About the Blog:

Welcome to KF4LMT's Shack. I blog on scanning and monitoring, amateur radio, motor sports, history and books. I also post my amateur nature and wildlife photography.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line at kf4lmt @ gmail.com.

Sorry, but I don't program scanners – it has led to too many requests that I just don't have time to accommodate.

Savannah Weather

Brunswick Weather

Upcoming Ham Radio Events

  • USS Milwaukee Commissioning 2nd Anniversary 17 November 2017 – 25 November 2017 Muskego, WI, USA Nov 17-Nov 25, 0000Z-2359Z, W9N, Muskego, WI. KC9HYY. 3.860 7.260 14.260 21.260. QSL. ATTN: W9N QSL Manager, PO Box 324, Muskego, WI 53150. To obtain QSL, please send SASE to listed address before 1/1/2018. https://kc9hyy.wordpress.com/naval-special-events
  • The First Pilgrim Landing at Plymouth 25 November 2017 – 26 November 2017 Plymouth, MA, USA Nov 25-Nov 26, 1300Z-1900Z, NI1X, Plymouth, MA. Whitman Amateur Radio Club. 18.160 14.260 7.260 3.860; EchoLink: WA1NPO-R, IRLP: 8691. Certificate. Whitman ARC, PO Box 48, Whitman, MA 02382. times are daily www.wa1npo.org
  • CARS Net 26 November 2017 at 21:30 – 22:00 Coastal Amateur Radio Society Weekly Net, 442.700+ Repeater
  • CARS Net 3 December 2017 at 21:30 – 22:00 Coastal Amateur Radio Society Weekly Net, 442.700+ Repeater
  • CARS Meeting 4 December 2017 at 20:00 – 21:00 White Bluff Presbyterian Church, 10710 White Bluff Road, Savannah, GA 31406, United States Coastal Amateur Radio Society Monthley Meeting White Bluff Presbyterian Church, 10710 White Bluff Road, Savannah, GA 31406, United States
  • ARRL 10 Meter Contest 10 December 2017
  • CARS Net 10 December 2017 at 21:30 – 22:00 Coastal Amateur Radio Society Weekly Net, 442.700+ Repeater

Exercise Bold Quest in Savannah

Savannah – I got home from Brunswick this morning and after getting settled at home I turned on the radios. Around 1000 or so, many interesting aircraft began to take off from Savannah IAP and head down to the Coastal MOAs and Townsend Range. They were later joined by other aircraft including two E-3 AWACS and aircraft from the USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75) Carrier Strike Group. Several of the aircraft, as they checked in, stated they were scheduled for Bold Quest, confirming that the exercise operating out of Savannah is a Bold Quest (there was also one last year around this same time).

The exercise is a multi-national one, including aircraft from the United States, Canada, France, and Germany. The United States aircraft include an F/A-18F and E/A-18G from the US Navy’s VX-31, E-3s from the 964th ACCS and 966th ACCS, A-10s from the 23rd FG, and F/A-18Es and Fs from the Truman CSG. From Canada, there is Convair C-FNRC from the National Research Council Flight Research Laboratory. From France, there are two Mirage 2000s from ECE01.030, a French Air Force test and evaluation squadron. From Germany, there are two Lear 35s, D-CGFA and D-CFGC, from Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung.

Between the morning and afternoon sorties from the aircraft based out of Savannah IAP and during the afternoon sorties, aircraft from VFA-11, VFA-211, and VFA-81 with the USS Harry S Turman CSG worked the Coastal MOA and Townsend Range, some of them using the same check-in frequency as the Savannah-based aircraft but working different ground stations. I’m not sure if they’ve blended some of the Truman CSG activity into Bold Quest or if they were just using the range at the same time, but it definitely made for some interesting listening.

Below is a list of frequencies, callsigns, and Mode-S/ADS-B codes from today’s activity. I’m not sure how long the exercise will last, but it should definitely continue through this week if not into next week.

 

Frequencies
119.100/257.800 – Savannah IAP Tower
124.975/279.575 – Hunter AAF Tower
120.400/353.775 – Savannah App/Dep
125.300/371.875 – Savannah App/Dep
118.400/307.225 – Savannah App/Dep

237.000 – Air Dominance Center Ops
138.625 – Air Dominance Center Ops
293.300 – Air Dominance Center; ECE01.030 Air-to-Air
256.275 – VX-31 Air-to-Air

269.025/127.575 – Jax Center Waycross Low
277.400/126.750 – Jax Center Brunswick Low
282.200/124.675 – Jax Center Jekyll Low
285.650/126.125 – Jax Center Statesboro High
363.200/132.925 – Jax Center Allendale/Savannah Low

127.350/279.625 – Fort Stewart Marne Radio
119.225/228.400 – Townsend Range Control
252.900 – Townsend Range Control
120.950/284.500 – Sealord North Primary

344.375 – Bold Quest Check-In
262.850 – Bold Quest Air-to-Ground
265.950 – Bold Quest Air-to-Ground
311.875 – Bold Quest Aerial Refueling
235.950 – Bold Quest
245.050 – Bold Quest
256.100 – Bold Quest
257.450 – Bold Quest

254.475 – AWACS Discrete; Bold Quest or Truman CSG
325.500 – Bold Quest or Truman CSG
337.500 – Bold Quest or Truman CSG
371.750 – Bold Quest or Truman CSG

293.525 – 116th/461st ACW “PEACHTREE OPS”

Callsigns
BLUE STAR (JTAC?)
BLUE WATER (JTAC?)
COSO 1# (F/A-18F & E/A-18G, VX-31)
COSO 4# (F/A-18F & E/A-18G, VX-31)
GUNSTAR 33/34 (F/A-18E, VFA-136) (From USS Truman CSG)
HANGOVER (Controlling Agency)
JUICE (unknown, related to C2)
KITE 16 (LJ35, D-CGFA, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung)
KITE 17 (LJ35, D-CFGC, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung)
KITE 45 (LJ35, D-CGFA, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung)
KITE 46 (LJ35, D-CFGC, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung)
NICKEL 31/32 (F/A-18F, VFA-211) (from USS Truman CSG)
PHOENIX/FENIX 92 (unknown)
PIRAT 63 (KC-135R, 61-0315, 6th/927th ARW)
RAGE 1# (Mirage 2000, ECE01.030)
RAGE 4# (Mirage 2000, ECE01.030)
RESEARCH 09 (CVLT, C-FNRC, NRC Flight Research Laboratory)
ROADRUNNER (JTAC?)
ROOSTER (unknown)
SENTRY 41/BANDSAW (E-3B, 78-0577, 964th ACCS)*
SENTRY 60/DRAGNET (E-3B, 80-0137, 966th ACCS)
SHARK 2# (A-10C, 75th FS)
SUNLINER/LINER 26 (F/A-18E, VFA-81) (from USS Truman CSG)
VALKYRIE 03 (MQ-1?, E/3 AVN?)
VALKYRIE 28 (MQ-1?, E/3 AVN?)
VORTEX (JTAC)
N127AR (C208, 1055 LLC); related to Bold Quest?

*Note: SENTRY 41/BANDSAW (E-3B, 78-0577, 964th ACCS) operating out of Robins AFB

Related Mode-S/ADS-B Codes
249249 – Mirage 2000, ECE01.030 (RAGE 13 on ATC)
3CD05A – LJ35, D-CGFA, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung
3CD05C – LJ35, D-CFGC, Gesellschaft fuer Flugzieldarstellung
AE0237 – KC-135R, 61-0315, 6th/927th ARW
AE11E5 – E-3B, 78-0577, 964th ACCS
AE11EA – E-3B, 80-0137, 966th ACCS
C02411 – CVLT, C-FNRC, NRC Flight Research Laboratory

Southside Fire/EMS Has Renamed to Chatham Emergency Services

Savannah – Over the last few days in Savannah, I’ve noticed that Southside Fire Department is no longer calling themselves Southside, they’re now calling themselves Chatham Fire. The reason for this is that they’ve changed their name to better reflect their coverage area. According to this report on the Landings website, the department name is now Chatham Emergency Services. Per the report, the name will change occur on the department’s apparatus, uniforms, logos, etc. over the next few months. The two divisions within Chatham Emergency Services will be Chatham Fire Department and Chatham EMS. Although the name change could make it sound like the department is a county government agency, it remains a private company that is a subscription based fire department and private EMS provider to Chatham County.

What does this mean for scanner listeners? Other than the name change, not a whole lot. You’ll just be hearing Chatham Fire and Chatham EMS on the radio instead of Southside Fire and Southside EMS. The talkgroups they’re using on the SEGARRN system and the uses/areas they’re assigned to remain the same:

  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 239 – Chatham Fire Dispatch
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 241  – Chatham Fire Division 1
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 243 – Chatham Fire Division 2
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 245 – Chatham Fire Division 3
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 247 – Chatham Fire Division 4
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 249 – Chatham Fire Division 5
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 251 – Chatham Fire Tac 1
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 253 – Chatham Fire Tac 2
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 255 – Chatham Fire Tac 3
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 257 – Chatham EMS Medic 1
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 259 – Chatham EMS Medic 2
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 261 – Chatham EMS Medic 3
  • SEGARRN Talkgroup 263 – Chatham EMS Medic 4

Additionally, there shouldn’t be any confusion with Chatham Emergency Services dispatch calling themselves “Chatham Fire” or “Chatham EMS” because Chatham County 911 dispatch uses “Metro” instead of “Chatham.”

Hurricane Maria Relief Flights Continue from the Savannah Air Dominance Center

Savannah – The Georgia Air Nationa Guard Air Dominance Center at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, which normally supports training for 4th and 5th generation fighters, continues to operate as a hub for transporting Hurricane Maria relief supplies to Puerto Rico and other US Caribbean territories. The operation at the Air Dominance Center continues to be mostly C-130Hs and C-130Js both bringing supplies into Savannah and transporting them out to Puerto Rico and other territories with flights arriving and departing 24/7. On their return trips from the Caribbean, they can often be heard bringing passengers back. Air National Guard personnel and aircraft from thirteen states have been taking part in the operation; so far I’ve heard aircraft from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia.  I’m sure there have been other states participating as well, but I haven’t had many chances to listen to the ops; these are only what I’ve heard coming in and out of the ADC over the last couple of weeks:

  • CASTLE – C-130H, 166th AW, Delaware ANG
  • DAWG – C-130H, 165th AW, Georgia ANG
  • DECOY – C-17A, 167th AW, West Virginia ANG
  • DERBY – C-130H, 123rd AW, Kentucky ANG
  • EPIC – C-130H, 145th AW, North Carolina ANG
  • JESSE – C-130H, 139th AW, Missouri ANG
  • MALIBU – C-130J, 146th AW, California ANG
  • RHODY – C-130J, 147th AW, Rhode Island ANG
  • ROPER – C-130H, 136th AW, Texas ANG
  • SKIER – C-130H, 109th AW, New York ANG
  • SKULL – C-130H, 179thth AW, Ohio ANG
  • TORCH – C-130H, 182nd AW, Illinois ANG
  • YANKEE – C-130H, 103rd AW, Connecticut ANG

Savannah and coastal Georgia area air traffic control frequencies along with normal Savannah Air Dominance Center frequencies continue to be the best places to catch the aircraft flying Hurricane Maria relief missions out of Savannah. The last frequency below is a P25 repeater used by the 165th AW, but it has been being used by MARIA Ops out of the ADC to coordinate logistics and maintenance for the aircraft flying out of the ADC. The VHF/UHF aviation frequencies are AM and can be heard using any radio that can pick up VHF or UHF airband in the AM mode.

  • 124.675 – Jacksonville Center Jekyll Low
  • 132.925 – Jacksonville Center Allendale/Savannah Low
  • 119.100 – Savannah-Hilton Head IAP Tower
  • 120.400 – Savannah Approach/Departure
  • 125.300 – Savannah Approach/Departure
  • 225.750 – 165th Airlift Wing Ops
  • 237.000 – Air Dominance Center Ops; “MARIA Ops” and “TEAL Ops”
  • 173.5625 – 165th Airlift Wing (NAC 302)

Based on what I’ve seen in the news, it looks like the Hurricane Maria relief ops will continue out of the Savannah Air Dominance Center through this month. I’m proud that my adopted hometown and state are providing such a service to Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean territories during their time of need.

VMFA-122 Leaves MCAS Beaufort, Will Transition to the F-35B

Savannah – Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and MAG-31 now have one less squadron. On 22 September 2017, VMFA-122’s squadron commander relinquished command of the squadron at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina and its colors were cased in preparation for it to stand up as an F-35B squadron at MCAS Yuma, California. With the move, they will no longer be under the command of MAG-31 and will instead be part of MAG-13. The squadron had been based at MCAS Beaufort since 1957, flying F8U-1 Corsair IIs and F/A-18 Hornets during their time there. Prior to that, they flew the F4F Wildcat, F4U-1 and F4G-1A Corsair, FH-1 Phantom, and the F9F-4 and F9F-5 Panther from a number of aircraft carriers.

Known as the “Crusaders,” “Werewolves,” and later as “The Flying Leathernecks” and using the callsign NIKEL, I’ve enjoyed listening to the VMFA-122 fly and train in the South Carolina Lowcountry and Coastal Georgia area throughout the years. I’ll miss hearing them around.

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade to Deploy to Afghanistan

Savannah – On 29 September 2017 the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade at Hunter AAF, part of the 3rd Infantry Division, cased in colors in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan. Approximately half of the Aviation Brigade will deploy to Afghanistan and stand up as Task Force Falcon, augmented by Army National Guard units from Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The 3rd CAB’s contributions will be CH-47Fs, HH-60Ms, and UH-60s from 2-3 AVN, AH-64Ds from 3-17 CAV, and UH-60Ms from 4-3 AVN along with Headquarters and command elements. Task Force Falcon will provide close air support, logistics, and medevac support for Afghan, US, and partner forces in Afghanistan with AH-64s, CH-47s, HH-60s, and UH-60s.

 

UH-60M, 13-20592, 4-3 AVN

 

As this is a combat deployment, I will not report or post on any flights such as REACH flights or DOD contract flights that I believe are carrying equipment or personnel for Task Force Falcon.

No September 2017 MilCom Recap or Mode-S Logs But Several Area Reports to Come

I did not have a lot of radio time in September. The main culprit was Hurricane Irma, during which I worked seven 12 hour shifts, eliminating over a week of monitoring opportunities. Several other things took their toll as well so I ended up with very little activity logged. I didn’t see any sense in putting together a couple of small posts, so I decided to combine September’s activity with October’s activity in the October recap and Mode-S log posts at the beginning of November.

In the meantime, there are a number of happenings and events worth mentioning, so I’ll be making a number of posts today to report them:

 

Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “The Vietnam War,” An Emotional and Extraordinary Documentary

Last night I finished watching Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “The Vietnam War.” Ten years in the making, about one of the most controversial periods of American History, it is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched. We’re all human, so we can never truly be completely objective but this documentary comes about as close as you can get. Burns, Novick, and company explore not only the American side of the Vietnam War but the Vietnamese side, both North and South as well. The documentary looks at the history of Vietnam and how the United States became involved in the war. It looks at how the American, South Vietnamese, and the North Vietnamese governments conducted the war. It examines how the American military, the South Vietnamese military, the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese militaries fought the war. It doesn’t just dwell on American mistakes and problems, it exposes South Vietnamese problems and corruption and North Vietnamese and Communist mistakes and problems. We’re introduced to fighting men and women, officials, and civilians from both sides to and learn about how individuals from and the cultures of all sides were affected by the war; that’s most important, often we see a lot about the American side of the Vietnam War, but in this documentary, we get to see how the South Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese viewed the war, how it affected them, and just how similar some of those effects were. The production quality, as expected from a Burns production, is excellent. The use of music in particular – both the original score and the soundtrack of music from the era – is brilliantly used for emotional effect and to provoke thought. The soundtrack songs are perfectly matched to the situations and events they’re associated with.  All of the personalities we’re introduced to through the interviews are compelling, but for me, the most captivating are John Musgrave and Bao Ninh, Musgrave because of the transformation he undergoes through his Vietnam experience and Ninh because of the view he provides from the common North Vietnamese draftee’s perspective. You can read about how the war affected its participants, but when you hear and see the emotion in Lo Khac Tam because he couldn’t bring all of his men home, when you see and hear the raw rage in Ron Ferrizzi as he names those who died so he could receive the medals he’s throwing at the Capitol you can’t help but be moved.  “The Vietnam War” is an emotional, thought-provoking, exceptional documentary about a war that, in the last episode, you come to realize isn’t over in either the United States or Vietnam. Hopefully, it helps bring us to a discussion in which we as a nation can finally come to terms with a war we’ve tried to push into the shadows of History.

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