Thursday, May 14, 2015

US Navy-Marine Corps MARS Program to End


Blog Editor: This has been a long time coming. I have discussed this on this blog and other venues several times over the years. DoD should now do the smart things and combine AF and AR MARS into one service auxiliary. Failure to do so is fraud, waste and abuse of valuable HF frequency resources and the taxpayers money. As a former members it pains me to see this organization fold. Fair winds and following seas to all who served in NMCM.

From the ARRL website:
The US Department of Defense is phasing out the US Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) program. Its operational mission will transition to the other MARS service branches by the end of September.

The head of the US Navy-Marine Corps MARS program in Williamsburg, Virginia, made the announcement. The Navy-Marine Corps MARS program also supports the US Coast Guard as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US Department of Homeland Security, and local emergency management agencies.

A US Department of Defense-sponsored program, MARS branches are separately managed by their respective military service branches. MARS volunteers are Amateur Radio operators who provide auxiliary or emergency communications to local, national, and international emergency and safety organizations, as an adjunct to normal communications.

Message from Navy-Marine Corps MARS (edited content by author):

DE NNNØASA ØØ1
R 122Ø3ØZ MAY 2Ø15
FM CHNAVMARCORMARS WILLIAMSBURG VA
TO ALNAVMARCORMARS
INFO ZEN/CHIEF ARMY MARS FT HUACHUCA AZ
ZEN/CHIEF AIR FORCE MARS SCOTT AFB IL

BT

UNCLAS

SUBJ/TRANSITION OF NAVY MARINE CORPS MARS (MILITARY AUXILIARY RADIO SYSTEM PROGRAM//
REF/A/PHONECON/NCTAMS LANT/NAVIDFOR/FCC-C1ØF/STRATCOM/Ø8 MAY 2Ø15//
REF/B/DODI 465Ø.2/MILITARY AUXILIARY RADIO SYSTEM (MARS)//
REF/C/DODD 3Ø25.18/DEFENSE SUPPORT OF CIVIL AUTHORITIES//

RMKS/1. IAW REF A, NAVAL COMPUTER AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AREA MASTER STATION ATLANTIC (NCTAMS LANT) INTENDS TO WORK WITH U.S. ARMY MARS AND U.S. AIR FORCE MARS IN TRANSITIONING THE NAVY MARINE CORPS MARS (NAVMARCORMARS) PROGRAM BY 3Ø SEP 2Ø15. THE INTENT OF THE TRANSITION IS TO BEST ALIGN THE PROGRAM TO SUPPORT NATIONAL MISSION REQUIREMENTS.

2. EVALUATION OF THE NAVMARCORMARS PROGRAM BY FLEET CYBER COMMAND (FCC)/COMMANDER 1ØTH FLEET (C1ØF), NAVAL INFORMATION DOMINATION FORCES (NAVIDFOR), AND NCTAMS LANT DETERMINED THAT THERE ARE NO U.S. NAVY SERVICE UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS.

3. NCTAMS LANT WILL WORK WITH OTHER U.S. NAVY, U.S. ARMY, U.S. AIR FORCE, U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY REPRESENTATIVES, AND NAVMARCORMARS VOLUNTEERS TO DEVELOP A TRANSITION PLAN FOR NAVMARCORMARS MEMBERS WHICH MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF REF B AND REF C.

4. CURRENT NAVMARCORMARS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS AND CLUBS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS TO U.S. ARMY MARS OR U.S. AIR FORCE MARS PROGRAMS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. U.S. ARMY MARS MEMBERSHIP CAN BE REQUESTED AT
HTTP://WWW.USARMYMARS.ORG/RESOURCES/APPLICATIONS-AND-FORMS AND U.S. AIR FORCE MARS MEMBERSHIPS INFORMATION CAN BE REQUESTED VIA E-MAIL TO 38CYRS.SCM.MARS@US.AF.MIL.

5. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED SEPCOR FOR MARS STATIONS UNDER MILITARY AUSPICES, AGENCY STATIONS, AND INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS WHO ALSO PARTICIPATE IN THE DHS SHARED RESOURCES (SHARES) HF RADIO PROGRAM.

6. AT A MINIMUM, FUTURE NOTICES WILL BE PROVIDED VIA CHIEF, NAVMARCORMARS MESSAGE. OTHER MEDIA WILL BE IDENTIFIED AS PART OF THE TRANSITION COMMUNICATIONS PLAN.

7. THE U.S. NAVY GREATLY APPRECIATES THE THOUSANDS OF MARS VOLUNTEERS, PAST AND PRESENT, WHO HAVE BEEN INTEGRAL TO THE SUCCESS OF MARS. NCTAMS LANT WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF TRANSITION EFFORTS AND REQUESTS YOUR ASSISTANCE TO HELP START THIS NEW CHAPTER IN MARS OPERATIONS.

12. INTERNET RELEASE IS AUTHORIZED.//

BT
NNNN

Thursday, May 07, 2015

New Summer 2015 International Shortwave Broadcast Guide Now Available at Amazon

Teak Publishing is proud to announce the publication of their 9th e-book on Amazon.com -- Summer 2015 International Shortwave Broadcast Guide


So why should you listen to shortwave radio? Quite simply shortwave radio is your window to the world.

The best source of global information continues to be shortwave radio. Throughout the world, shortwave remains the most readily available and affordable means of communication and information. It lets you listen to voices from around the world. You'll also learn about the lives and concerns of people from all walks of life, from soldiers, to farmers, to retired scholars. Shortwave radio provides nearly instantaneous coverage of news and events from around the world.

Shortwave listening, or SWLing, is the hobby of listening to shortwave radio broadcasts located on frequencies between 1700 kHz and 30 MHz, also known as HF or the High Frequencies bands.

If you live in the U.S., you can easily listen to shortwave broadcast stations from countries like North/South Korea, Iran, Australia, Cuba, China, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Japan, England, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United States and many other counties if you have a shortwave receiver, and you know when and where to listen!

That when and where to listen is covered comprehensively in the pages of a new edition of the International Shortwave Broadcast Guide.

The International Shortwave Broadcast Guide (Summer 2015 edition), by Amazon bestselling author Gayle Van Horn, W4GVH, is that all important information resource you need to tap into the worldwide shortwave broadcast radio spectrum. It is a 24-hour station/frequency guide to “all” the known stations currently broadcasting on shortwave radio at time of publication. This unique shortwave resource is the “only” publication in the world that offers a by-hour schedule that includes all language services, frequencies and world target areas for each broadcast station. There are new chapters that cover basic shortwave radio listening and Who’s Who in the Shortwave Radio Spectrum. Also extensive work has been done to improve the readability of this edition on the various Kindle platforms.

The International Shortwave Broadcast Guide (Summer 2015 edition) is now available for purchase worldwide from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X8BIF0K. The price for this latest edition is still US$4.99. Since this book is being released internationally, Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia can order this electronic book (e-Book) from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. All other countries can use the regular Amazon.com website.

This new e-publication edition is an expanded version of the English shortwave broadcast guide formerly printed in the pages of Monitoring Times magazine for over 20 years. This one of a kind e-book is now being published twice a year to correspond with station seasonal time and frequency changes.

If you enjoy listening or monitoring HF shortwave stations, and you miss the monthly English frequency listings formerly published in the late Monitoring Times magazine, and multilingual station listing in the old MTXpress electronic magazine, this valuable tool will now be your new guide to listening to the world.

Frequency updates between editions will be posted on her Shortwave Central blog at: http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/.

And, the good news is that you do not need to own a Kindle reader to read Amazon e-book publications. You can read any Kindle book with Amazon’s free reading apps.

There are free Kindle reading apps for the Kindle Cloud Reader, Smartphones (iPhone, iTouch, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry); computer platforms (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Mac); Tablets (iPad, Android and Windows 8), and, of course, all of the Kindle family of readers including the Kindle Fire series. A Kindle e-book allows you to buy your book once and read it anywhere. You can find additional details on these apps by checking out this link to the Amazon website at www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771.

For additional information on this and other Teak Publishing radio hobby books, monitor the company sponsored Internet blogs – The Military Monitoring Post (http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com/), The Btown Monitor Post (http://monitor-post.blogspot.com/) and The Shortwave Central (http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/) for availability of additional e-books that are currently in production.

You can view the complete Teak Publishing book catalog online at http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/. Click on the Teak Publishing radio hobby e-book link at the top of the blog page. You can learn more about the author by going to her author page on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Gayle-Van-Horn/e/B0084MVQCM/.

The International Shortwave Broadcast Guide will have wide appeal to shortwave radio hobbyists, amateur radio operators, educators, foreign language students, news agencies, news buffs and many more interested in listening to a global view of news and events as they happen. 

If you are an amateur radio operator or shortwave radio enthusiasts, and want to hear what is happening outside the ham bands on that transceiver or portable shortwave radio in your shack, then this new e-book from Teak Publishing is a must in your radio reference library.

Here are a few of the public comments from radio hobbyists who purchased the first three editions of this Amazon e-book.

Excellent Shortwave Introduction and Program Guide by Don K3PRN
Excellent, very reasonable guide to shortwave radio. As a long time shortwave listener, the listing of all shortwave stations by UTC time is very useful to me. I had previously a shortwave website that listed only English broadcasts rather than an all station listing with the language that will be broadcast. I would highly recommend this e book for all new shortwave listeners and those that interested in a very portable listing of all stations by UTC. I only hope that this will be updated twice a year for many more years.

Good Product by Radio Freq 
Since Monitoring Times stopped publishing shortwave radio schedules, there has been a dearth of resources for radio-heads. This guide nicely fulfills gap. It is very comprehensive.

It is nice someone is dedicated to SWL by Robert K. Mallory 
Very concise and well organized. Not much to choose from these days, it is nice someone is dedicated to SWL.

Shortwave Broadcast Guide by Kindle Customer
Since Monitoring Times is no longer in publication, this guide is required for the dedicated shortwave listener. There is information provided that I have found nowhere else. It will be a welcome addition to any listener's equipment. Gayle Van Horn has been publishing this research for many years and the followers are numerous, from beginners to professionals. The author's work is accurate, concise and thorough. If you have a shortwave radio, you need this publication as much as a set of earphones. There is none better.

Very Good Source for Shortwave Stations Broadcast Schedules by Kenneth Windyka
I've got to admit up front that I don't have a strong interest in this part of the hobby. HOWEVER, Gayle Van Horn makes it easy to determine what one can hear on the short wave bands during a particular time period (in GMT time sorted format). I also like the internet reference available, so that one can listen to programs via the internet even if its' not possible via the shortwave radio.

NJ Shortwave listener hears International Frequencies with new guide help by Stanley E Rozewski, Jr.
This e-book is complete and accurate in presenting a low cost SW frequency guide and important must read topics for the new or experienced user. I liked the easy reading format, and understandable frequency guide. I will order the second edition next year.

This is my go-to-first reference by Mary C Larson 
When I turn on the shortwave receiver and want to find out what's on and where to look, Van Horn's handy frequency guide is a smart place to begin. The format is not unlike the one Monitoring Times (R.I.P.) used each month. Presumably, updated ISBGs will be published twice per year, but you can check for the updates on her blog, (mt-shortwave.blogspot.com).

Good value by DrP 
This is an excellent well-written book that is very affordable when compared to encyclopedic guides, e.g., the WRTH. Much the same information is included. The first part is a nice introduction to SW listening pitched to the beginner. Included is an informative section on purchasing a radio spanning low-end <$100 models up through the most advanced transceivers. The bulk of the book contains a list of world-wide SW broadcasters, organized by frequency band. This makes it ideal for browsing one band at a time, but much less so if you want to search for broadcasts from a particular country.

I like this one by Charles
I have only had a brief chance to scan through this book. From what I have seen of it I will enjoy getting in to it.

Shortwave Is Not Quite Dead by James Tedford (Bothell, WA United States)
It was barely breathing as of late, but there is still a lot you can hear on shortwave radio. You need more than a little dedication, and a better-than-adequate radio to hear what remains on the HF bands, but if you have those, you will be rewarded with a lot of interesting audio programming. This book is a good guide to what is currently available over the international airwaves.

Five Stars by Frank S.
Excellent for the price. Glad I found this.

Five Stars by Kindle Customer

Came on time. packaged right, looks as shown and works as advertised.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

North Atlantic (NAT) MWARA Profile and Frequencies

Our good friend Tony Roper posted the following list of North Atlantic (NAT) Major World Air Route Area (MWARA) frequencies on the UDXF list. I have added some additional material from my personal files and monitoring to round out this profile. If you are a military monitor, these frequencies are a great playground in the HF spectrum to catch possible mil aircraft activity. All frequencies are in kHz and mode is USB.



HF Aeronautical Frequencies

NAT Family A: Used by all aircraft flying the Southern NAT Routes. Assigned to aircraft flying routes with reporting coordinates between 43° North and 47° North.
Ground Stations: Gander, New York, Santa Marie, Shanwick

3016.0 kHz 0100-0900 and 1800-2200 UTC
5598.0 kHz H24
8906.0 kHz 0900-2100 UTC
13306.0 kHz HO

NAT Family B: Assigned to aircraft flying routes with reporting coordinates between 47° North and 64° North. Ground Stations: Gander, Iceland, Shanwick

2899.0 kHz 0000-0900 and 1800-2400 UTC
5616.0 kHz H24
8864.0 kHz 0900-2100 UTC
13291.0 kHz HO
17946.0 kHz HO

NAT Family C: Assigned to aircraft flying routes with reporting coordinates between 47° North and 64° North. Ground Stations: Gander, Iceland, Shanwick

2872.0 kHz 0000-0900 and 1800-2400 UTC
5649.0 kHz H24
8879.0 kHz 0900-2100 UTC
11336.0 kHz HO
13306.0 kHz HO
17946.0 kHz HO

NAT Family D: Assigned to aircraft flying routes with reporting coordinates north of 62° North. Ground Stations: Bodo, Gander, Iceland, Shanwick, Arctic Radio (not a NAT station)

2971.0 kHz 0100-0800 UTC
4675.0 kHz 0100-0800 and 1100-1800 UTC
8891.0 kHz HO
11279.0 kHz HO
17946.0 kHz HO

NAT Family E: Assigned on a tactical basis and coordinated between New York Radio and Santa Marie Radio.

2962.0 kHz 0100-0800 UTC
6628.0 kHz 0000-1900 UTC
8825.0 kHz 0000-1900 and 2300-2400 UTC
11309.0 kHz 0900-1900 UTC
13354.0 kHz 1100-1900 UTC
17946.0 kHz HO

NAT Family F: Assigned on a tactical basis and coordinated between Shanwick Radio and Gander Radio.

3476.0 kHz 0100-0800 UTC
6622.0 kHz 1000-1800 UTC
8831.0 kHz 1000-1800 UTC
13291.0 kHz HO
17946.0 kHz HO

Starting April 22, 2013, the following additional Regional and Domestic Air Route Area (RDARA) HF frequencies  (NAT H/I/J) will be used on a tactical basis by Shanwick Radio, adjoining NARTEL Radio Stations and domestic ATC agencies. These frequencies are used individually or by common network agreement between the NAT aeronautical stations.

NAT Family H: Used on a tactical basis and coordinated between Shanwick Radio, adjoining NARTEL Radio Stations and domestic ATC agencies.

2965.0 kHz HO
3491.0 kHz HO
5583.0 kHz HO
6556.0 kHz HO
6667.0 kHz HO
10021.0 kHz HO
10036.0 kHz HO
11363.0 kHz HO

NAT Family I: Used on a tactical basis and coordinated between Shanwick Radio,
adjoining NARTEL Radio Stations and domestic ATC agencies.

2860.0 kHz HO
2881.0 kHz HO
2890.0 kHz HO
3458.0 kHz HO
3473.0 kHz HO
3488.0 kHz HO
5484.0 kHz HO
5568.0 kHz HO
6550.0 kHz HO
6595.0 kHz HO
10066.0 kHz HO

NAT Family J: Used on a tactical basis and coordinated between Shanwick Radio, adjoining NARTEL Radio Stations and domestic ATC agencies.

2869.0 kHz HO
2944.0 kHz HO
2992.0 kHz HO
3446.0 kHz HO
3473.0 kHz HO
4651.0 kHz HO
4666.0 kHz HO
4684.0 kHz HO
5460.0 kHz HO
5481.0 kHz HO
5559.0 kHz HO
5577.0 kHz HO
6547.0 kHz HO
8954.0 kHz HO
11276.0 kHz HO

After April 22, 2013, the historical practice of assigning aircraft registered west of 30° west HF Family 'B' frequencies and east of 30° west HF Family 'C' frequencies, no longer applies.  NAT HF Family 'B' and 'C' frequencies are assigned to aircraft flying routes with reporting co-ordinates between 47° North and 64° North.

Search and Rescue (SAR) - Operated as required

2182.0 kHz HO
3023.0 kHz HO
5680.0 kHz HO

Hours of service of individual frequencies, or groups of frequencies, may vary as HF propagation conditions or operational requirements demand.

VHF Aircraft Frequencies

123.450 MHz H24 - VHF air to air frequency enables aircraft engaged in flights over remote and oceanic areas, out of range of VHF ground stations, to exchange necessary operational information and to facilitate the resolution of operational problems.
122.375 MHz - Gander

123.950 MHz H24 - For use by aircraft registered in States west of 030° West for requesting Oceanic clearance direct from OAC.

124.175 MHz H24

126.550 MHz - Reykjavik

126.900 MHz - Churchill, Gander, Goose, Iqaluit, Montreal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Winnipeg

127.100 MHz - Gander
127.650 MHz H24 - For use by aircraft registered in States east of 030° West for requesting Oceanic clearance direct from OAC. For this purpose Australia is regarded as being east of 030° West.

127.850 MHz - Reykjavik
127.900 MHz H24 - Gander, Santa Marie, Shanwick. Used when practicable by aircraft when east of 020° West to reduce loading on HF channels. Traffic received on this frequency is handled in exactly the same way as if received on HF.

129.900 MHz - New York

SATCOM

425002 - A/G Shanwick Radio H24 Irish Aviation Authority. Available for routine ATS messages via Shanwick Radio.

423201 - ATC Shanwick Oceanic H24 NATS Ltd.  Available for direct pilot/controller communications in emergency situations only

436623 - ATC New York Atlantic Flights H24

436625 - ATC San Francisco Pacific Flights H24


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Spectrum Monitor Review of the International Call Sign Handbook, 4th Edition

Blog Editor Note: This is a review of my new e-book that appeared in the May edition of The Spectrum Monitor e-zine. The Spectrum Monitor ® is published monthly by Ken Reitz KS4ZR at 1403 Holland Creek Road, Louisa, Virginia 23093. You can order your subscription to TSM at http://www.thespectrummonitor.com/.

New International Call Sign Handbook: Government and Military EditionBy Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Teak Publishing $6.99
Fourth Edition Kindle e-book 608 pages
Reviewed by Ken Reitz KS4ZR

Anyone who had read Monitoring Times magazine over the last few decades will be familiar with the topic of government and military radio call signs that appeared every month in the Milcom column, written by Larry Van Horn N5FPW. While MT ceased publication with the December 2013 issue, Larry maintained his interest in this subject and has just released the massive fourth edition of the International Call Sign Handbook (Government/Military Edition).

And, if you’ve been reading Hugh Stegman and Mike Chace-Ortiz’s columns in TSM, you’ll know that there are hundreds of frequencies on which you might hear any of these call signs. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard and Larry’s just published the definitive call sign scorecard.

At more than 600 pages, he has left nothing out. And, if you are not familiar with this fascinating subject, he includes a thorough tutorial on the subject to bring you up to speed. Call signs for every branch of the US military, known and arcane federal agencies, and many nongovernmental organizations are also listed. He has also included international call signs for other countries.

You’ll also learn how to set up your listening post to be able to monitor Mode-S ADS/B, a data stream that is sent automatically by most civilian and military aircraft, that IDs each craft as it comes within communications reach of your receiver; a hobby within the air monitoring hobby. Larry includes active links to all the websites you’ll need to go to for software downloads and detailed instructions on tuning in.

It’s difficult to emphasize what a bargain this book is: $6.99 (that was the cost of one issue of Monitoring Times, if you could find it on the bookstore shelves!) for 600 pages of military and federal call signs (in its last year the entire MT magazine was only 62 pages each month and the Milcom column was only two pages each month!).
This book has an active Table of Contents that makes finding your way around in this enormous publication a breeze.

The International Call Sign Handbook is available only as a Kindle e-publication, but you don’t need a Kindle product, iPad, or smartphone to read this publication. Any desktop or laptop computer can display any Kindle e-book. Just download the free app for your device, order the book and start reading. Go here to find out more about Kindle apps: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd

Go here to buy or read a sample of this book: http://www.amazon.com/International-Call-Sign-Handbook-Government-ebook/dp/B00VV7NR1U/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_2

And, while you’re at it, check out the other publications released recently by Teak Publishing (also found on the TSM Bookshelf):

Teak Publishing 2015 Air Show Guide (By Larry Van Horn)
International Shortwave Broadcast Guide (By Gayle Van Horn)

QSLing the World (By Gayle Van Horn)
And, don’t forget Larry and Gayle’s excellent blogs for up to date information on shortwave listening and military communications:

Milcom Monitoring Post http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com and Shortwave Central http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 25, 2015

International Call Sign Handbook e-book now available at Amazon

The reviews are in and the International Call Sign Handbook is a huge hit.

5 Star Rating 100% rating on the deal of the century! By Barry L. Williams
After 20 years of reading the columns, reviews, and advice of Larry van Horn in Monitoring Times magazine, it was a no brainer that he is an expert on military/civilian communications on shortwave and high frequency radio. He has always been the go-to expert for what military and civilian radio calls you were hearing on the HF/SW frequencies. Now, the decades of experience and research is in his new book. It has an excellent table of contents itemized by service, country, etc. Each entry is clickable for navigation. And, the list is huge! This is the most complete list of units, boats, aircraft, units, etc that I've seen. It is also more than just a list as the book also explains the organizations and services with details and explanations.

The other great thing about this must have book is the price- $6.99. There is no reason for anyone to not have this book at that price. This is the first book with this much information that I've seen that doesn't cost $25 and up. There just is no reason to not buy it right now.  

5 Star Rating Updated classic By Hugh D Stegman, The Spectrum Monitore-zine columnist
You won't go wrong with this one. Larry is the go-to guy for this kind of information in the hobby, and his lists have always been full of names and call signs that you'll actually hear on the air, plus all manner of other arcane military codes and rotating IDs. I don't know how I'd identify most military stations without it. At this garage sale price, it may be the best deal in utility radio.
 
Ask any radio monitor what information they consider important during any monitoring session, and usually two items will top their list: frequencies and call signs. If you can hear activity on a particular frequency, unless you can fully identify the participants transmitting on that frequency, you can’t fully appreciate or document the traffic you are hearing.
 
With millions of radio stations furnishing a variety of communication services throughout the world, it is necessary that their transmissions carry distinctive call signs or identifiers. Call signs have a four-fold purpose: They may identify the nationality of the station, the agency operating a particular station, the type of station, and the identity of each individual station being heard on the monitored frequency.
 
The need for station identifications/call signs can easily be illustrated here in the United States, which leads all other countries in the use of the radio spectrum, that now has some 85 different kinds of radio services operated by the government, military and civilians entities, providing air, sea, land and space communication services. There are hundreds of thousands of stations on the air and call signs and other forms of identification help the radio monitor sort through the various stations that are heard.
 
A call sign is defined as any combination of alphanumeric characters or phonetically pronounceable characters (trigraph), which identifies a communications facility, a command, an authority, an activity or unit. To aid the radio monitor in their listening endeavors, the International Call Sign Handbook series of books/e-books has been published.
 
 
 
Teak Publishing is pleased to announce their latest Kindle e-book -- the fourth edition of International Call Sign Handbook by Amazon Bestselling author Larry Van Horn, N5FPW. This e-book represents the most comprehensive collection of military and government station identifications ever published for the radio listening hobby. It is the result of year’s research, study and monitoring the HF/VHF/UHF radio spectrum, by the author. Many different radio monitoring disciplines have been used to compile the listings in this book. If you monitor the HF, VHF or UHF radio spectrum, there is something in this book for you.
 
The information presented in this book has also been gathered through personal correspondence, material published in the former Monitoring Times magazine, various radio publications, newsletters, public domain government and private internet web sites, but most have been gathered the old fashioned way via on-the-air monitoring. In addition, we have received generous support and contributions from many individuals in the radio hobby.
 
In addition to international and military/government tactical call signs, other types of identifiers such as Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) and Mode-S aircraft addresses have been included in this e-book. There is a chapter that had basic introductory material, as well as chapters devoted to call sign / words used by the Department of Defense including the US. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. There are sections that cover the various Military Auxiliary Radio Services and the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol auxiliary service.
 
There is also a chapter that covers call signs and ALE identifiers for the U.S. Coast Guard service. Sections in that chapter include a Coast Guard aircraft fleet list, miscellaneous U.S. coast guard calls, and also their international call signs.
 
Another large chapter covers various U.S. Government call signs. Sections in this chapter include the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol COTHEN radio system and ALE address list, plus call signs from the following department and agencies - Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), General Services Administration (GSA), Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD), Miscellaneous Listings, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Communications System (NCS), and U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) service.
 
One of the larger chapters is devoted to an international / worldwide call signs list. We have a sampling of government and military call signs from 75 counties and international agencies.
 
The latest craze in aircraft military is decoding Mode-S/ICAO24 radio signals and is included in this book. Our list in this edition covers primarily government / military aircraft and introductory material on Mode-S monitoring.
The last chapter of this book contains a large list of resource information, useful in interpreting the individual entries listed in the book. Sections on U.S. Navy ship/squadron classifications; U.S. Coast Guard cutter designators; a massive list of abbreviations and acronyms that appear in the book; a comprehensive country abbreviation list; and the latest Table of Allocations of International Call signs from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are included in the last chapter on the e-book.
 
The Teak Publishing 4th International Call Sign Handbook is now available for purchase worldwide from Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VV7NR1U.
 
The price for this e-Book edition is US$6.99. This book is being released internationally. Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France Spain, Italy, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia can order the e-Book from Amazon websites directly servicing these countries. All other countries can use the regular Amazon.com website.
 
You do not need to own a Kindle reader to read Amazon e-book publications. You can read any Kindle book with Amazon’s free reading apps. There are free Kindle reading apps for the Kindle Cloud Reader, Smartphones (iPhone, iTouch, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry); computer platforms (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and Mac); Tablets (iPad, Android and Windows 8), and, of course, all of the Kindle family of readers including the Kindle Fire series. A Kindle e-book allows you to buy your book once and read it anywhere. You can find additional details on these apps at this link on the Amazon website at www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771.
 
For additional information on this and other Teak Publishing radio hobby books, monitor the company sponsored Internet blogs – The Military Monitoring Post (http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com/), The Btown Monitor Post (http://monitor-post.blogspot.com/) and The Shortwave Central (http://mt-shortwave.blogspot.com/) for availability of additional e-books that are currently in production.
 
Information on other publications by the author is available on the author’s page at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G1QMO4C.

About the Author

 
 
Amazon bestselling author, Larry Van Horn, a native of San Antonio, Texas, started his radio listening hobby in 1964, when he received his first shortwave receiver.
In 1971 Larry joined the U.S. Navy and served on U.S. naval warships and in the naval aviation community until his retirement in 1993. He retired in New Orleans with the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
 
He was first licensed as an amateur radio operator in 1973 with the call sign WH6INU. Later, Larry upgraded to General Class and spent his early ham days operating out of the famed KH6SP ham shack in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, with his his ham mentor and friend Butch Weber, WA4GIF, chasing DX and contesting.
 
Now a licensed Extra Class ham, holding the call sign N5FPW, Larry enjoys operating digital modes, contesting and chasing DX. Other aspects of the radio hobby that he enjoys include monitoring military communications (throughout the radio spectrum), federal government monitoring, chasing HF utility communications, satellite monitoring, and AM, FM and TV broadcast DXing.
Larry worked for Grove Enterprises in Brasstown, North Carolina, the publisher of Monitoring Times and Satellite Times magazines. His job on the MT staff was the magazines assistant / technical editor and staff journalist. He wrote for Monitoring Times magazine as a freelance writer and full-time staffer for over 30 years until that publication closed in 2013. Larry was the creative force behind a new publication Satellite Times magazine, and was the magazine’s managing editor, a position he held for more than five years.
 
He has written dozens of radio equipment reviews and several monthly columns in the pages of the former Monitoring Times including the Signals from Space, Utility World, Fedcom – Federal Monitoring column, Milcom- a military monitoring column, GlobalNet, First Look/MT Equipment/Book Reviews. Service Search, Ask Larry, and the magazine’s Whats New column.
Over the years Larry has also written 10 radio hobby books (some with multiple editions), dozens of magazine features, and numerous technical articles for a wide variety of communications publications and radio hobby club newsletters.
 
He currently resides in western North Carolina, with his wife Gayle W4GVH. They have one son, Loyd W4LVH, who is married and lives in South Carolina.
Larry is the founder and president of the Teak Publishing Company based in western North Carolina. His first e-book published under the Teak Publishing banner, the North American Enroute Aviation Guide, was an immediate Amazon #1 Best Selling Kindle eBook.
 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Russia regains control of radio facility in Cuba's Lourdes base

This article originally appeared on the Sputnik News website on July 16. 2014.

Archive. Photo: RIA Novosti
Russia has retrieved the main Soviet radio interception facility – the signals intelligence center in Cuban Lourdes, the Kommersant newspaper wrote on Wednesday. "The decision to return to Cuba can be explained by Russia's long strengthened financial capabilities, as well as cooling of relations with the US," sources in the Russian power structures said.

The base on the territory of the USSR's and Russia's most consistent ally was built in 1962 and since then, has been repeatedly renewed, satisfying the need for interception of information from American communication satellites, ground-based telecommunications cables and wiretapping the NASA's Mission Control Center on Cape Canaveral. This is facilitated by its location in the Western part of the island, only 250 kilometers from Florida's coast.

In 2001, unexpectedly for the Cubans, Russia refused to use the center, which, according to the then Minister of Defense of Cuba Raul Castro, at the moment of the collapse of the USSR provided up to 75 percent of intelligence information.

The center was closed after Vladimir Putin visited it together with Fidel Castro in December, 2000, and while speaking to the staff stated "the importance of the facility for ensuring Russia's security, the need to support its activities and development prospects." But a year later, head of the Russian General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin made a statement that the center in Lourdes was not important, was costly, and its functions could be easily transferred to modern satellites.

Cubans were able to maintain the center, having created a scientific center on its basis. Since 2004, after the deterioration of relations with the US, Russia began to consider the possibility of returning to Cuba. The talks were sharply intensified at the beginning of this year and successfully completed during Putin's visit to Havana.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US warship heads to Yemeni waters!

The Associated Press this morning is reporting that US Navy warships are headed for the waters off Yemen.

"In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.

"Navy officials said Monday that the Roosevelt was moving through the Arabian Sea. A massive ship that carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the Roosevelt is seen more of a deterrent and show of force in the region.
 
"The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea in response to reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis. Navy officials said there are about nine U.S. warships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels."
 
You can read the rest of this story at
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_IRAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT