United States ---
AE115D 01-0015   ---  2014-10-26 15:25:08 C-40B United States USAF | 15WG | 65AS [PHIK]
AE13CB 04-3757   ---  2014-10-26 15:24:58 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE13C9 04-3755   ---  2014-10-26 15:24:29 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE1744 06-3850   ---  2014-10-26 15:19:55 T-6A United States USAF
AE1400 05-3777   ---  2014-10-26 15:17:16 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 41FTS [KCBM]
AE2EEE 166113   ---  2014-10-26 15:03:04 T-6B United States ---
AE4D69 10-0216   RCH309 2014-10-26 14:49:01 C-17A United States USAF | 62AW [KTCM]
AE07BF 63-7979   MARL02 2014-10-26 13:47:31 KC-135R United States USAF | 22ARW [KIAB] 0000  32500   
AE065D 60-0320   MARL01 2014-10-26 13:46:04 KC-135R United States USAF | 6AMW | 927ARW [KMCF]
AE0162 63-8022   MITZ110 2014-10-26 12:36:59 KC-135R United States USAF | 22ARW [KIAB] 0000  28000   
AE0692 63-7997   MITZ301 2014-10-26 12:36:43 KC-135R United States USAF | 22ARW [KIAB]
AE0260 61-0295   MITZ302 2014-10-26 12:36:27 KC-135R United States USAF | 22ARW [KIAB] 0000  27500   
AE0433 02-5001   ---  2014-10-26 01:06:51 C-32B United States USAF | 486FLTS [KVPS] 
ADFD7B 91-0511   ---  2014-10-26 00:17:25 C-26D United States MA ARNG | OSACOM DET-12 [KFMH]

Vigilant Shield 15 Underway



B-52 makes low-approach over Goose Bay in Canada. The aircraft was participating in Vigilant Shield 15, which is NORAD and USNORTHCOM's Annual Homeland Defense Exercise.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 25 October 2014 - Btown NC

Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

AE13C9 04-3755   ---  2014-10-25 23:45:42 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE145D 06-6159   RCH169 2014-10-25 23:44:53 C-17A United States USAF | 60AMW | 21AS [KSUU]
AE13CB 04-3757   ---  2014-10-25 23:35:00 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
AE173A 06-3840   ---  2014-10-25 23:00:03 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 37FTS [KCBM]
AE1EA0 08-3931   ---  2014-10-25 22:24:31 T-6A United States ---
ADFCF6 95-0042   ---  2014-10-25 22:20:10 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE13B1 04-3731   ---  2014-10-25 22:00:14 T-6A United States USAF | 71FTW [KEND]
A437C2 N371CP   ---  2014-10-25 20:25:33 CESSNA 182T US CIVIL AIR PATROL
A3BE59 12-3040   ---  2014-10-25 18:42:06 C-146A United States ---
AE140A 05-3787   ---  2014-10-25 18:18:28 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 41FTS [KCBM]
AE173A 06-3840   ---  2014-10-25 18:06:28 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 37FTS [KCBM]
AE1251 165835   CNV4261 2014-10-25 17:50:11 C-40A United States USNR | VR-57 [KNZY]
AE1749 06-3855   ---  2014-10-25 17:20:53 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 41FTS [KCBM]
AE509E 10-80264   ---  2014-10-25 15:24:49 UV-18C United States golden knights
AE1199 03-3116   RCH364 2014-10-25 14:37:25 C-17A United States MS ANG | 172AW | 183AS [KJAN]

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 24 October 2014 - Btown NC

Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

AE2EEE 166113   ---  2014-10-24 22:20:01 T-6B United States ---
AE07F9 97-0047   RCH191 2014-10-24 21:40:01 C-17A United States USAF | 437AW [KCHS]
ADFD7B 91-0511   ---  2014-10-24 21:04:51 C-26D United States MA ARNG | OSACOM DET-12 [KFMH]
A9ECBA N739CP   ---  2014-10-24 20:54:15 CESSNA 182T US CIVIL AIR PATROL
AE017A 84-0142   SPAR462 2014-10-24 20:15:06 C-21A United States MI ANG | 110FW | 172AS [KBTL]
AE060A 83-0487   SKIER87 2014-10-24 19:58:33 C-130H United States NY ANG | 109AW | 139AS [KSCH]
AE03E1 164994   ---  2014-10-24 19:43:27 C-130T United States USNR | VR-53 [KADW]
ADFECB 84-0485   PAT185 2014-10-24 19:19:52 C-12T-3 United States KY ARNG | OSACOM DET-11 [KFFT]
ADFCF2 94-0147   ---  2014-10-24 19:01:20 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE04DA 165832   CNV4123 2014-10-24 18:51:44 C-40A United States USNR | VR-58 [KNIP]
ADFC6F 90-0413   ---  2014-10-24 18:32:35 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS [KCBM]
ADFCF4 95-0040   ---  2014-10-24 18:23:25 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE1725 06-3819   ---  2014-10-24 18:22:37 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 37FTS [KCBM]
AE2ED3 166086   ---  2014-10-24 18:10:27 T-6B United States ---
AE54E2 166208   ---  2014-10-24 18:07:02 T-6B United States ---
AE07E2 94-0068   ---  2014-10-24 17:52:26 C-17A United States AFRC | 445AW | 89AS [KFFO]
AE54CC 12-5759   LAC5759 2014-10-24 17:20:18 C-130J-30 United States ---
AE0433 02-5001 ARNET88 2014-10-24 17:19:44 C-32B United States USAF | 486FLTS [KVPS] ---  34000    
AE057F 87-0034   ---  2014-10-24 16:37:59 C-5M United States USAF | 60AMW [KSUU]
ADFCF4 95-0040   ---  2014-10-24 16:20:45 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE1BEF 07-4636   GLEAN15 2014-10-24 16:15:53 C-130J-30 United States USAF | 19AW [KLRF]
AE4EB3 168429   TALON05 2014-10-24 16:04:18 P-8A United States USN | VP-16 [KNIP] ---  30900    
AE570F 10-00258   ---  2014-10-24 15:56:39 C-12V United States ---
ADFCD8 94-0121   ---  2014-10-24 15:25:41 T-1A United States USAF | 12FTW | 99FTS [KRND]
AE118A 02-1863   R1863 2014-10-24 15:01:39 C-37A United States US Army 
AE07E2 94-0068   RHINO90 2014-10-24 14:20:16 C-17A United States AFRC | 445AW | 89AS [KFFO]
ADFF00 96-0112   ---  2014-10-24 13:44:53 C-12J United States USARMY | CARA AVN SECTION [KAPG]
AE4EB3 168429   TALON05 2014-10-24 11:59:10 P-8A United States USN | VP-16 [KNIP] ---  30900    
AE2FAE 08-8202   ---  2014-10-24 03:02:31 C-17A United States USAF | 62AW [KTCM]

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sky Soldiers parachute into Romania for rapid deployment exercise

U.S. Army paratroopers from 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne board a U.S. Air Force C130J Oct. 21, 2014 at Nuernburg Airport as part of a brigade Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise. The paratroopers parachuted into NATO ally Romania for training roughly 24 hours after initial notification to test their readiness as the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe. (Photo Credit: Sarah Tate)

Blog Editor Note: HF activity associated with this exercise has been observed on 4901.0 5088.0 5802.0 kHz ALE/USB using ALE addresses BDFIRES173EDRE BDINTLO173EDRE BDRED173EDRE BDXRAY173EDRE

By Maj. Michael J Weisman, U.S. Army Europe

GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany (Oct. 22, 2014) -- Approximately 90 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade's 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment conducted an airborne operation into Campia Turzi, Romania, yesterday, to start the field portion of an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, referred to as an EDRE.

The exercise tests the paratroopers' ability to plan and execute full-spectrum operations on short notice as the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe. As such, the brigade provides ready troops to deploy within 18 hours, anywhere in the U.S. European, Africa or Central Command areas of responsibility.

Some 24 hours prior, instead of reporting to work for scheduled training, the squadron instead received notification from the brigade headquarters they would be deploying to Romania the next morning. The squadron then conducted mission analysis and began the orders process, drew necessary weapons and equipment, and headed to Grafenwoehr Army Airfield to don parachutes, conduct mission briefs and load the awaiting U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft.

"We started with a warning order at [6 a.m.]," said Maj. Matthew Work, the brigade's executive officer, referring to the surprise notification. "This is part of building the readiness culture we have in the 173rd [Airborne Brigade], and building upon what we've been asked to do for U.S. Army Europe in expanding our EDRE capability."

After three hours in the air, approximately 900 kilometers east, the paratroopers jumped in all the equipment and supplies they would need for the next three days. From the drop zone, the paratroopers made linkup with Romanian troops on the ground, who played the role of host-nation forces in the scenario the paratroopers are operating in.

"These guys are thinking about once they leave the aircraft, what they have to do when they hit the ground to be able to assemble quickly and move out to their objective," said Sgt. Maj. Steven Campbell, the brigade's operations non-commissioned officer in charge. "It gets right at the heart of being ready to go at a moment's notice. Once they conduct the airborne assault, the commanders and leaders will be challenged because they'll be deprived of a lot of things -- sleep, food -- they're going to move long distances. The commander will have to take the intelligence he receives along the way and make critical decisions, which will drive where their unit goes."

As part of the EDRE, the brigade purposefully introduced stressors such as the uncertain environment, long foot movements and lack of sleep, all with an active opposing force in the area.

"Part of this EDRE is having our Soldiers being comfortable with the unknown," explained Work. "We are going to get our leaders and Soldiers to a point where they are tired and uncomfortable. They're going to deal with the unknown and cause people to think differently under stress and duress."

This is leader training all throughout, from the private all the way through the organization," added Work. "We have a number of scenarios that are set up to test leaders and help them think through problems. It's a phenomenal event that stresses the organization."

For the brigade, the execution of the drill is the culmination of months of effort, coordinating with the Romanian military and U.S. Embassy in Bucharest to provide tough, realistic training for the paratroopers.

"We've worked closely with our Romanian allies over the weeks leading up to this exercise," said Capt. David Dean, a brigade logistical planner who liaised with Romanian military forces in planning the exercise. Their professionalism and efforts in planning this event made this possible."

The EDRE is the first in a series of planned exercises over the next two months involving troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, alongside their NATO allies in Romania. The exercises are a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO collective defense as well as building interoperability with allied forces.

Romania has been and continues to be a strong NATO ally," said Dean. "An exercise likes this demonstrates that and sets the stage for a series of future exercises to build on."

The EDRE comes just two weeks after the brigade finished its six-month deployment to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The "Sky Soldiers" of the 173rd Airborne Brigade transferred responsibility for that portion of the Atlantic Resolve mission to Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

"It's all about readiness," said Campbell. "They have to be ready. We don't know where we're going next, but we know we have to be ready at a moment's notice to answer the call."

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 23 October 2014 - Btown NC

Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

AE4EC1 168756   00000000 2014-10-23 22:45:52 P-8A United States USN | VP-45 [KNIP] 3543  35000    
AE54B3 10-0223   RCH120 2014-10-23 22:17:40 C-17A United States USAF | 437AW [KCHS]
AE06E4 163836 ???   ---  2014-10-23 21:50:50 UC-12F United States USNAVY
AE10C1 01   C101 2014-10-23 21:25:54 C-37A United States USCG | CGAS Washington [KDCA] 
AE093B 00-1052   ---  2014-10-23 21:05:39 UC-35B United States US Army | OSACOM PATD [KADW]
AE543E 10-00738 ???   ---  2014-10-23 20:01:39 MC-12W United States --- 0000  26000   
AE017A 84-0142   ---  2014-10-23 19:26:23 C-21A United States MI ANG | 110FW | 172AS [KBTL]
A85F6E N639CS   0000 2014-10-23 18:49:52 737-4Y0 United States US DOJ ---  19750    
AE11EC 80-0139   SNTRY07H 2014-10-23 18:36:20 E-3C United States USAF | 3WG | 962AACS [PAED]
ADFE95 95-0096/95-0088   ---  2014-10-23 18:25:34 C-12R+ United States USARMY
AE047C 59-1448   JAKE11 2014-10-23 18:05:21 KC-135R United States MS ANG | 186ARW | 153ARS [KMEI]
AE1488 86-0416   PHENOM6 2014-10-23 17:55:58 TE-8a United States 330thCTS 0000  19000   
AE015F 58-0119   SODA82 2014-10-23 17:42:43 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS] 5261  22000   
ADFE66 91-1235   DERBY 72 2014-10-23 16:51:53 C-130H United States KY ANG | 123AW | 165AS [KSDF]
AE1488 86-0416   PHENOM6 2014-10-23 16:46:41 TE-8a United States 330thCTS 0000  19000   
E9406B ------   ---  2014-10-23 16:37:40 ------ Bolivia ---
AE1394 158201   ---  2014-10-23 16:31:11 T-38C United States USN | TPS [KNHK]
AE047C 59-1448   JAKE11 2014-10-23 16:30:06 KC-135R United States MS ANG | 186ARW | 153ARS [KMEI]
AE4EB3 168429   TALON5 2014-10-23 16:12:11 P-8A United States USN | VP-16 [KNIP] 
AE0806 99-0060   ---  2014-10-23 15:53:15 C-17A United States AFRC | 445AW | 89AS [KFFO]
ADFCB7 93-0631   ---  2014-10-23 15:35:03 T-1A United States USAF | 479FTG | 451FTS [KNPA]
008000 ------   ---  2014-10-23 15:31:36 F-15 United States USAFE | 48FW [EGUL]
AE017A 84-0142   SWIFT09 2014-10-23 15:05:10 C-21A United States MI ANG | 110FW | 172AS [KBTL]
AE015F 58-0119   SODA82 2014-10-23 14:33:58 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS] 5261  22000   
AE012E 97-0104   ---  2014-10-23 14:26:10 UC-35A United States ---
AE4EC0 168755   VVLL842 2014-10-23 14:19:22 P-8A United States USN | VP-30 [KNIP] ---  22275    
AE543E 10-00738 ???   ---  2014-10-23 13:46:58 MC-12W United States --- 0000  26000   
AE4EC1 168756   PELCN77 2014-10-23 13:42:31 P-8A United States USN | VP-45 [KNIP] 3543  35000    
ADFCF4 95-0040   ---  2014-10-23 01:10:06 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE04DE 57-2597   SODA91 2014-10-23 00:10:42 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]

U.S., Allies scramble jets almost daily to repel Russian incursions


Russian military provocations have increased so much over the seven months since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine that Washington and its allies are scrambling defense assets on a nearly daily basis in response to air, sea and land incursions by Vladimir Putin’s forces according to By Guy Taylor and Maggie Ybarra in a published article in The Washington Times.

Not only is Moscow continuing to foment unrest in Eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials and regional security experts say Russian fighter jets are testing U.S. reaction times over Alaska and Japan’s ability to scramble planes over its northern islands — all while haunting Sweden’s navy and antagonizing Estonia’s tiny national security force.

NATO officials confirmed this week that the Russian air force flew an Ilyushin-20 spy plane into Estonian airspace Tuesday, triggering a swift reaction from NATO fighter jets patrolling the area.

The incursion came just days after Sweden made international headlines by scrambling a fleet of naval vessels to search for a suspected submarine sighted about 30 miles off the coast of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea.

Swedish authorities avoided pinning the incident directly on Russia, and Moscow denied involvement. But regional analysts like Mr. Cohen say they’d be surprised if the sub was not Russian.

The development, the analysts say, fits within a growing list of similar Russian actions, including some directly challenging U.S. territory.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled jets to scare off two Russian strategic bombers that suddenly appeared to conduct practice runs in airspace just 65 miles off Alaska in June. A similar incident occurred in September, with U.S. and Canadian fighters scrambling to deter six Russian aircraft, including two nuclear bombers, two fighter jets and two refueling tankers, according to news reports.

Read more of this article at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/23/vladimir-putin-emboldened-by-weak-us-response-to-r/#ixzz3H3Jodrdc

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 22 October 2014 - Btown NC

Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

08000 ------   ---  2014-10-22 23:37:12 F-15 United States USAFE | 48FW [EGUL]
ADFE86 92-0551   COBB 51 2014-10-22 23:02:51 C-130H United States AFRC | 94AW | 700AS [KMGE]
AE5774 10-0025x   ---  2014-10-22 22:51:51 C-12V United States ---
AE0261 61-0310   PACK93 2014-10-22 22:35:22 KC-135R United States NH ANG | 157ARW | 133ARS [KPSM]
AE4EBE 168440   VVLL830 2014-10-22 22:34:14 P-8A United States USN | VP-30 [KNIP] ---  23225    
AE04DE 57-2597   SODA91 2014-10-22 22:23:37 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]
ADFF71 65-10386   ---  2014-10-22 22:13:55 T-38C United States 50thFTS
AE4EC0 168755   VVLL833 2014-10-22 22:09:17 P-8A United States USN | VP-30 [KNIP] ---  11100    
AE4EB3 168429   TALON05 2014-10-22 22:08:29 P-8A United States USN | VP-16 [KNIP] ---  38000    
A82698 N624RH   ---  2014-10-22 22:03:29 707-338C United States OMEGA AIR
A49D0A N397CP   ---  2014-10-22 21:41:00 CESSNA 182T US CIVIL AIR PATROL
AE118A 02-1863   R1863 2014-10-22 21:18:04 C-37A United States US Army 
AE173A 06-3840   ---  2014-10-22 20:58:03 T-6A United States USAF | 14FTW | 37FTS [KCBM]
AE012E 97-0104   ---  2014-10-22 20:33:06 UC-35A United States ---
ADACC6 N980ST   NRG80 2014-10-22 20:15:08 737-4B3 United States US DEPT OF ENERGY 
ADFCF9 95-0045   ---  2014-10-22 19:50:31 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
AE4EB3 168429   TALON05 2014-10-22 19:25:24 P-8A United States USN | VP-16 [KNIP] ---  38000    
AE08FC 84-24379   R24379 2014-10-22 18:54:28 C-12R United States USARC | A/2-228 AVN (TA) [KWRI ]
ADFC90 92-0335   ---  2014-10-22 18:34:39 T-1A United States USAF | 479FTG | 451FTS [KNPA]
AE1494 97-0100   PEACH99 2014-10-22 18:21:48 E-8C United States GA ANG | 116ACW [KWRB]
ADFF71 65-10386   ---  2014-10-22 18:14:40 T-38C United States 50thFTS
AE0265 57-1436   SODA82 2014-10-22 18:08:56 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]
738B4A 665   FIXER55 2014-10-22 18:07:32 C-130J-30 Israel IDF | 103Sqn
AE4EC1 168756   15 2014-10-22 18:07:17 P-8A United States USN | VP-45 [KNIP] ---  15525    
738B4A 665   FIXER55 2014-10-22 17:19:57 C-130J-30 Israel IDF | 103Sqn
AE0389 62-3514   TOPCAT7 2014-10-22 16:43:33 KC-135R United States NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS [KWRI]
AE1191    ---  2014-10-22 16:19:45 F-15E/UC-35B United States 
AE0389 62-3514   TOPCAT7 2014-10-22 16:00:36 KC-135R United States NJ ANG | 108W | 141ARS [KWRI]
ADFCF9 95-0045   ---  2014-10-22 15:53:40 T-1A United States USAF | 14FTW | 48FTS
ADFE8D 95-0088/95-0096   ---  2014-10-22 15:47:11 C-12R+ United States USARMY
AE1497 99-0006   PEACH88 2014-10-22 15:25:27 E-8C United States GA ANG | 116ACW [KWRB] 0000  31800   
AE0394 64-14832   SODA81 2014-10-22 15:17:27 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS] 0000  31000   
477FF2 02   BRK25 2014-10-22 15:02:17 C-17A Hungary NATO
ADFE8D 95-0088/95-0096   ---  2014-10-22 14:57:48 C-12R+ United States USARMY
AE0265 57-1436   SODA82 2014-10-22 14:50:30 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS]
AE1497 99-0006   PEACH88 2014-10-22 14:42:03 E-8C United States GA ANG | 116ACW [KWRB] 0000  31800   
AE4EC1 168756   15 2014-10-22 14:27:34 P-8A United States USN | VP-45 [KNIP] ---  15525    
AE0394 64-14832   SODA81 2014-10-22 13:04:35 KC-135R United States TN ANG | 134ARW | 151ARS [KTYS] 0000  31000   
AE04F9 99-0404   SAM578 2014-10-22 12:47:46 C-37A United States USAF | 89AW | 99AS [KADW] ---  39950    
AE04A8 165810   OTIS51 2014-10-22 00:51:23 KC-130J United States USMC | VMGR-252 [KNKT]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Norad has increased North America alert posture

From the NORAD/US Northcom twitter feed:

NORAD taking appropriate and prudent steps to ensure adequate posture to respond quickly to any incidents involving aviation in Canada.

For MilcomMP readers here are the current NORAD UHF freqs.

228.900  234.600  235.900  238.400  252.000  254.200  260.900  265.400  270.200  271.000  274.000  277.600  278.000  281.600  282.600  288.400  293.600  316.300  320.600  324.000  327.900  328.000  355.200  364.200  (AICC Nationwide) 386.000 MHz

Hercules by the Numbers



You may know that the C-130 Hercules is operated by 70 countries. You might even be able to name several of C-130’s 70+ variants. But, here are some facts and figures that you may not know about the Herc courtesy of Lockheed Martin on their website at http://tinyurl.com/kvgv2ac.

VA Plans to Build Nationwide High-Frequency Radio Network to Communicate During Emergencies


From the NextGov.com website and Jack Metcalfe

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to build a nationwide high-frequency radio network to connect its medical facilities in case of an emergency that knocks out other forms of communications -- applying century-old technology to current needs.
VA said in a contracting notice Tuesday it intends to award a five-year, fixed-price indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for the fully functional "turnkey" Emergency High Frequency Radio Network.

VA plans to issue a formal request for proposals by Oct. 31.

The network will include an undefined number of high-powered “backbone” stations equipped with 200-watt transmitters designed to receive and automatically relay communications from 125-watt stations located at approximately 200 Veterans Health Administration facilities, VA said.

The network would provide emergency two-way radio communication and links to national wired, cellular and IP telephone networks enabling radio-to-telephone communications, according to the agency.

High-frequency radios operate in the three-to-30-MHz bandwidth and can transmit signals for hundreds or thousands of miles as the signals are refracted off the ionosphere. Changes in ionspheric conditions require HF radios to be periodically retuned, done automatically with a technology known as Automatic Link Establishment built into the radios. VA has specified ALE radios for its HF network.
Though outmoded by satellite and internet communications, HF networks still serve as an emergency backup for federal agencies, including the Air Force for communications with Air Force One as well as its transport, tanker and bomber fleets.

The Department of Homeland Security operates a high-frequency network called SHARES, which provides additional capabilities for users with a national security and emergency-preparedness mission to communicate when landline and cellular communications are unavailable.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army National Guard also operate national HF networks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up the National Public Health Radio Network as a communications back up in all 50 states.

Bernie Skoch, a retired Air Force general, consultant and amateur radio operator, said high-frequency remains the only reliable long-distance communications capability that depends entirely on terminal systems for end-to-end communications.

“There is no copper, no fiber, no space segment and very thin network management requirements” -- just radios, antennas and the ether, he said.

That independence from complex infrastructures, coupled with relatively inexpensive portable and mobile packages, makes it ideal for command and control, disaster and continuity-of-operations systems, Skoch said.

Blog Editor Comment (if you don't like editorials move on): Unbelievable! Another HF emergency net by a government that is bloated with them. So which HF emergency net does the government bureaucrat operate on when the balloon goes up?

Answer: Doesn’t make any difference they all do nothing anyway during emergencies, just check-ins and signal checks and asking hams if they can handle their H&W traffic. This is just another waste of my tax money by a government agency that already has a bloated budget and has enough problems providing services to this nation's vets.

Nimitz to Participate Alongside Canadian, Japanese, other US Ships in TG Exercise

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Tophatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine operations and training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly M. Agee/Released)
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly Agee, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Canadian, Japanese and U.S ships will participate
in a U.S. 3rd Fleet-led Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31.

The TGEX will serve to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and maritime-interdiction operations while building cooperative relationships with partner nations.

Units participating include Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 15, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65), guided-missile destroyers USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and a submarine, Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), Kingston-class coastal defense vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706), and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JS) Teruzuki (DD 116).

Simultaneously, CSG 15 will lead and evaluate training across multiple warfare areas for Milius, Paul Hamilton, Fort Worth and Freedom, as these ships will use TGEX as their final opportunity to certify prior to deployment.

Specific events Nimitz will conduct include: flight operations, tracking different ships, conducting underway replenishments, and communications exercises.

"This is an opportunity to test our ability to work in a coalition environment," said Cmdr. Darrell Lewis, future operations officer for Carrier Strike Group 11. "There are some language barriers, and how we do things is slightly different from how the other nations do things. So, we are taking them into our task group and working with them and proving we can do it."

According to Lewis this exercise will benefit new personnel on Nimitz by giving them the chance to experience a more sophisticated level of operations.

"It is going to be a great opportunity," said Lewis. "Everything you do in these exercises you can learn from. It is a taste what it was like during deployment for those people who haven't seen it."

Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

Mode-S/ADS Milcom Intercepts 21 October 2014 - Btown NC

Here is another round of Mode-S/ADS-B intercepts and selected ATC call signs logged from here on the radio ranch in WNC. All dates/times are UTC.

AE1D7A 162778   ---  2014-10-21 21:55:42 P-3C-III United States USN |
800739 ---   ---  2014-10-21 20:57:37 ------ India --- ---  ---  
AE04A2 60-0359   MASH01 2014-10-21 19:54:10 KC-135R United States AFRC | 434ARW | 72ARS [KGUS]
AE0110 94-1570   BOXER39 2014-10-21 19:04:50 C-38A United States DC ANG | 113Wg | 201AS [KADW]
AE0635 73-3300   SKIER71 2014-10-21 18:56:15 LC-130H United States NY ANG | 105AW | 137AS [KSWF]
AE093A 00-1051   ---  2014-10-21 16:20:14 UC-35B United States USARC | B/2-228 AVN (TA) [KMGE]
AE1211 03-0726   ---  2014-10-21 16:17:54 UC-35C United States USARC | 2-228 AVN
AE11DD 76-1606   SNTRY50H 2014-10-21 16:09:47 E-3C United States USAF | 552ACW [KTIK]
AE0097 67-14919   ---  2014-10-21 15:59:44 T-38C United States 90thFTS
AE08FD 84-24380   PAT923 2014-10-21 15:51:27 C-12U United States USARC | A/2-228 AVN (TA) [KWRI ]
AE4EBE 168440   VVLL833 2014-10-21 15:39:42 P-8A United States USN | VP-30 [KNIP] 
ADFCD8 94-0121   ---  2014-10-21 15:26:36 T-1A United States USAF | 12FTW | 99FTS [KRND]
AE0449 02-4452   TERRA97 2014-10-21 15:26:21 C-32B United States NJ ANG | 108WG | 150SOS [KWRI] 
AE08F9 84-24376   2316 2014-10-21 14:53:36 C-12R United States OSACOM/PAT
ADFE66 91-1235   DERBY 72 2014-10-21 14:39:39 C-130H United States KY ANG | 123AW | 165AS [KSDF]
AE5774 10-0025x   ---  2014-10-21 14:33:45 C-12V United States ---
AE093A 00-1051   ---  2014-10-21 13:23:11 UC-35B United States USARC | B/2-228 AVN (TA) [KMGE]
ADACC6 N980ST   NRG80 2014-10-21 13:16:46 737-4B3 United States US DEPT OF ENERGY ---  31950 

'Hurricane Hunters' busy with missions on both coasts

Lt. Col. Jon Talbot points to the eye of Hurricane Julio during a hurricane flight off the coast of Hawaii Aug. 9, 2014.Talbot is a 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron aerial reconnaissance weather officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jessica

By Maj. Marnee A.C. Losurdo, 403rd Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- It's been a busy two weeks for the Air Force Reserve's Hurricane Hunters, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew their last of 15 missions into Hurricane Ana in the Pacific Oct. 20, while gathering weather data for the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

On the other side of the globe, the hunters wrapped up a week-long deployment to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, flying their last Hurricane Gonzalo mission Oct. 16, in the Atlantic.

It's not unusual to have storms this late in the season, said Maj. Jon Brady, a 53rd WRS aerial reconnaissance weather officer.

"The peak of the season is in September, but there is a historical trend for it to re-spike in October. Some of the biggest storms and hybrid storms form in October," he said, adding that Hurricane Sandy struck in October and was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

What is extremely rare is to have a third hurricane hit Hawaii in the same season, Brady said, who added the Hurricane Hunters only deploy to the Central Pacific when Hawaii is threatened. Hawaii has been hit by five hurricanes since 1952, until this year the last hurricane to strike the islands was Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

The Hurricane Hunters deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii for the second time this season and began flying missions into Ana Oct. 16. The unit deployed to Hawaii in August to fly Hurricanes Iselle and Julio. The last time the squadron deployed to Hawaii was in 2007, for Hurricane Flossie, which wasn't a direct hit and brought light damage to the islands.

"The Pacific is much warmer than normal," Brady said. "This is indicative of an El Nino, which gets the water much hotter than normal and causes more storms to form in the Pacific than the Atlantic, which was the case this year."

Ana, the 21st named storm in the Pacific, became a Hurricane Oct. 18, passing to the south of the Hawaiian Islands, but caused severe weather and heavy rains during the weekend.

The National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu and the National Hurricane Center in Miami rely on satellite images and Doppler radar for their forecasts models. The data the hurricane hunters provide improves the accuracy of the track forecast by 15 to 20 percent, said Dennis Feltgen, NHC public affairs officer.

"When you look at the satellite imagery you are not sure what is going on inside the storm. Sending the Hurricane Hunters into a storm is the equivalent of going to the doctor's office and getting an MRI," he said.

To gather this data, aircrews fly through the eye of a storm four to six times to locate the low-pressure center and circulation of the storm. During each pass through the eye, they release a dropsonde, which collects weather data on its descent to the ocean surface, measuring wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point and pressure. During storm flights, the aircrews transmit weather data via satellite communication every 10 minutes to the NHC or CPHC providing forecasters vital data on a storm's intensity and direction, assisting them with their forecasts and storm warnings.

The NHC used this data earlier in the month for forecast and storm warnings for the Caribbean Islands impacted by Hurricane Gonzalo.

The squadron deployed to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix Oct. 10 to track the weather system that formed into Tropical Storm Gonzalo Oct. 12 and became a hurricane Oct. 14.

As the system made its way through the Caribbean Islands, the deployed aircrews relocated to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, Oct. 13. Aircrews continued around-the-clock reconnaissance of the hurricane until Oct. 16. They flew out of Homestead and Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The squadron flew 15 missions gathering data on the storm, which at its strongest was a Category 4, and caused damage in Antigua, Saint Martin and Bermuda. The storm struck Bermuda Oct. 18 as a Category 2. The storm's remnants hit the United Kingdom late Monday.

While crews recover from Hurricanes Ana and Gonzalo, the squadron is moving on to the next storm. The Hurricane Hunters are flying a low level investigation mission today on a storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico near the Bay of Campeche west of Yucatan.