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Author Topic: Military Using  (Read 138607 times)
KB3VWL
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« on: September 09, 2013, 03:39:24 AM »

I know this may not be the correct place to post this question, but as most of you are familiar with any laws specifically concerning the military I thought I would try here first. 

I am a member of the military, and recently (last weekend) an adjacent unit conducted a field exercise which is a little unusual for where I am currently stationed.  Generally when conducting a field exercise frequencies for use are handled by a base frequency allocation manager, but there is not one here.  The unit in question was using some AN/PRC-150s .  They decided to just pick a ham band to transmit on without clearing it with anyone the frequency was somewhere in the 20M band (14MHz) I don't know the exact frequency now, but I plan to find out.  I also doubt they cared weather they were using the voice or data portion of the band.  They did not use call signs so they could obscure their identity in case it was not legal to do so, and they transmitted at either 1 or 5 watts.  My questions are: Was this illegal? To whom on the civilian side (FCC) should I report this to? (Email or phone number) and what should I attempt to do in the future to prevent this?(again on the civilian side)
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W3JKS
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 09:34:48 AM »

I think you are wasting your time complaining to the FCC -- they certainly have bigger fish to fry.  Somewhere upstream in the chain of command, there is a frequency coordinator who would have something to say about it.  As far as callsigns go, that is a non-issue.  Tactical callsigns are supposed to be assigned by the service, there is no obligation (or mechanism that I am aware of) for them to use FCC-issued calls. 

There are service-specific and DoD-level frequency management manuals, doctrine and supporting agencies.  Ultimately, they roll-up to the NTIA.  More info on NTIA policy can be conveniently found in the NTIA Redbook, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/osmhome/redbook/Manual.pdf.

73,
john
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 10:49:05 AM »

The only civilian agency that has any control over military radio systems is NTIA. You *might* get quicker action by having a friendly conversation with the immediate supervisor for this operation. They may not even be aware of where the ham bands are located - just checked the frequency and it was clear so they used it.
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W6EM
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Posts: 710




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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 05:50:36 AM »

The NTIA Frequency Coordinator (for given areas) used to be the person who assigned frequencies and coordinated uses.  About 8 years ago, I learned that when I wanted to run more than 50W on my 70cM mobile in Central Florida.  Power levels above 50W aren't allowed without DoD permission, per FCC regulations in certain identified areas.  So, I contacted the FCC Enforcement Bureau in Tampa and was given the NTIA Coordinator's info, and got an OK to do so.  At that time, I resided in Bradenton, FL and the NTIA coordinator was at Patrick AFB, on Florida's opposite coast.

You might want to consider telling the chain of command about the serious "downside" of them just picking HF frequencies randomly.  For instance, international air traffic control uses HF frequencies for all flights over international waters.  They could have picked a frequency being used for same and caused some serious safety problems with commercial air traffic.  Same for USAF airborne operations as they use HF channels for coordination, inflight instructions, and, perish the thought, nuclear alerts.

Just mentioning interference to the amateur service might be laughed-off.

73,

Lee

« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 05:57:42 AM by W6EM » Logged
KB4QAA
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 02:23:58 PM »

The correct way to address this is to keep the matter within your Service.  Bring the matter to the attention of the communicators at the next level of command, and then the level above that.

If you can't find the responsible authority, file it with the Inspector General.
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W6EM
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 05:23:53 PM »

.....If you can't find the responsible authority, file it with the Inspector General.

That way could be career-limiting.  Retaliation on subordinates going to IGs is rampant across the federal government.  I can speak from experience.

Just keep a record or notes of to whom and what was said, and when you reported it.

 
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 05:04:29 AM »

I think you are far better off attempting to deal directly with the people who actually made the decision to use the ham band first. Going above their head should be a last resort and is probably not necessary.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2013, 12:27:57 PM »

.....If you can't find the responsible authority, file it with the Inspector General.

That way could be career-limiting.  Retaliation on subordinates going to IGs is rampant across the federal government.  I can speak from experience.

Just keep a record or notes of to whom and what was said, and when you reported it.
I believe you.   In the Navy, the role of IG is extremely limited and in 26 years I never had any dealings with the IG.  In contrast I often heard of USAF/USA personnel discussing filing IG complaints.  shrug.

On the other hand...You think a General is going to be happier dealing with service matter thru the IG or getting a call from his Four Star about complaints from another federal agency? 

Either way, keep it within the service.  I agree that keeping it low key is the way to handle it.  I would try to drop a word to the communicators quietly, face to face would be best. Or over a cup of coffee.
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W6EM
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 05:40:09 PM »

.......On the other hand...You think a General is going to be happier dealing with service matter thru the IG or getting a call from his Four Star about complaints from another federal agency? 

The IG of the Department of Defense should be a direct report to the Secretary.  Then again, you could be right if all the services each have them below the Secretary and Chief of Staff of each service.

The main point I was trying to get across is not to use the FCC as a reason why it isn't a good idea..  Better to give examples to the knob twisters of what they could cause by doing it....  That's a low level solution that they might remember. 
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WI4P
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 03:59:47 PM »

Why not just forget about it?  It's not likely that your report will generate any real action but it might get you labeled a trouble maker.

 
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W6EM
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 09:21:36 PM »

Why not just forget about it?  It's not likely that your report will generate any real action but it might get you labeled a trouble maker.

 
How's mentioning the situation to the people who chose the frequency going to label him a troublemaker?  Frankly, a trouble-saver, if done at the lowest level.  To say nothing might not be something he could live with if the situation were repeated and some really serious consequences were the result the next time.  Think about it.
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SWMAN
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 08:06:33 PM »

 If I were you I would just forget about it, otherwise you are going to open up a can of worms.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 205




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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 06:34:29 PM »

Tough call -

I'd drop it at this point, or as others suggested - if you see this, have a quiet talk with the wiseguy first.  En Java Veritas (There is truth in a cup of coffee.)  The stronger the drink; the more truth comes out.  ha ha

Since you're in uniform here's an overview as it WAS working a few years back.  Things change and this might have changes and each post/exercise area can have it's own 'local flavor'.

In THEORY , all CONUS radio emissions on, or in collocation with military units are supposed to be frequency coordinated by the radio equivalent of a range control officer, who MUST receive a radio frequency usage request form called: 1494 or SFAF (the short form) long before the unit arrives.  His job is to assure that all emissions are within the guidelines of the Host Nation Spectrum Management compliance as found in the DoD data base called HSNWD.  This is to not cause unintentional interference with gov/mil operations or with the host nation's (that's us) communications regulations.  1494 Signed, approved well in advance or get used to yelling instead of using radios... that's the theory.

The GI knows that his comms plan might have already been compromised or just given to INSCOM by his training officer (or other) ahead of the exercise and that their direction finding, jamming and other nasty techniques might be used against them - like the real world. So, the GI decides to boot leg. In CONUS, its probably not going to be a big problem in the short term, because:

5-15.
For CONUS tactical training,a radio frequency authorization (RFA) provides the frequency
allotment to specific posts, camps, and stations. Some of these frequencies may be borrowed from other
government and non-government agencies, and are to be used on a non-interference basis. If tactical
operations cause harmful interference, the tactical user will be required to vacate the frequency(ies) and, if
necessary, coordinate with AFMO-CONUS for additional resources


In short - "used on a non-interference basis" means don't get caught. If on the VERY RARE occasion that they are caught, they say 'sorry' and move off.  If the freq coordination officer or their training officer who wrote that part of the exercise decides to pursue this, they CAN get some 'attitude adjustment' sent down range - it's their call.

---- Just A Thought ----

OUTSIDE of CONUS transmitting in unauthorized modes and frequencies can set a forward deployed team-up for being seen as a possible hostile because of their not showing-up in the "FRIENDLY" data base. It's like the radio equiv of  making dust plumes, tracks and sounds where no friendly is supposed to be around an FOB. That would be a bad thing.

As an old soldier, I'd say 'Train as you fight'.  However, I've also seen some frequency assignments which were obviously generated by a sub-par, mentally defective, one-eyed, monkey in a cubicle outside of Arlington who had probably never seen an HF manpack and thought that "propagation" had something to do with breeding.





de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
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N9KWW
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Posts: 86




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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 05:57:31 AM »

there is a manual covering all of this it is NTP8, it has all of your answers, and it also provides tactical frequencies and procedures to use,. It is the comm manual for the military.
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