Thursday, November 02, 2006

Milsat 262.125 Downlink Carrying SOAR 160 Comms

On the Hearsat newsgroup, Allen Woodruff and Barney Hamlin made post on 30/31 Oct about an intercept they made on milsat downlink 262.125 MHz. Since it has generated some wide discussion across more than one newsgroup, I thought I would share my reply to them about what they heard.

Original post from Allen: "I got a rare catch on satcom today. around 5pm local I had 262.125 tuned in and I had units up in the clear. callsigns were Dog-25 and Nightstalker OPS. Dog-25 was in comms with nightstalker ops saying that he could not hear him with the cypher that he had loaded and didn't know what the problem was. later it looked like they got it to work, after that I heard nothing but encrypted comms on this frequency. if anyone would like to hear the audio clip I have uploaded to my web site."

And from Barney Hamlin: "Still active with clear comms. "Gogo-43" calling"Spear-77" several times. Ivan Artner pointed out to me that this had to be from a CONUS sat since the Atlantic birds don't have atransponder using that frequency. The gentleman calling sounds like one of the people I heard the other night."

And my reply:

"Yes, this is definitely a CONUS bird, I just don't know if it is UFO Quebec or FLTSAT Charlie (which has been at the 100 deg position since I started monitoring milsat comms in the early 80s). As for Allen's intercept, Nightstalker Ops belongs to the 3-160 SOAR out of Hunter AAF. I have several intercepts from monitors in the area who have actually monitored comms from Nightstalker Ops on the uplink for this one 295.725 MHz. Over the last decade this satellite pair has been associated with DIRJIATF East (Key West FL) operations, but I am not sure if this is the case or if any of the SOAR 3-160 ops are associated with DIRJIATF East operations these days."

The current operations being heard in the clear on 262.125 definitely belong to the 3-160 SOAR out of Hunter AAF, Georgia. They appear to be operating primarily in the afternoon and evening hours east coast time.

And the Dog and Raven callsigns are used by US Army MH-47 helicopters assigned to the 3-160 unit.

The Gogo and Spear callsigns might possibly be simulated assets. The Spear callsign has been associated with this function and JStars operations here in the southeast US over the last year or so. Not sure how this ties back with the 3-160 ops noted above, but this is the best info I have at this time.