HAM Operating on a Military Base

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KJ6UFY, Jan 2, 2014.

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  1. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    While I was in the USAF (1973-1978) the amateur community had a friend in high places. It was the general in charge of communications and he expressly forbid the restriction of amateur radio operations from the housing units.
    Even went so far as to instruct base, site commanders that RFI wasn't necessarily the amateurs fault and they were not to restrict operations because of RFI (as long as it didn't affect the mission).
    Never had to ask permission since it was inferred to be present. I was stationed at a base with nuclear capacity. Granted the base housing was miles from them but there was a healthy amateur community on the base. Towers and everything.
    Times change though and I guess the control freaks in the military like the fact they have ultimate control (wooohoo). Don't know about the other services and how amateur friendly they were but the USAF during my time definitely was.

    Have fun
  2. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Buffer Zones?

    They only wish that was the case!

    In my nine year stint with the US Army Field Artillery, I've personally witnessed shells that went way off course. I was in the Field Artillery school at Ft. Sill Oklahoma when a 105mm shell landed in the parking lot of the local Sizzler...

    Fortunately, on one was hurt in that one, but lots of undies needed washing.

    Then there was the time when yet another 105mm Battery started shelling our rifle range. Again a Ft. Sill occurrence. Maybe those 105mm crews needed more remedial training?

    Does not seem to happen much with larger artillery, probably because the smaller calibers are used more in training. (Less expensive than the bigger bullets!) I can tell you, again from personal experience, that you really, really don't want to be within the bursting radius of a 155mm or 8 inch projectile when it hits! At one time we used to take brand new Second Lieutenants down range for what we laughingly called a "bunker shoot". That is where the target is about 100 meters away from your big, safe, concrete bunker. The 2nd looies would adjust the 105's onto the target, then the 155's.

    After they were dialed in, we would then have them call in a "danger - close!" mission where the guns would shift their aim a bit and land the big guns/ projectiles just outside the bunker. Once in a while they would actually hit the bunker, causing the folks inside no end of pucker power!

    We always made a point of showing the newbie officers the big crater on the backside of the one bunker that was caused by a 105mm hit. Made them think about what might happen if they screwed the pooch and called in fire on their own location...

    AH, yes! The "good old days!"

    But not going off post, or going out of the buffer zone?

    Happens all the time, but like most "news" if no casualties result it never makes the so-called news stations/ media/ paper...

    I have lived all my adult life in and around military and military bases and I know somewhat about what happens. Nowadays, we hardly even hear the booms, bangs, rattles, helicopters or fighter jets around here.

    Unless one of them (jets that is) zooms a little too low.

    Keep your head down and your steel pot handy, you never hear the one that gets ya!

    73 Gary
  3. AF7LP

    AF7LP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've done that bunker shoot at Ft. Sill as a 2LT. They had us set up, then fire an FPF. I remember my Fire Support Instructor saying "We will not be using fuze delay like we normally would for setting up an FPF. We are in a bunker and that would be stupid."

    Otherwise, I hated Ft. Sill. Every time we would run out past Geronimo's Grave I would think "We killed all those Indians for this?"
  4. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was told I couldn't bring my ham radio onto a base. Then I get an email asking me to join the on base ham radio club. Kinda funny.
  5. W4RLR

    W4RLR Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's the way I remember it, too. Working in the public affairs office, I was one of the people who had to answer questions like that, and we had the answers in a book of answers to frequently asked questions.
  6. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like regs on Fort Hood. To operate any station on post, you needed III Corp written authorization.
  7. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. N2MDA

    N2MDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was stationed at Shaw AFB S.C. and had a 10 meter dipole up on the roof of our barracks. It worked the world. I was in microwave radio communications at that time. Troposcatter can be a lot of fun and interest running 1 KW to a pair of 8 foot diameter dishes TRC 97A radios. But the other end of the building was Ground Radio (HF Radio) and I'd always borrow my buddys van, we called the little radio room a van, I don't know why. That gave me access to a 33 foot fiberglass whip and 1 KW from 3 to 30 Mhz. It was nice to fire that up and work the world, too. They had to be tested out anyway, you know. When I went overseas Da Nang Air Base Vietnam, I thought amateur radio would be put on a low simmer for a year. I was sent to Monkey Mountain, a remote communications site north of Da Nang. One day the cloud cover went away and I spotted a 4 element beam, I followed the coax down to a Quanset hut and introduced myself to the officer in charge. When I told him I was experienced in handling phone patch traffic, at that point something resonated in him and we became very good friends. He invited me to have a look at the equipment I could use. I expected a 400 pound boat anchor with 4 inch knobs. I never expected the kind of gear that was to come along. What he led me to was a Collins KWM-2. I had to remind myself to breathe. WOW it was and still is one of the most beautiful radios ever built. We all know about its performance. He also told me we occasionally get QRM'ed from Up North and when that happens, you can use this. He showed me a rack cabinet with meters and switches on it. When I opened the rear door, it had some serious tubes in there. He said this will give you about 3 KW PEP. There won't be any QRM on that frequency with this. I remember thinking .... 3KW with a 4 element wide spaced beam. Do the math for the ERP. It was awesome. Running phone patches in and out of a war zone can be very emotional for all concerned, but once I became familiar with the equipment, we ran traffic. Lots of traffic in my off duty time. Chances are, if you were in Da Nang in 1969, and 1970 you ran a phone patch through me. We coordinated through the local Armed Forces Radio Stations to call me on the phone system for a chance to run a phone patch to the ones you loved, back in The States. The technology was awesome and it gave the average GI the ability to have a 3 minute phone call, back to The World. I love Ham Radio, and it will be with me forever. BOB VIGGIANO N2MDA
  9. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think the range at Ft. Hood is big enough to handle the distance of a 155mm. I remember growing up in a nearby other county, and you could hear 105s firing in Temple. I asked a relative who was in the Army back then, and he told me 105s were the biggest the range could handle as he had been out there when the firing was going on. It is possible the bases outer perimeter was increased since then.
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The attitude can change dramatically depending on the current wing or post commander. Right new Ft. Wainwright is BEGGING for an amateur radio presence on base...and we're milking it for all its worth!

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