Monday, June 25, 2007

TASCOMM Net Confirmed

While I have commented publicly on the UDXF newsgroup about my suspicions on the true identity of the widely reported UK XSS HF ALE net, I pretty much let those in Europe set the agenda regarding what this net should be called - UK DHFCS or TASCOMM?

Wellt that is now going to change. Thanks to a new intercept posted by my old friend Ary Boender to the UDXF group last week, I think the more accurate tag for this net is the UK TASCOMM HF ALE network. Based on the intercept and a report I posted on these pages last summer, I am convinced that the UK DHFCS net is not a correct identifier and does not tell the whole story. I support this conclusion with information presented in a press release at

This whole XSS-US DHFCS-TASCOMM discussion reminds me of an argument I had several years ago on an internet newsgroups with a hardhead on whether the US JCS network should be called the Scope Command Network or HF-GCS (then GHFS). Official publications eventually showed that I was right in that discussion. It was the HF-GCS network (then GHFS) and not the Scope Command Network.

The operable paragraph that pins this TASCOMM tag for me from the VT press release at the link above is:

"Under DHFCS, Terrestrial Air Sea Communications (TASCOMM) is available for use by RN, RAF and the Army. TASCOMM is a ground-air-ground, ship-shore and ground-to-ground HF radio communications service designed for NATO and National use. Previously known as STCICS, TASCOMM has its control centre at the NCS at Forest Moor with an alternative network control centre (ANCS) located at RAF Kinloss. Both the NCS and ANCS will control, transmit and receive assets around the world to provide an efficient and responsive service to the users. Combined with the introduction of new RAF and RN platform HF communications equipment supplied under separate contracts, DHFCS will take full advantage of the modern high-speed waveforms to provide rapid data throughput, eventually including HF email. ALE, ARQ and ALM techniques both simplify and speed up the process of establishing HF communication channels."

And now the intercept that Ary posted for Michael, DH5FAU in Germany:

"On June 20st at 1208 Z I logged an unusual message on the british XSS-Net on 9019,0. XSS was calling UKE307 then:

[AMD]XSS [THIS IS TASCOM ARE YOU RECEIVING MY TEXTS?]> I think that we now know who XSS is. XSS=TASCOM!!!"

In fact, XSS is the net control station for this TASCOMM net, probably with the control head located at Forest Moor (transmitters, unknown???).

So to my readers of the MT Milcom blog, in future posting I will be reporting to this and other venues the ID of the XSS ALE stations/frequencies as the TASCOMM HF ALE network, not just as the UK DHFCS. Of course, if someone else who has better contacts than me wants to set the record completely straight, drop me a note privately at the email in the masthead. But for right now, I think this XSS bunch is operating on the UK TASCOMM ALE Network.

BTW the August issue of MT has a complete writeup on freqs, addresses, etc on this net by my MT colleague, Hugh Stegman in his Ute World column. So I won't bother to steal his thunder by posting all that stuff here on these pages. The August Monitoring Times has everything you need.