Monday, August 03, 2015

USAF HF Global Communications System (HFGCS) published frequencies

From time to time monitors will pop up and ask about the primary frequencies used by the USAF HFGCS network or someone will publish an old frequency (prior to WARC-92 Aero OR band 3 kHz realignment). I've even still see references in some various online lists to the now no longer active station at MacDill AFB as part of the Global network.

So to set the record straight, here are the latest "published" primary frequencies and stations direct from the Department of Defense for the HFGCS network.

HFGCS is the Department of Defense’s high power, high frequency, over-the-horizon long haul communication system. It's global network operated under the umbrella of the Joint Chief's of Staff and consist of ground stations that provides automated and operator assisted voice services, data transmission and an HF e-mail capability that has an interface to both the classified (SIPRnet) and unclassified (NIPRnet) email networks.

The Radio Equipment High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS) is a cost-effective, networked solution providing interoperable voice and data communications for strategic and tactical forces. HFGCS provides near-global, beyond line-of-sight command and control (C2) communications to aircrews, ground troops, naval operations and control stations. The Air Force (AF) is the executive agent for HFGCS per Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) direction.

This Command and Control/National Security System (C2/NSS) is the Department of Defense's (DOD's) only high-power HF C2 network. HFGCS serves as the primary C2 resource for Air Mobility Command (AMC) cargo and tanker aircraft. The HFGCS program supports Mystic Star (Presidential communications), the United States Air Force's Global HF System, Defense Communications System (DCS) HF Entry, US Navy High Command (HICOM) Network and other US government high-power HF missions.

The HFGCS supports war plans and the daily operational requirements of the following organizations: White House Communications Agency (WHCA); JCS; US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM); the National Military Command Center with Emergency Action Message distribution; AMC Special Air Mission (SAM) fleet communications; Air Combat Command (ACC); Air Intelligence Agency (AIA); Air Force Space Command (AFSPC); United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). This program also provides radio support to other governmental organizations such as Civil Air Patrol, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration and the State Department.

HFGCS is a fully integrated world-wide C2 high-frequency (2-30 Megahertz) networked radio communications capability consisting of 13 remote radio stations and 10 remote console stations with 15 located OCONUS. 

Remote radio station locations include Joint Base (JB) Andrews (MD), Offutt AFB (NE), Beale AFB (CA) aka West Coast, Elmendorf AFB (AK), Hawaii (Hickam AFB), Guam, Yokota (Japan), Puerto Rico, Lajes (Azores), Ascension Island, RAF Croughton (UK), Sigonella (Sicily), and Diego Garcia.

Network remote consoles are located at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station (NAS) (WA), Sigonella NAS (Sicily), Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) (HI), Wahiawa Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NCTS) (HI), Jacksonville NAS (FL), Misawa AB (Japan), Patuxent River NAS (MD), North Island NCTS (CA), Kadena AB (Okinawa, Japan), and AFSPC Eastern Test Range (FL).  All stations are networked back to control stations located at Joint Base Andrews (MD) and Grand Forks AFB (ND).

You will find additional information on this system including discrete frequencies on this blog at

You will find additional information on the HFGCS ALE network on this blog at

So the next time you see someone list a frequency like 11243 or 13201 or list MacDill as part of this global comm network, now you that you are dealing with very old updated information.