Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PRC-148 JEM: First Tactically Deployed JTRS Radio

From Defense Industry Daily:
The AN/PRC-148 MBITR is the hand-held radio for USSOCOM, the most widely fielded multi-band portable radio in the US armed services, and is also in use by many NATO Special Forces. Special Operations Technology has described the 31-ounce PRC-148 multiband inter/intra team radio (MBITR) as "one of the many communications marvels that made the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq possible" thanks to its small size, software-based structure, and virtually complete interoperability with other military radios and commercial systems. With lithium ion batteries, the user can reportedly expect about 8-10 hours of life. In addition, they note, "More than one Pentagon official has singled out the MBITR for praise during recent operations in Afghanistan."

Now Thales Communication has received a $43 million order for AN/PRC-148 JTRS Enhanced MBITR, or JEM radios. They represent the first radios to be fielded for tactical use under the US military's transformational JTRS program. DID explains how the PRC-148 became so popular, and offers a glimpse into the development model that made them first out of the gate with a tactically-deployed, (partly) JTRS-compliant product.

"This item is not available for online purchase." This is, of course, due to the US Type 1 encryption capabilities included in all versions of the PRC-148. A version called the AN/PRC-6809 MBITR Clear is available without encryption, for use by militaries that would find ITAR export approval in this sensitive area difficult. It's also an option for public safety workers like police, firefighters, et. al., who either do not require encryption or are satisfied with the PRC-6809's Level III DES option.

You can read more about this radio and its capabilities at

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

NORAD fighters to patrol Super Bowl XLI

1/29/2007 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNEWS) -- The Continental U.S. NORAD Region is stepping up its air patrols in the Miami-Dade area to increase security during Super Bowl XLI activities.

Spectators will see the Air Force Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, fly over Dolphin Stadium during pregame events, and other Air Force fighter jets in the local area during the game.

The patrols are a smart, efficient way to protect American lives and resources in the region, said Maj. Gen. Henry C. Morrow, the commander of both 1st Air Force and Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.

"NORAD protects a variety of national assets across the nation on any given day," General Morrow said. "In this instance we are increasing our sorties in the Miami-Dade area as part of our continuing resolve to protect our homeland and citizens during these major events."
In preparation for Super Bowl XLI, NORAD fighters will make low approaches at several local airports Feb. 2, including Boca Raton, Pompano Beach Airpark, Fort Lauderdale Executive, Opa Locka, and Kendall-Tamiami Executive.

Air patrols are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure public safety while demonstrating NORAD's rapid response capability. NORAD has conducted air patrols throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle -- the command's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The flights will have minimal impact on aircraft in the area and are not in response to any specific threat.

"We want citizens to know that we remain dedicated to protecting their freedoms as we project our determination to preserve peace and our way of life," General Morrow said.
(Courtesy of 1st Air Force Public Affairs)

Frequencies to Monitor (courtesy of the Blog editor): 228.800 / 228.900 / 234.600 / 235.900 / 252.000* / 265.400* / 277.600* / 282.600 / 293.600* / 328.000* / 338.750 / 364.200 AICC
* denotes a probable primary frequency based on previously monitored intercepts. Request anyone in the area monitoring CAP activity please send reports to the email address in the header.

New UK RAF Volmet Frequency

This morning I tuned in a new UK Royal Air Force Volmet (MASO Shanwick) transmission frequency - 4807 kHz USB. The transmission was quite audible at 1230 UTC on DXTuner receivers in Sweden and the UK. The announcer is a computerized YL voice. She gave an ID several times, but after several tries my US ears can't seem to pluck it out. The RAF also transmits Volmet information on 5450 and 11253 kHz USB.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fengyun 1C - Now we have over 500 pieces cataloged

The worst fear of military and civilian space analyst has been realized. Yesterday and early this morning the U.S. Space Command released on their Space Track website well over 500 pieces of space debris associated with the Fengyun 1C satellite.

A check this morning shortly before 0900 EST indicated 516 pieces of debris associated with that satellite have been catalogued by NORAD after the Chinese ASAT test on January 11, 2007. Here is the range of known objects at this point:

International Designator / SSC#
1999-025E / 29716 to 1999-025AM / 29747 [Original pieces cataloged]
1999-025AN / 29748 to 1999-025LZ /29999
1999-025MA / 30001 to 1999-025WS / 30233

According to rankings released by Ted Molczan on Seesat group, this would make this Chinese ASAT test the second greatest on orbit destruction of a space object in history. The top four according to his list are:

Rank / SSN / Int Designator / Pieces
4 / 27721 / 1965-082UT / 474
3 / 27596 / 1986-019VN / 493
2 / 30233 / 1999-025WS / 516
1 / 29036 / 1994-029AET / 714

According to one analyst on SEESAT, Björn Gimle, "regarding the collision hazard, the ISS has a westward precession and Fengyun eastward; Fengyun's perigee precesses ; and the debris' high apogees decays into lower altitudes. These work together to bring more objects into the ISS' orbit. The worst week in 99 days, with as much as 99 km altitude tolerance, and 300 km range, seems to be March 8-14 with 51 "close" encounters (within 10 km altitude 0228-0306 is worse with five encounters? And this was done before I knew of the "300" new fragments. With these, I only get eight more in range, and the worst week moves back to March 9-15."

As you can see that analysis was before this next round of debris postings this morning. And all this with a March 15 Space Shuttle launch to the ISS. NASA and ISS Space Managers have to be on the edges of their chairs right now.

More as we get more details in.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Navy Weeks 2007 - Calendar Across America

Don't look now, but the Navy may be coming to your town real soon. I have posted below the 2007 schedule for the Navy Calendar Across America.

During a typical Navy Week, the Navy establishes a concentrated presence in a U.S. city, leveraging a major community event such as an air show, state fair, or large-scale festival. On average, a Navy Week garners more than a quarter million live impressions and more than 4.4 million impressions via regional media outlets.

Multiple Navy outreach assets are scheduled for the Navy Week, to include the Blue Angels, Leap Frogs, ship visits where possible, Navy Bands, namesake ship crews, flag officer speakers, SEAL (Sea, Air and Land) and EOD Explosive Ordnance Disposal) displays, DoD’s America Supports You grassroots organizations and premiere recruiting assets such as the F/A-18 flight simulator, Navy NASCAR show car, and new Accelerate Your Life Experience.

These events could offer the radio hobbyist an interesting radio monitoring event. And be sure to let us know what you monitored if you attend any of the events below.

The 2007 Calendar for America has been established as follows:

20-27 Tampa Fl / Gasparilla Pirate Festival
14-20 Galveston TX / Galveston Mardi Gras
12-18 Atlanta GA / Golden Corral 500
15-28 Phoenix/Tucson AZ / MLB spring training
16-22 Louisville KY / Thunder Over L’ville
30 Omaha NE / Offutt AFB Air Show
30 Denver CO / Cinco de Mayo Festival
01-06 Denver CO / Cinco de Mayo Festival
01-06 Omaha NE / Offutt AFB Air Show
13-19 Philadelphia PA / Stotesbury Regatta
16-26 Charlotte NC / NASCAR Speed Street
21-27 Little Rock AR / Riverfest
30-31 Chicagoland/Rockford IL / Air Show
01-10 Chicagoland/Rockford IL / Air Show
04-10 Oklahoma City OK / Star Spangled Air Show
09-17 Chattanooga TN / Riverbend Festival
20-30 New England / New England Navy Week
27-30 Detroit MI / Gold Cup Hydroplane Races
01-04 New England / New England Navy Week
01-07 Pittsburgh PA / Three Rivers Regatta
01-15 Detroit MI / Gold Cup Hydroplane Races
20-26 Indianapolis IN / Indianapolis Air Show
27-31 Cincinnati OH / Riverfest
29-31 St. Louis MO / St. Louis Air Show
01-03 Cincinnati OH / Riverfest
01-07 St. Louis MO / St. Louis Air Show
06-16 Salt Lake City UT / Utah State Fair
17-23 Memphis TN / Mid-South Air Show
01-07 Dallas TX / Texas State Fair
07-14 Twin Cities MN / Twin Cities Marathon
14-21 Raleigh NC / North Carolina State Fair
04-10 San Antonio TX / Celebrate U.S. Military Week

USAF ACC Aerial Events Schedule Jan/Feb 2007

Here is the latest schedule for the ACC Aerial Demo Teams for January/February 2007. We are still working to get the complete schedule for 2007 and will post that here when we get it from the ACC Demo office.

31 / Davis Monthan AFB, AZ / SOUTHCOM Conference / A-10 West, F-16 West

03 / Shaw AFB, SC / 77 FS Reunion / F-16 East
11 / Laredo, TX / Air Show / F-15 West
17-18 / Lima, Peru / Air Show / F-16 West (pending airlift)
18 / Daytona Beach, FL / NASCAR Daytona 500 / 4 x F-15 Flyover [2]
22 / Shaw AFB, SC / Chaplains Day / F-16 East
24-25 / San Salvador, El Salvador / Air Show / A-10 West

Thunderbirds to kick off Super Bowl XLI

Blog Editor Note: If you need T-Bird frequencies for the Super Bowl flyover we have our annual air show column from Monitoring Times online in Adobe PDF format for download. You can get our latest online edition (2006) at

And the cost is free!

The March 2007 MT is in final production and it will include my new 8th annual air show guide, articles on attending/monitoring the Andrews AFB air show, and an exclusive look at the 193rd SOW. This issue always sells out so you might want to get your subscription started now so you don't miss this or any other issue of Monitoring Times - the world's No. 1 radio hobby monitoring magazine.

1/26/2007 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNEWS) -- The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, is scheduled to perform a flyby of Dolphin Stadium during Super Bowl XLI Feb. 4 over Miami.

The team's red, white and blue F-16 Fighting Falcons will roar over in their signature six-ship Delta formation at the conclusion of the national anthem flying at approximately 500 feet and 450 mph.

"We are honored to participate in the Super Bowl, especially this year, as the United States Air Force commemorates our 60th Anniversary," said Lt. Col. Kevin Robbins, the Thunderbirds commander and leader.

The Super Bowl is the nation's highest-rated TV program annually. According to the NFL, more than 141 million viewers in the U.S. tuned into last year's game. Super Bowl XLI will be broadcast to a potential worldwide audience of 1 billion in more than 230 countries and territories.

Flying over the Super Bowl is just one of many events the Thunderbirds will participate in during 2007 to commemorate the Air Force's six decades of air and space power."
The Thunderbirds are an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and approximately 120 enlisted Airmen performing in more than 25 career specialties.

"Our job is to represent the thousands of Airmen who serve their country on a daily basis, including more than 35,000 of those fighting on the front lines in the war on terrorism," Colonel Robbins said.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group to Surge Deploy

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group (CSG), with more than 5,000 sailors, will surge deploy Jan. 27, while USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.
The Ronald Reagan CSG is deploying under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP) and will operate in the western Pacific in support of U.S. commitments in the region. FRP provides the U.S. with the ability to respond to any global commitment with flexible and sustainable forces and the ability to rapidly respond to a range of situations on short notice.
The Ronald Reagan CSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio, is comprised of Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7 (CCG 7), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Detachment 15.
"Our nation relies on flexible, credible forces forward deployed, ready for immediate employment to address the challenges we face today. Being able to project forces both rotationally and through surge readiness makes us more effective and responsive," Martoglio said.
The squadrons of CVW-14 include the Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) the Redcocks of VFA-22, the Fist of the Fleet of VFA-25, the Stingers of VFA-113, the Eagles of VFA-115, the Black Eagles of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the Cougars of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, Providers of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 30 and the Black Knights of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.
The Ronald Reagan CSG returned from its maiden six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and western Pacific Ocean in July. During its maiden deployment, the Ronald Reagan CSG supported Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, conducted maritime security operations, and participated in joint and coalition exercises and operations with many countries and U.S. military services.
"We've maintained a high operational tempo since we returned from deployment, and our ability to surge now is a testament to the hard work of this crew in keeping the ship battle ready," said Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president; its motto, "Peace Through Strength," was a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Canforces CF-18 Hornet Demo 2007 Team Sked

The Canadian CF-18 Hornet flight demonstration team has released their 2007 show schedule. They will attend one air show in the U.S. and one in the United kingdom this year. The rest will be scattered over 6 Canadian Provinces.

The CF-18 Hornet National Demonstration Team is part of 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, based at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. 410 Cougar Squadron began at Ayr, Scotland, on June 30, 1941 as a night-fighter unit involved in the defence of Great Britain. Flying single-engined Defiants, the Squadron was operationally ready in August and moved to Drem, near the Firth of Forth.

2-3 Southport, Manitoba
9-10 CFB Bagotville, Quebec
16-17 Ottawa, Ontario
20 Owen Sound, Ontario
23-24 St. Thomas, Ontario
30 Evansville, Indiana

1 Evansville, Indiana
7 CFB Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
13-15 RAF Fairford, United Kingdom
28-29 Peace River, Alberta

4-5 Lethbridge, Alberta
10-12 Abbotsford, British Columbia
18-19 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
25-26 St. Catharines, Ontario
29 Brantford, Ontario

1-3 Toronto, Ontario
8-9 Halifax, Nova Scotia

And don't forget our eighth annual Air Show Guide that will appear in the March 2007 issue of Monitoring Times magazine is getting closer to release. It will be loaded with the latest frequencies (for U.S. and foreign teams), combined schedules, and radio equipment recommendations to make your air show experience an enjoyable and pleasurable one.

The web version of our March guide won't be posted to the MT website until mid to late April. This is done as a courtesy to our subscribers and readers who pay the freight. So get your copy of the March issue from your favorite newstand before it sells out (released in the last week of February). Better yet, get a subscription and don't miss a single exciting issue of Monitoring Times magazine. For more details visit

Chinese ASAT Test Update 3

My old friend and former Satellite Times colleague, Dr. TS Kelso, has put up some nice static shots with some pretty cool animations related to the Chinese ASAT test on his Celestrak website. You can view all of this at You will need an AGI viewer to watch the animations. You can get that download (free) using the instructions at the bottom of the webpage above.

As of this posting, there are still only 32 debris fragments in the SSC. Either the early press reports on this event of a lot more fragments were overinflated, or the folks at NORAD are holding those additional fragments from public disclosure. Personally the later scenario seems more likely. No sense in giving away any secrets about the capabilities of the military space surveillance system we use. Guess I am going to have to go up to 216.980 MHz (Continuous Wave) and listen to the fence for some of these objects.

A couple of days ago the elsets that follow was posted to one of the space related internet newsgroups.

1 29747U 99025AM 07023.56407695 .00007834 00000-0 25342-1 0 101
2 29747 100.1554 008.4028 1558145 118.7696 257.8945 10.98182180 790

1 29746U 99025AL 07023.52122785 .00005209 00000-0 17182-1 0 84
2 29746 098.8709 008.6680 1379239 122.0906 252.1432 11.28055527 806

1 29745U 99025AK 07022.88000165 .00011797 00000-0 38249-1 0 84
2 29745 098.8045 008.3010 1370855 122.8150 251.2410 11.30226504 631

1 29744U 99025AJ 07022.92408167 .00004296 00000-0 13326-1 0 76
2 29744 099.8053 008.4497 1358262 122.0417 251.9808 11.34707238 805

1 29743U 99025AH 07023.26564441 .00008760 00000-0 25746-1 0 92
2 29743 099.7993 008.7134 1365876 120.1595 254.1957 11.35877517 788

1 29742U 99025AG 07023.50282117 .00024182 00000-0 75466-1 0 73
2 29742 099.6868 008.8786 1332094 127.6101 245.3589 11.38643569 865

1 29741U 99025AF 07023.15934099 .00000530 00000-0 14857-2 0 75
2 29741 099.1817 009.2973 1065618 121.9753 248.9378 11.91040578 934

1 29740U 99025AE 07023.35087885 .00000250 00000-0 71430-3 0 78
2 29740 099.0073 009.4849 1034757 125.5713 244.6315 11.97311749 959

1 29739U 99025AD 07023.50165947 .00005304 00000-0 12466-1 0 76
2 29739 099.1328 010.0265 0906475 128.6718 239.8877 12.24959121 1249

1 29738U 99025AC 07023.48683155 .00000601 00000-0 13960-2 0 74
2 29738 099.4695 010.3799 0806857 126.8984 240.8797 12.43799522 1017

1 29737U 99025AB 07023.55331542 .00000385 00000-0 88902-3 0 79
2 29737 099.5783 010.6160 0754943 124.2411 243.2529 12.53908238 1090

1 29736U 99025AA 07022.48062239 .00000331 00000-0 76037-3 0 69
2 29736 099.4392 009.7780 0733149 121.2931 246.2037 12.58144536 1141

1 29735U 99025Z 07023.49007075 .00000390 00000-0 87059-3 0 79
2 29735 099.3780 010.6241 0721588 115.8302 251.8962 12.60810452 1091

1 29734U 99025Y 07023.50448246 .00000397 00000-0 82037-3 0 77
2 29734 099.1429 010.8162 0646240 112.9841 254.0730 12.76536434 1415

1 29733U 99025X 07023.48589236 .00000041 00000-0 12877-3 0 80
2 29733 099.2096 010.9966 0595561 126.4917 239.2578 12.87183524 1315

1 29732U 99025W 07023.50453794 .00011517 00000-0 77803-3 0 81
2 29732 098.8993 014.3324 0307710 299.3374 057.7205 14.75484184 1466

1 29731U 99025V 07023.50386682 .00026310 00000-0 18081-2 0 91
2 29731 098.9409 014.3613 0301523 294.1868 062.7790 14.75753423 1208

1 29730U 99025U 07023.16379600 .00029781 00000-0 20314-2 0 91
2 29730 098.8857 013.9510 0301870 295.5731 061.4161 14.75910773 1440

1 29729U 99025T 07023.16138554 .00024545 00000-0 16417-2 0 92
2 29729 098.9305 013.9855 0304419 295.2754 061.6912 14.76157375 1520

1 29728U 99025S 07022.75332484 .00013304 00000-0 85982-3 0 76
2 29728 099.1808 013.6933 0311699 302.5405 054.5912 14.76187137 1381

1 29727U 99025R 07023.42451586 .00044173 00000-0 28042-2 0 100
2 29727 098.8406 014.2322 0305861 294.0965 062.8133 14.77458071 1600

1 29726U 99025Q 07023.13878412 .00010832 00000-0 47670-3 0 78
2 29726 099.1952 014.2106 0360915 316.9809 040.3661 14.78998480 1231

1 29725U 99025P 07022.91792687 .00032899 00000-0 10259-2 0 70
2 29725 097.9767 013.1997 0393629 321.9947 035.3820 14.81700494 1492

1 29724U 99025N 07023.51298744 .00041070 00000-0 14606-2 0 117
2 29724 099.0961 014.6515 0366411 312.4457 044.5979 14.83466086 1431

1 29723U 99025M 07023.41442734 .00029620 00000-0 89017-3 0 87
2 29723 098.9746 014.5314 0369701 304.6753 052.0088 14.87272308 1129

1 29722U 99025L 07023.51727699 .00040032 00000-0 83797-3 0 93
2 29722 098.9141 014.6918 0392541 306.1323 050.3979 14.91500305 1515

1 29721U 99025K 07023.48803008 .00059247 00000-0 10272-2 0 126
2 29721 098.9971 014.7962 0393163 299.2981 056.9085 14.95537387 1253

1 29720U 99025J 07022.93605049 .00323329 00000-0 57131-2 0 107
2 29720 098.9542 014.1826 0362860 297.2192 059.1041 15.00736564 1365

1 29719U 99025H 07023.46000352 .00150504 68572-5 14168-2 0 165
2 29719 099.0245 014.8723 0429081 312.4602 044.0611 15.00468662 1573

1 29718U 99025G 07023.52077542 .00228579 12993-4 13557-2 0 137
2 29718 099.2617 015.3329 0417897 279.9121 075.4346 15.10804265 1319

1 29717U 99025F 07023.48157323 .00463120 47536-4 21988-2 0 149
2 29717 100.3941 016.2900 0395543 291.1443 064.6185 15.19119627 1538

1 29716U 99025E 07023.52695506 .01394895 33843-5 84444-3 0 162
2 29716 099.4442 016.0514 0371283 275.8180 080.0741 15.49414372 1563

1 25733U 99025D 07022.96427767 +.00000207 +00000-0 +13073-3 0 02241
2 25733 098.6098 018.3029 0015029 209.8596 150.1724 14.14126392397485

CZ-4 R/B
1 25732U 99025C 07022.50393907 +.00000067 +00000-0 +53636-4 0 04334
2 25732 098.5452 016.1439 0037608 162.4420 197.8066 14.17130222398539

1 25731U 99025B 07023.52761450 -.00000033 00000-0 53029-5 0 9479
2 25731 098.6338 013.6972 0016564 229.2338 130.7397 14.11832734397188

1 25730U 99025A 07 16.60112448 .00000048 00000-0 29058-4 0 9329
2 25730 098.6469 006.2281 0014921 004.1687 356.0079 14.06556409396135

Based on these elsets here is a breakdown:

1999-025E 29716 746 x 167 99.443
1999-025F 29717 805 x 238 100.394
1999-025G 29718 837 x 246 99.261
1999-025H 29719 873 x 268 99.023
1999-025J 29720 833 x 314 98.961
1999-025K 29721 858 x 308 98.994
1999-025L 29722 869 x 320 98.910
1999-025M 29723 867 x 348 98.976
1999-025N 29724 877 x 362 99.100
1999-025P 29725 902 x 348 97.978
1999-025Q 29726 886 x 379 99.197
1999-025R 29727 854 x 424 98.842
1999-025S 29728 861 x 422 99.178
1999-025T 29729 856 x 428 98.929
1999-025U 29730 856 x 430 98.883
1999-025V 29731 856 x 431 98.938
1999-025W 29732 860 x 428 98.898
1999-025X 29733 1771 x 855 99.211
1999-025Y 29734 856 x 855 99.142
1999-025Z 29735 982 x 857 99.377
1999-025AA 29736 2003 x 858 99.437
1999-025AB 29737 2039 x 857 99.574
1999-025AC 29738 2116 x 856 99.472
1999-025AD 29739 2290 x 852 99.132
1999-025AE 29740 2528 x 858 99.005
1999-025AF 29741 2584 x 858 99.177
1999-025AG 29742 3079 x 859 99.261
1999-025AH 29743 3116 x 848 99.792
1999-025AJ 29744 3121 x 854 99.805
1999-025AK 29745 3160 x 860 98.813
1999-025AL 29746 3180 x 860 98.877
1999-025AM 29747 3499 x 845 100.158

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

NORAD exercise planned for Washington D.C.

Regarding a previous article on this blog, we still have not seen the name change that public affairs officials at NEADS said was coming after the NEADS-SEADS merger. Guess this reporter will have to get back on the phone.

Release courtesy of Michael Kucharek, Alan Henney and the SCAN-DC newsgroup.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct Exercise Falcon Virgo 07-04 Thursday in the National Capital Region (Washington, D.C.).

This exercise comprises a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, and NORAD's Northeastern Air Defense Sector.

Exercise Falcon Virgo 07-04 is designed to test NORAD's intercept and identification operations. Civil Air Patrol aircraft, C-38s, and US Coast Guard HH-65 helicopters will participate in the exercise. Residents in the area can expect flights to occur during the late night and early morning hours.

In the event of inclement weather the exercise will push to the next day, until all exercise requirements are met.

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD's rapid response capability. NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

As the Continental United States (CONUS) geographical component of the bi-national command NORAD, CONR provides airspace surveillance and control, and directs air sovereignty activities for the CONUS region. CONR and its assigned Air Force assets throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,100 possible air threats in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 42,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stennis Strike Group Begins Transit Toward 5th Fleet

Photo: San Diego (Jan. 19, 2007) – The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) makes an early morning arrival in San Diego. Stennis is stopping in San Diego to embark Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) and will be joined by USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Preble (DDG 88) to begin a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gary Prill (RELEASED)

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gethings, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- Elements of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group left San Diego, Jan. 20, after picking up Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, and began steaming west toward the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which left its Bremerton, Wash., homeport Jan. 16, spent one day in port on-loading the air wing, and departed San Diego with the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88).

The guided missile destroyers USS O’Kane (DDG 77) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, will join the group in transit.

Stennis and its strike group are scheduled to enter 5th Fleet’s area of operation and provide support to U.S. and coalition forces operating there.

“We will support Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, the Horn of Africa and maritime security operations with the purpose to provide regional and global stability,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 3. “We’ve been preparing for this deployment for more than one year, we have trained and trained so that we are completely combat ready.”

Since the beginning of 2006, Stennis has been completing required training events, qualifications and inspections, all leading up to certification as a combat-ready ship. Stennis has also conducted numerous exercises with its air wing and strike group in preparation for this deployment.

“We are ready, we are sustainable, we are flexible and we provide awesome combat capability,” said Quinn. “Just the fact there are going to be two carrier strike groups operating in that region could deter any state or non-state sponsored organizations from doing something we wouldn’t want them to do.”

With its air wing embarked and its strike group assembled Stennis will steam toward the Persian Gulf and provide unmatched capability and flexibility wherever it is needed in the region.

“Not much else matters aside from the fact that when we send up aircraft, they’ll be supporting our troops already fighting,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Edison Grace of air department. “I have friends on the ground out there and I’m looking forward to sending up planes to hopefully assist them in what they’re doing.”

Grace has been aboard the Stennis since May but has done two deployments to the Persian Gulf during his tour aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

“I think we all know why we’re there and we’ll be taking it one day at a time, rather two launches at a time,” Grace said. “I’ve been looking forward to this deployment the entire year, in fact, for the last four years.”

Latest revision signed to space operations doctrine

by Lt. Col. Mary-Claire McCarthy
Headquarters Air Force Doctrine Center
1/22/2007 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNEWS) -- The Air Force chief of staff has approved the latest revision to Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2, Space Operations, outlining the operations of space power.
"As a keystone doctrine document, it emphasizes the force multiplying and enabling nature of space operations," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
"It is our job as Airmen to operate and organize space forces based on the premises articulated in this doctrine," the general said.
This latest revision updates Air Force space doctrine based on recent operational experience. Some of the highlights of the document include the definition of the space coordinating authority, the joint force air and space component commander's role as the supported commander for counterspace operations, and the responsibility of the director of space forces. The document describes space integration considerations for planners based on observations during recent military operations, and explains the space air and space operations center, which now operates as the joint space operations center.
Space forces support the joint force-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; positioning, navigation and timing; weather services; counterspace; communications; and spacelift. Airmen trained in the operation and employment of space operational concepts and forces integrate air and space power with joint forces on a daily basis.
This space operations doctrine has been updated significantly since the previous publication of AFDD 2-2 in 2001. It describes the integration of space power across the range of military operations. Specifically, it recommends a command and control construct for space operations found to be extremely effective in recent operations.
You can download this new publication at

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fengyun 1C Orbital Debris Saturday PM Update

Courtesy of the Jonathan Space Report at, Jonathan McDowell is reporting that the Fengyun 1C satellite (1999-025A) was in an orbit of 862 x 843 km inclined 98.7 degrees prior to the ASAT intercept on January 11, 2007. And based on the post intercept debris orbital data he is reporting, "a wide range of heights indicating an energetic fragmentation with delta-Vs of -190 to +550 m/s. Of course, we are missing the tail of dV significantly less than -190 since those objects would reenter immediately."

As of 1430 UTC this morning, the catalogued piece I saw in the lowest orbit was 1999-025E in a 746 x 167 km orbit inclined at 99.443 degrees. The debris piece in the highest orbit was 1999-025AM in a 3499 x 845 km orbit inclined at 100.158 degrees.

A quick check of my database shows the biggest threat from this debris field at this point is to the polar orbiting, sun-synchronous DoD DMSP weather satellites. These satellites are basically in the same orbit height and inclination (850 x 840 km inclined 98.8 degrees) as some of the debris from the Fengyun 1C. I should also note that our KH-12 photo imaging satellites in both the east and west planes could have a very small threat of collision.

Current sat track prediction runs of the known debris and the few satellites in the vicinity which we have info on show no immediate danger of collision. But if reports by CNN and other agency are accurate, we may have a much larger number of objects in this debris field that have not been catalogued yet.

The CNN story estimated the debris field at 40,000 pieces, which seems a bit excessive. If there are that many objects from this event, then the NORAD space catalog will more than double in size and they will be passing out the Excedrin in the granite mountain for some time to come. But based on everything I have seen so far, I am not convinced we are dealing with as many objects as CNN is quoting in their report.

I might add that there has been one instance of a collision in this portion of orbital space. On January 17, 2005, at 0214 UTC, there was a collision between a DMSP 5B F5 rocket body (Thor-Burner 2A final stage) 1974-015B/07219 (885 x 775 km, 99.1 deg inclination)
and debris from a Chinese CZ-4 third stage 1999-057CV/26207 (895 x 700 km, 98.2 deg inclination). The CZ-4 debris was created during an explosion on 11 March 2000. Orbit at the time of this collision was 895 x 700 km.

There were more than 300 objects cataloged from the CZ-4 propellant-induced breakup. As of 17 Jan 2005 there was a total of 176 pieces remaining in orbit. This collision created two new pieces of debris from the DMSP rocket body according to the Orbital Debris Progam Office at the Johnson Space Center.

So it looks like this retrograde orbital area already has quite a few objects from a previous encouter.

Latest radio technology declared ready

Photo: Prior to departing Camp Liberty for an eight-hour patrol through Baghdad, Staff Sgt. Justin Geers (inside vehicle) relays the number of people and vehicles in his patrol to Army Sgt. Bronwen Thompson. Once outside the camp, communication assets are critical. Sergeant Geers is the Air Force security forces squad leader. Sergeant Geers and his 12-member squad are assigned to the 732nd Expeditionary Mission Support Group's Detachment 7. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Scott Wagers)

by Staff Sgt. Francesca Popp
U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs
1/19/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- For nearly a year, the Air Force has developed and tested a communications system allowing commanders to talk directly to troops operating convoys outside the bases.
Today, Radio over Internet Protocol Router network, or RIPRnet has earned its initial operational capablity title, achieving a critical milestone in the program's short history.
More specifically, it has helped how convoys in Iraq conduct command-and-control operations.
"It enables, for the first time, the Army to pull hundreds of Soldiers back inside the wire to the main operating bases, rather than keeping them stationed at small outposts along roadsides," said Lt. Col. Marty Schlacter, the Combined Air Operations Center's Architectures and
Integration Division chief. "It provides senior decision makers with the ability to determine the proper air and ground mix supporting convoy operations, thus freeing up aircraft for other high-priority missions."
As the division chief, Colonel Schlacter oversaw the RIPRnet developers, installers, maintainers and support teams. He said the system also accelerates the response times for emergency and recovery forces by directly receiving distress calls and not relying on a third party.
RIPRnet was originally designed to have direct voice communications with people working in the CAOC and the fighter aircraft patrolling the skies over Baghdad -- more than 700 miles away.
"After proving itself in that role, it was expanded to allow air support operations center controllers to talk to close-air support aircraft flying over Iraq on a standby orbit," said Colonel Schlacter, who is deployed from Air Mobility Command Latest headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. "(The network) then expanded to provide Soldiers and Marines with the ability to directly contact logistical convoys anywhere on Iraq's main supply routes."
RIPRnet extends the range and flexibility for communications, covering areas that might have been dead spots before.
"RIPRnet has allowed our (tactical radios) to transmit and receive FM communications over a far greater area than our alternate (radios) are capable of," said Army Sgt. Maj. Danny Toivonen, the operations sergeant major for a tactical operations center at Balad Air Base, Iraq. "The system has allowed our (radios) to keep a more consistent communication link with convoys throughout the area of operations."
While this latest technological advance is not replacing current communications, it does provide another avenue for senior leaders to talk directly with the warfighters. RIPRnet can be anywhere users want it to be, as long as they have a long-haul circuit to get it there, Colonel Schlacter said.
The colonel explained how the RIPRnet is best used by convoys traveling across Iraq. Before RIPRnet, once a convoy left a forward-operating base, it would lose traditional radio communications after several miles.
"With RIPRnet, the origination point can maintain direct audio contact with the convoy throughout the day or night, regardless of whose battlespace they're in, or how far they have traveled," Colonel Schlacter said. "It provides the ability to perform true end-to-end (command and control) from origination to destination, and anywhere in between." Initially, the troops in the convoys were hard to convince.
"The convoy controllers/operators now using RIPRnet were the most skeptical as we developed the system. Who can blame them? Their lives are on the line every day in those convoys," said Col. Mike Lewis, CAOC coalition director of command, control, computers and communications.
"They are now our biggest advocates."
The newfound advocates are spreading the word about RIPRnet.
"The system is excellent," Sergeant Major Toivonen said, who noted that other units have asked if they can get the system in their tactical operations centers. "The convoys are reassured they will be able to reach assistance throughout the area of operations. It provides a direct link for convoys to request medical evacuations, quick-response forces and recovery assets in case of an emergency."
For the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who use RIPRnet, it means they will have persistent, clear, secure and reliable communications across the battlefield.
"RIPRnet, as a program, is just getting started. As we move forward, RIPRnet will continue to expand to new missions and enhance operations in ways we never could have envisioned," Colonel Lewis said. "It will save the lives of troops we have never even met. As an Airman, it simply doesn't get any better than that."

China’s satellite shootdown has military, diplomatic implications

Link below to story and analysis on the Chinese ASAT test by by veteran space analyst James Oberg for MSNBC.!F7E9DD3DF4C05C45!196.entry

Friday, January 19, 2007

AWST Chinese ASAT Story

Below is a link to the original story on the Chinese ASAT test by Aviation Week and Space Technology senior editor Craig Covault that was posted to their website at 7:45:59 pm on January 17, 2007.

Chinese use missile to destroy an orbiting satellite

The Chinese, on January 11, successfully launched an anti-satellite missile which rammed and destroyed one of their old sun-synchronous orbit weather satellites - Fengyun 1C (1999-025A/25730). At the time of its destruction Fengyun 1C was in a 875 x 867 km orbit (102.38 minute period) inclined 98.59 degrees. This satellite was launched on May 10, 1999.

As of this writing NORAD has officially cataloged 32 objects (1999-025E to 1999-025AM/29716 to 29747) that now pollute a vital area of space (sun-synchronous polar orbit). There are over 125 satellites that operate in this portion of space. At the top of this page I have posted a plot of the 32 objects as seen around 1400 UTC. As you can see from the plot the objects are pretty much scattered over the entire orbit of the old Fengyun 1C.

An Aviation Week and Space Technology article, which first reported the test, stated that the Fengyun 1C satellite, "was attacked by an ASAT (anti-satellite) system launched from or near the Xichang Space Center." This event was the first successful test of the missile after three failures.

According to the AWST article, a government official said that U.S. "space tracking sensors" confirmed that the satellite is no longer in orbit and that the collision produced "hundreds of pieces of debris," that also are being tracked. As we mentioned above, NORAD has only catalogued 32 of the objects so far.

This is an immediate theat to anything in low earth orbit (900 km and below). This includes our low earth orbit military imaging satellites (Lacrosse/KH-12) and military weather satellites (DMSP). There is no indication based on this first successful ASAT mission that the Chinese can threaten other vital constellation of satellites such as our GPS navigation satellites or military communication platforms, which are in a much higher orbits. But we will have to see further test of this system to determine the full capability of this Chinese ASAT system.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Drugs Seized in East Pac Off-loaded in Mayport

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Holly Boynton, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) dropped off 20 tons of seized drugs here Jan. 12, as the ship returns for a brief maintenance period during its counter-narco terrorism deployment in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) and Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South.

The ship deployed in October to patrol the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific, supporting the broader effort of U.S. law enforcement agencies and partner nations to interdict illegal contraband. The Bradley will return to sea after the maintenance period to complete its interdiction mission.

“Counter-Narco operations are truly a joint effort,” said Robert G. Bradley Commanding Officer, Cmdr. James Cody. “The information we receive points us in the right direction, the helicopter squadron detachment provides tracking and the U.S. Coast Guard Detachment onboard performs the actual law enforcement actions. With the large area of water we cover, these operations would not happen without all of these players.”

The ship’s seizures were crucial in delivering evidence to U.S. attorneys, aiding prosecution efforts against the accused narcotics smugglers.

NAVSO is the Navy component for SOUTHCOM and directs U.S. naval forces operating in the 16 million square miles of seas and oceans encompassing the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific, and interact with Coast Guards and navies within Latin America to enhance maritime security.
NAVSO coordinated with joint forces to disrupt the smuggling of 99 metric tons of cocaine in 2005, and over 106 metric tons through December 2006, with 2,250 flight hours in support of the counter-narcotics mission.


USS Trenton (LPD-14) Decomms

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS Trenton (LPD 14), was decommissioned January 17, 2007, in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk. Immediately following the decommissioning, Trenton was recommissioned and transferred to the Indian Navy, bearing the name INS Jalashwa. The event marks the first time a U.S. Navy vessel has been transferred to the Indian navy.

Royal Australia/New Zealand Air Force HF Profile

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF/Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Air Operations Communications System (AOCS) is a high frequency radio network providing communications services for the operational control of RAAF/RNZAF aircraft and HF equipped marine craft [army ground stations are also commonly heard]. In addition, visiting military aircraft may use the AOCS when contact with Australia/New Zealand military authorities is required. The AOCS is not part of, and does not provide, an air traffic control service, civil or military.

The AOCS network consist of six Air Operations Communications Centres (AOCCs) located at Sydney, Darwin, Townsville, Perth, Auckland [NZ] and Woodbourn [NZ]. The combined AOCS provides:

  • A General Purpose Net (GPN) on which all AOCCs guard the same three frequencies. All AOCCs can transmit and receive on these three frequencies simultaneously.
  • Discrete frequencies are available (if required) at each AOCC and allocated after initial contact on the GPN.
  • Telephone patch facilities between aircraft and ground appointments.
  • Continuous monitoring of military distress frequency 5696 kHz.
  • Selective Calling (SELCAL): Available to suitably equipped aircraft.

    GPN Frequencies:
    Day (2100-0900 UTC) 8974.0 11235.0 13206.0 kHz
    Night (0900-2100 UTC) 3032.0 5687.0 8974.0 kHz
    Military Distress 5696.0 kHz

    The RAAF and RNZAF share 8974 kHz with the Spanish Air Force, and 5687 kHz with the Portugese and German military services.

    Discrete frequencies
    RAAF Darwin 6685.0 6709.0 6712.0 6727.0 6760.0 8968.0 8971.0 8989.0 9025.0 11187.0 11199.0 11205.0 11271.0 kHz

    RAAF Perth 6757.0 8977.0 9022.0 9025.0 11187.0 11271.0 15085.0 18003.0 23203.0 kHz

    RAAF Sydney 4715.0 5711.0 6730.0 6739.0 8971.0 8980.0 8989.0 8992.0 9007.0 9019.0 9031.0 11202.0 11208.0 11226.0 11250.0 13227.0 13245.0 13248.0 15067.0 17985.0 kHz

    RAAF Townsville 5714.0 8971.0 8992.0 9007.0 11187.0 11247.0 15034.0 kHz

    RNZAF Auckland 6754.0 6760.0 8965.0 9010.0 9025.0 11178.0 11217.0 11247.0 13212.0 13233.0 13245.0 15044.0 15055.0 kHz

    AOCS Callsigns
    Voice Callsign - Location
    ANZAC - ASAOCS/NZAOCS Collective Air Force
    Air Force Australia - ASAOCS Collective
    Air Force New Zealand - NZAOCS Collective
    Air Force Auckland - AOCC Auckland
    Air Force Darwin - AOCC Darwin
    Air Force Perth - AOCC Perth
    Air Force Sydney - AOCC Sydney
    Air Force Townsville - AOCC Townsville

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)

    If you are looking for military aircraft voice traffic you will find a considerable amount on the U.S. Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) phone patch network frequencies. The primary frequencies used are 13927.1 and 20992.1 kHz. These are fun and interesting frequencies to monitor and you will be surprised at who uses this net and the traffic they pass (official and unofficial).

    Frequency/Designator Matrix (USB mode)

    13927.1/ACB (Primary)

    MARS conducts a phone patch admin net on Sundays at 1600 UTC on 13977.1 kHz (ACC).

    Stennis Deploys with Carrier Strike Group 3

    BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors said goodbye to their family members and friends Jan. 16, as the ship departed Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton for San Diego to onload Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9. The carrier, with its embarked air wing, USS Antietam (CG 54), and USS Preble (DDG 88), will deploy from San Diego Saturday, Jan. 20.

    USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) will deploy from their homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

    Stennis is the flagship for Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 3, headed by Rear Adm. Kevin M. Quinn.

    Stennis’ embarked air wing consists of the F/A-18C Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye 2000, C-2A Greyhound and SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk. The aircraft can be used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the CSG or other friendly ships, and implement a sea or air blockade.

    The John C. Stennis Strike Group will operate in the Persian Gulf region with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, already in the Central Command Area of Operations. The presence of two aircraft carriers, while not unprecedented, demonstrates U.S. resolve to bring security and stability to the region.

    These strike groups will support Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, and will conduct Maritime Security operations. They will also work closely with allies to build regional security and long-term stability.

    Stennis has a flight deck of about 4.5 acres and towers nearly seven stories above the sea. The ship is capable of carrying a crew of about 5,600 sailors, more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel, 70 aircraft, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment.

    The ship's two nuclear reactors give it virtually unlimited range and endurance, and a top speed in excess of 30 knots. The ship’s four catapults and four arresting gear engines enable it to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously.

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Milair Spectrum Hole List Part 4

    When reporting activity on any of the spectrum hole frequencies in our list, be sure to pass along any info that can help identify the user and frequency usage. Also let us know if you want your catch listed here and how you want to be identified. This list is valid for ITU Region 2 only (North/Central/South America). Other areas of the world have their own bandplans. Note: Any frequency below that is bolded should be watched very closely and those marked with an asterick are our highest priority frequency monitoring targets.Our highest priority spectrum monitor list currently consist of the following frequencies (from parts 1, 2 and 3). If you hear anything on these frequencies below please notify me as soon as possible. High Priority Spectrum Hole frequencies: 233.600 252.300 252.600 277.300 293.900 and 298.200 MHz.

    Spectrum Hole List Part 4 (300-324.975 MHz)
    302.2750 302.3250 302.3500 303.0250 305.2250 305.3250 305.4250 305.4750 305.5250 305.6750 305.7750 305.8750 305.9250 305.9750 306.1250 306.1500 306.2750 306.3250 306.4250 306.4750 306.6250 306.6500 306.6750 306.7250 306.8250 307.4500 307.4750 307.7750 307.8250 307.8750 307.9250 308.1500 308.2250 308.3250 308.3750 308.4750 308.5250 308.6250 308.6750 308.7250 308.8250 308.9750 309.0250 309.1250 309.1750 309.2250 309.2750 309.3750 309.7250 309.7500 309.8500 309.8750 309.9250 310.0250 310.0500 310.1250 310.1750 310.2250 310.2750 310.3750 310.4750 310.5750 310.7250 310.7750 310.8750 310.9750 311.0250 311.0750 311.1750 311.2250 311.2750 311.3250 311.3500 311.4500 311.4750 311.8750 311.9250 311.9750 312.0250 312.0500 312.1250 312.1750 313.5250 313.6250 313.6500 313.6750 313.7750 313.8750 313.9250 313.9500 313.9750 314.1500 314.3250 315.7750 316.3500 316.3750 316.4250 316.4750 316.8750 316.9250 317.3750 317.8750 317.9250 318.2250 318.3250 318.3500 318.4250 318.4750 318.5250 318.6250 318.7500 318.7750 318.8250 318.8750 319.0250 319.0750 319.1250 319.1750 320.6250 320.9750 322.2500 322.5750 322.8500 322.8750 322.9250 323.3500 323.3750 323.6750 323.7250 323.7750 323.8250 323.8500 323.8750 323.9750 324.0750 324.1250 324.2250 324.2750 324.5250 324.5500 324.5750 324.6750 324.7750 324.8750

    Frequencies in bold are priority frequencies to monitor.

    And some input from our last spectrum hole list (part 3) posted on this blog on 25 Oct 2006 from a source which wishes to remain anonymous.

    These first three frequencies date back to the 2003-2004 timeframe. I have little info for the frequencies as the transmissions were either brief or weak.

    277.825- pilot to pilot with basic check-in on frequency with brief status of aircraft calls.
    278.825- some very weak aerial combat manuevering type transmissions here
    284.550-very brief aircraft comms that went unidentified.

    Now for the active ones out of the list.

    278.650- this is an active air/air frequency that I have listed for Eglin since the first contacts were the yukon, nomad and mozam flights believed to be flying out of Eglin. However I recently heard Suds flight giving the"gear" call and then switching to button 2 (tyndall's tower 384.4) for landing there. It has been active over the past couple of years though.

    291.825- Heard throughout 2005. First contact was Spade flight working with project going through different flight maneuvers for project. During the flight a Rhett flight refueling tanker came up and the Spade flight worked the tanker's boom on this frequency. Several different flights used this frequency during 2005, but haven't seen activity on it since around the first of this year.

    298.025- Another project/chamber frequency. First heard viper flight working with project going through different flight tests. On 11/15/06-Bat 1, Widget 48, Chamber/Project were working "range clear" and then into drone launch/shootdown/and recovery comms here. This frequency used since March of 2005. Note on 298.025-This frequency was paired with 314.4 which at one time was used with 287.2 which I heard refered to as Eglin Safety. I believe they were also using Eglin's range frequency of 379.3. Heard it mentioned and there seemed to be some kind of telemetry signal on the channel. Also they were said to be working on H.F., but I never found them on any of the standard air force frequencies I had in my radio. At one point the H.F. frequency was said to be 338.4! Not sure about the decimal placement but heard nothing on 3384 khz. Within the last couple of weeks the 395.125 frequency that was abandoned for the Tyndall inland range frequency was being used by Darkstar in a mission with the Yucca flights I have listed out of Eglin. I didn't have time to try and find the other frequencies in use and just noticed the 395.125 was active and listened in for a few minutes.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Latest USA-193 Element Set

    Below courtesy of Ted Molczan and the SEESAT-L newsgroup:

    USA 193 5.0 2.5 0.0 4.2 v
    1 29651U 06057A 07012.69691925 .00019503 00000-0 15509-3 0 02
    2 29651 58.4987 356.4057 0008821 89.8952 270.3144 15.70648197 05
    Arc 2007 Jan 11.05 - 12.71, WRMS residuals = 0.012 deg

    This result is based on a new observation, by Alberto Rango:
    29651 06 057A 4541 G 20070112165621400 17 24 0609520+102040 28 S+045 05

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Red Flag ramps up, F-22 to make debut

    by Lila Edwards

    99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

    1/12/2007 - NELLS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNEWS) -- The first Red Flag exercise this year, dubbed "Colonial Flag," is scheduled to begin Jan. 16 at Nellis AFB, marking the 32nd year for Red Flag operations.

    This is the first of three Red Flags this year, and the F-22 Raptor is participating for the first time.

    More than 200 aircraft and about 5,200 military members from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are taking part in the training. There will be two periods scheduled during this exercise with each period lasting two weeks.

    Capt. James Govin, the 414th Combat Training Squadron flight commander and team chief for this Red Flag, said everyone is looking forward to this particular exercise because new training has been built into the combat scenarios.

    "We have some pilots who have never been exposed to the concept of Red Flag, and they will certainly gain experience working with other airframes and crews," he explained. "But, there will be some pilots returning after a two-year absence, and it's going to be different for them.
    "The scenarios will be the same, but we've included close-air-support training and dynamic targeting," Captain Govin said. "We always remind ourselves that Red Flag is designed to fight the next big war, so these new additions to the exercise will really prepare them for their aerospace expeditionary force deployments."

    "The Raptor will be flying in Red Flag for the first time, and its role will be primarily air-to-air fighter escort for air-to-ground strike aircraft, but will also demonstrate its air-to-ground capabilities," he said.

    "The strike aircraft will include the B-2 Spirit, the B-1 Lancer, Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornadoes, F-15E Strike Eagle, the F-111 Aardvark and the F-117 Nighthawk," Captain Govin said.
    Captain Govin also said the AH-64 Apache Army helicopter is returning after several years of absence in Red Flag.

    "It's been some time since we've had the Apache here, and the Utah National Guard will be flying them for the exercises," he said.

    The Nevada Test and Training Range is the location for the exercise and can accommodate many aircraft at one time, allowing for a realistic training experience for the more than 200 aircraft scheduled.

    Red Flag has been a major player in training U.S. forces and American allies since 1975 after the former Tactical Air Command commander, Gen. Robert Dixon, was provided evidence suggesting a pilot who successfully made it through his first 10 combat missions had a much higher chance of survival in all subsequent sorties. The general proposed the idea of new pilots attending Red Flag to complete 10 rookie missions in a realistic but controlled environment, giving them a greater chance for success and survival in a real-time war environment. The Air Force later invited allies to join in the Red Flag exercises.

    "This upcoming exercise has been nicknamed 'Colonial Flag' because both the United States and Australia were once colonies of the United Kingdom," Captain Govin said. "This is the second year for Colonial Flag, and we always enjoy the esprit' de corps and camaraderie we have established with our colony allies."

    This Red Flag operation will continue through the second week of February, with a one-week break between the two periods of the exercise. The break will provide time for various pilots and aircraft rotating in and out of Nellis AFB to prepare for the exercise.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    First C-21 arrives in North Dakota

    By 1st Lt. Penny Ripperger North Dakota Air National Guard

    1/11/2007 - FARGO, N.D. (AFNEWS) -- The first official 119th Fighter Wing C-21 aircraft arrived Jan. 10 in Fargo.

    The aircraft marks the unit's transition from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the C-21 and MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.

    "The Happy Hooligans have proven themselves as the best of the best in every mission they have been assigned," North Dakota Governor John Hoeven said. "The C-21 mission along with the new Predator mission will ensure that the North Dakota Air National Guard continues to play a vital role in the security of our state and nation."

    "The 119th Fighter Wing will receive a total of eight C-21 aircraft and will be experiencing the largest transformation in their 60-year history," said Army Maj. Gen. David A. Sprynczynatyk, the state's National Guard adjutant general. "Personnel have been training diligently for the past year to ensure that they are prepared for these new missions that will ensure that our Air National Guard remains relevant and vital to the defense of the nation."

    "The Happy Hooligans have prepared for the C-21 by having trained pilots and maintenance personnel ready to work on these aircraft," said Col. Robert Becklund, 119th Fighter Wing commander. "I am confident that we will continue to perform with the high standards and impressive work ethic that the Hooligans are already well-known for in the fighter community."

    The C-21 aircraft is considered a "bridge mission" until approximately 2010 when it is expected to be replaced by the new joint cargo aircraft.

    UAV operations are expected to begin at the Fargo base aroun March 2007. North Dakota will be one of five states where Air Guard units will operate the unmanned aerial vehicles; others are Texas, California, Arizona and New York.

    Reconnaissance aircraft, team reach milestone

    By Staff Sgt. Francesca Popp
    U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs

    1/11/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- It may not have the stealthy skin of the B-2 Spirit or be able to hover vertically like the CV-22 Osprey, but the RC-135 Rivet Joint is the only aircraft that Airmen can claim to be deployed continuously for 6,000 days.

    This milestone can be touted by Airmen in the 763rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, the 55th Operations Group and the 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The unit designation has changed over the last 16 years, but the mission focus has remained the same.

    No matter whether it is called the Junk Yard Dog, Jungle Assassin, Fair Warning or Don't Bet on It, the Rivet Joint aircraft, as it's more commonly known, has maintained a presence in Southwest Asia since Aug. 9, 1990. Many of the RC-135s have been affectionately named during its tenure in the 55th Wing. Nose art, which was once visible from the outside, now can be found on the inside for the aircraft's corresponding tail number.

    And while the RC-135 doesn't carry bombs or fly at mach speeds, its aircrews can eavesdrop on the enemy. This allows for other U.S. and coalition aircraft to stop the enemy in its tracks.
    "We're getting a lot accomplished and helping with the fight," said Capt. Todd Williams, 763rd ERS tactical coordinator deployed from the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron at Offutt AFB. "I can't think of another platform that has been contributing as long as the Rivet Joint has and is always able to produce something to get to the guys on the ground."

    The Airmen call this aircraft their "mile-high office;" and over the years, it has changed in many ways. The RC-135 originally was outfitted with small TF-33 engines that were more than 30 years old; the cockpit with round-dial gauges. Now, the aircraft has larger, more powerful engines and new glass TV-like automated avionics on the flight deck, making it on par with some of today's most advanced airliners.

    "The mission and the aircraft are both dynamic entities, constantly changing," said Capt. Guy Perrow, 763rd ERS aircraft commander also deployed from the 38th RS. "When I began flying this aircraft, the round-dial system was entirely manual and analog, requiring one to read between the lines and mentally picture the entire flight plan from a God's-eye view using the data presented. With the new glass equipment, we're able to accurately display our position, timing and other information that has aided in our situational awareness.

    "The upgraded features of the aircraft allow us to conduct our mission in a safer, more reliable fashion," he said. "We dedicate more of our efforts to fighting the war on terror, knowing our platform is capable of whatever we require of it."

    Its mission also has evolved to meet the demands of today's battlefields. From early missions as a Cold War-era reconnaissance aircraft, the RC-135 now is fitted to contribute valuable intelligence to contingency and sensitive operations around the world.

    The 44-year-old reconnaissance aircraft began converting to its current configuration in 1964. The retrofitted Boeing 707 weighs nearly 150 tons, carries an extensive inventory of electronics and a crew of 34. The first RC-135V variant went into service Aug. 8, 1973, while the newest RC-135 was added to the Air Force inventory in November 2006, bringing the total to 17. At any given time, a third of the fleet is in theater, a third are at Offutt AFB training aircrews and preparing to deploy, while the remainder are in depot maintenance facilities undergoing upgrades or refurbishment.

    "These guys are rock stars without a mass following; but they do have an avid fan-base ... on the battlefield and at the decision-maker (general officer) level," said Lt. Col. Doug Sachs, 763rd ERS commander, deployed from the 82nd RS at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

    Squadron Airmen have adapted to an ever-present deployment schedule, since they don't follow the regular Air Expeditionary Force rotation. Aircrew and maintainers alternate into theater on a 60-day on/60-day off cycle. This means anyone assigned to the unit could be deployed three times a year or more. The team deploys from Offutt AFB; Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom; and Kadena AB.

    The front- and back-end maintainers, both military and civilian, and pilots and mission crews collectively keep the RC-135 flying.

    "This platform has so many different entities coming together to make one mission," said Staff Sgt. Steven Lantz, 55th AMU RC-135 crew chief.

    Rivet Joint aircrews supported operations around the world until the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s. Since then, the RC-135 community has been used in every operation in Southwest Asia from operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to the current operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The fleet and its crew are very adaptable; the aircraft can support the strategic, operational and tactical level of warfare on a single mission.

    "During Desert Storm and Desert Shield, the jet was primarily a highly sensitive platform," said Master Sgt. Denny Nichols, 763rd ERS airborne mission supervisor deployed from the 97th Intelligence Squadron at Offutt AFB. "A lot of folks didn't even know we existed. Now, we're working with other assets and services. We can actually get out there and give information directly to the folks who need it and they know who we are now."

    Sergeant Nichols has been involved with the RC-135 for almost 20 years and has deployed nearly 25 times, which totals more than 1,000 days.

    "We're supporting the small tactical units on the ground," he said. "We can go direct to the warfighter via voice or chat and give them a heads-up to a threat in their area."
    The RC-135 is configured with communication and computer systems stacked floor to ceiling and running the entire length of the plane. The equipment alone weighs about 40 tons. Highly skilled Airmen use this equipment to scout the battlefield and to help "find the bad guys." Airmen in the 763rd ERS, also known as "Sundawgs," live by their motto: "Always on the hunt."
    Everything the aircrews and maintainers do helps ensure the RC-135s continue to fly and communicate information to the tactical fighters on the ground.

    "The aviators, officer and enlisted, care about their job and know it's a job worth doing," Colonel Sachs said. "They recognize and understand the importance of the mission and the intelligence they gather to military's success against today's war on terrorism.

    "The assets we train with are the ones we fight with," he said. "Combatant commanders have a near-insatiable demand for our platform and Airmen, yet the 55th Wing must maintain the training pipeline to sustain the long-term effort, and to train combat-mission ready crews on the latest platform modifications. It's a real testament to the Fightin' Fifty Fifth's warriors that we've made this mission happen over the long haul.

    "Without tenacity, persistence and a tremendous amount of 'service before self,' we wouldn't have met this milestone," Colonel Sachs said. "Pausing to look back at our history and understanding the heritage of the Rivet Joint airframe and people, we're better able to prepare for the horizons ahead."

    F-22 scheduled for first overseas deployment

    13th Air Force Public Affairs
    1/10/2007 - HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFNEWS) -- Air Force officials are scheduled to deploy a squadron of F-22 Raptors to Kadena Air Base, Japan, as part of U.S. Pacific Command's Theater Security Package in the Western Pacific in early 2007.

    This will be the first overseas deployment for the Air Force's newest fighter.
    The F-22 is a transformational combat aircraft that is effectively invisible to threats, cruises at supersonic speeds, is highly maneuverable, and provides the joint force an unprecedented level of integrated situational awareness. As part of continuing force-posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements, the United States continues to deploy additional forces throughout the Western Pacific.
    This is the latest example of the flexibility U.S. forces have to meet our ongoing commitments and security obligations throughout the Pacific region by maintaining a flexible and credible presence.

    SBIRS instructors hold keys to ground floor of new payload

    Author's Note: I have additional coverage in this military satellite system at:

    by Staff Sgt. Don Branum
    50th Space Wing Public Affairs

    1/10/2007 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNEWS) -- Future Space Based Infrared System crews will get in on the ground level of Air Force Space Command's most advanced payload when they begin training at the 460th Operations Group's Detachment 1 on Jan. 12.

    Training on SBIRS' newest satellite will give students a historic chance to involve themselves with a new mission at the ground level, said Capt. Paul Contoveros, Det. 1's chief of operations training and lead instructor.

    "I think we're all really excited to be part of such a new, groundbreaking system," Captain Contoveros said. "It's a once-in-a-career opportunity.

    "We'll be providing some of the most accurate missile warning data once this is complete -- even better than (the Defense Support Program satellite system)," he added. "DSP's a proven system, extremely useful. This will be a step above that; it will provide more honed, more accurate data."

    The SBIRS satellite is parked in an inclined and highly elliptical orbit, which carries it from 300 miles above the earth to geosynchronous orbit and back every 12 hours. This gives operators better data at higher latitudes on the earth's surface. It is also more sensitive, allowing Airmen to detect fainter missile launches and pinpoint them with greater accuracy.

    "In addition, we have a taskable sensor," Captain Contoveros said. "We can point the sensor wherever we like to capture targets of opportunity." The taskable sensor makes the new SBIRS satellite unique within AFSPC, something the captain said he hopes students will enjoy.

    Ten Airmen from around AFSPC, many of them cross-trainees, will begin training on SBIRS. Training will begin Jan.12 for crew commanders and crew chiefs. System crew chiefs and mission-management operators and planners will begin training Jan. 16.

    Each position will learn something different in the class, Captain Contoveros said. System crew chiefs will learn the ins and outs of the payload and ground system. Mission crew chiefs will learn how to translate technical data from the satellite into missile warning and battlespace situational awareness. Mission-management operators and planners will learn how to use the taskable sensor. Crew commanders will learn all other aspects of the mission and how to combine the parts into an effective team.

    "We're working closely with our partners at the (SBIRS) Combined Task Force (in northern Colorado)," the captain said. Students will visit the task force for one week to learn what aspects of SBIRS have changed since the Det. 1 instructors finished their lesson plan. The instructors meet once a week with the Combined Task Force to talk about new SBIRS developments.

    "The training will continue to evolve because we're still in a testing phase," he said. "Things change from day to day. Software continues to be honed. Testing continues to be successful, and as testing is successful, new tests begin, and procedures and software change depending on the results."

    The new SBIRS satellite received a clean bill of health in November after space operators completed initial early on-orbit checkout of the satellite's systems.

    The sensor is designed to detect ballistic missile launches such as ICBMs and Scud missiles. It can also detect large explosions and fires, which may make it a valuable tool for other government agencies.

    A second highly elliptical-orbit satellite was delivered in September 2005; the launch date has not been released. Two SBIRS geosynchronous satellites are scheduled to launch in 2008 and 2009.

    Travis, Robins test wireless aircraft intercom system

    FORT DIX, N.J. (AFNEWS) -- For five days, Air Force aircraft maintainers at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Robins Air Force Base, Ga., demonstrated the Telephonics TruLink Wireless System at their respective bases to great success.

    The system demonstration was conducted as part of an initiative dubbed "Wireless Intercom for Aircraft Ground Operations," or WIAGO, by the Air Mobility Warfare Center's Air Mobility Battlelab here.

    The purpose of the WIAGO system is to improve on the current corded aircraft intercom system by migrating it into a wireless system, said Master Sgt. Rudy Cartagena, the battlelab's project officer on the initiative. The current intercom system for short range communications in and around airlift and tanker aircraft uses 50- to 100-foot-long cords that physically connect maintainers and aircrew to the aircraft. These cords, by their very nature, restrict user movement.

    "The problem is amplified when cords become tangled with other cords and equipment," Sergeant Cartagena said. "When maintenance must be conducted beyond the reach of the cords, maintainers are forced to use hand signals, which can be misinterpreted."

    The WIAGO system is based on a hand-held radio-size, battery-powered adapter.
    "There are two, almost identical, variations of the adapter with the only difference being the connectors they use," Sergeant Cartagena said. "This is because one connects to the aircraft intercom system, called the access point, and the other connects to the user's headset, called the portable transceiver. WIAGO can operate as a stand-alone system, independent from the aircraft intercom system, or in concert with it, allowing personnel wearing a portable transceiver to communicate with personnel connected to the aircraft intercom system via cords."

    The access point does not require permanent installation and connects to any active aircraft intercom terminal, using an aircraft-specific cable, Sergeant Cartagena said. The portable transceiver clamps on to the uniform and has a banana jack receptacle for use with standard Air Force issue headsets.

    "WIAGO operates in the 2.4 Gigahertz license free band," Sergeant Cartagena said. "The adapters have 50 channels and can support 31 users per channel, six in full duplex. Full duplex capability means no 'push to talk' is needed -- similar to carrying a conversation on a regular phone using a receptionist headset.

    "The system has a low probability of intercept due to its short range and use of frequency hopping," Sergeant Cartagena added. "It also has a very effective noise suppression system; we were extremely impressed."

    During the demonstration of the system, WIAGO adapters were used to transmit and receive during pre-determined scenarios and maintenance tasks to assess the adapter's functionality. C-5 Galaxy and KC-10 Extender aircraft were selected for use in the demonstration because of the challenge their large size would present to the WIAGO wireless system.

    "The logic going in was if WIAGO works well with these large aircraft, it should also work with smaller ones," Sergeant Cartagena said. "Using maintenance Airmen at Travis and Robins to demonstrate the system made sense because it provided a larger user sample and enabled equipment assessment in two different maintenance environments -- at organizational and depot levels."

    Some of the maintenance tasks performed during the demonstration time period included towing an aircraft, an engine run and a floor board installation at the depot. During towing, WIAGO enabled cordless, spoken communication between all tow team members, Sergeant Cartagena said.

    "Being able to communicate specific instructions directly into one's ear is a more efficient approach than using hand signals," he said. "This was also an improvement when connecting the tow truck."

    During the engine run, WIAGO's noise suppression capability enabled clear spoken communication in a high noise environment of more than 120 decibels.

    "This, in turn, eliminated time wasted repeating instructions due to background noise," Sergeant Cartagena said. "The system's compatibility with the aircraft communication system enabled an Airman in the cockpit to communicate with maintainers on the ground as well as with the air traffic control tower."

    During the floor board installation at the depot, headsets are not normally used. "The floor between the workers, and with rivet gun noise in the background, presents a tough communication barrier during the installation process," Sergeant Cartagena said. "Yelling instructions, which is the standard way of doing things, is inefficient. Use of the aircraft communications system would eliminate this problem, but it requires aircraft power, which isn't always permitted during depot work. Using the WIAGO system made this operation more efficient by virtually eliminating the need to repeat instructions when they aren't heard."
    First Lt. Steven LeBlanc, a maintenance officer for the 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Travis, said the wireless intercom system was well received by the maintainers.
    "The Airmen expressed great interest in the system and felt it would really help them in their day-to-day operations," Lieutenant LeBlanc said. "They appreciated the fact they were able to move in and around the aircraft unrestricted while keeping clear and sustained communication with their teammates."

    Although the WIAGO system did not face every possible maintenance scenario during demonstration period, it faced enough scenarios to confidently arrive at one conclusion -- WIAGO will provide maintenance personnel increased mobility, improving efficiency and enhancing communications capabilities during ground operations, Sergeant Cartagena said.

    Expensive new U.S. spy satellite USA193/NROL-21 not working: sources

    Author Note: So much for the theory by some that these US government satellites get their USA ### designation when they become operational. This mission a subsequent failure would indicate that theory is not correct. I originally reported on this satellite in this blog on December 16, 2006.

    This satellite was USA-193/NROL-21 launched on December 13, 2006, at 2100 UTC (1600 EST) from the Western Test Range, Vandenberg AFB, California (Launch complex/pad: SLC2W) It carries an International Designator: 2006-057A (SSC #: 29651).

    Many thanks to Ted Molczan and the SEESAT-L newsgroup for this heads up.
    Here is an excerpt from the Reuters news article that broke this story.
    By Andrea Shalal-Esa - Exclusive
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials are unable to communicate with an expensive experimental U.S. spy satellite launched last year by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a defense official and another source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
    Efforts are continuing to reestablish communication with the classified satellite, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but "the prognosis is not great at this point," said the defense official, who asked not to be identified.
    "They have not yet declared it a total loss. There are still some additional steps that can be taken to restore communication," the official added, noting some satellites had been recovered in similar situations in the past.
    The official said the problems were substantial and involved multiple systems, adding that U.S. officials were working to reestablish contact with the satellite because of the importance of the new technology it was meant to test and demonstrate.
    The other source said the satellite had been described to him as "a comprehensive failure."

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Russian Military Navsat Status Report

    In the October 2006 issue of my Monitoring Times Milcom magazine column, I covered a lot of the easy satellites there are to hear in the radio spectrum. One of those is the Russian "Cosmos" military navsats that transmit in the 150 and 400 MHz portions of the spectrum. You can get a reprint of that article from the folks at Monitoring Times. It will also be available soon on CD-ROM on the 2006 MT Anthology.

    In the article I covered modulation and decoding information on these military navsats.

    But as an exclusive for my blog readers, here is my latest Russian Navsat constellation status report based on monitoring from my Btown Monitoring Post:

    Russian Parus Military Navasat Constellation Status
    Freq (MHz) Int Desig (SSC #) Name

    149.910/399.760 2003-023A (27818) Cosmos 2398, Orbital Plane 2
    149.940/399.840 2001-023A (26818) Cosmos 2378, Orbital Plane 6
    149.970/399.920 2004-028A (28380) Cosmos 2407, Orbital Plane 1
    149.970/399.920 2005-002A (28521) Cosmos 2414, Orbital Plane 4
    150.030//400.080 1998-076A (25590) Cosmos 2361, Orbital Plane 5