Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Guard "Operation Phalanx" Along Border

Here is an item regarding National Guard troops being used for border protection:

The ongoing program called "Operation Phalanx" will be shifting from ground based National Guard troops to airborne border observation and support with CBP. National Guard personnel will include about 200 troops who will provide mobile aerial detection and monitoring across all four southwest border states, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

The article also mentions that the CBP Office of Air & Marine is attempting to upgrade their Blackhawk helicopters to newer UH-60L models.

North Carolina / South Carolina Logs

I recently made some driving trips in the Asheville and Raleigh, NC areas, as well as driving south to Augusta, GA though South Carolina. Here is what I logged while traveling:

166.2250, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
162.6125, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
164.3750, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
164.7625, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
165.2875, N650 - BATFE NET 1
166.0000, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
166.8875, N085 - Savannah DoE TRS
167.8625, CSQ - VAMC paging in Asheville & Augusta
167.9250, CSQ - Paging from DoE Savannah
168.6750, 131.8 pl - USFS "COLUMBIA" Dispatch, Greenville, SC area
169.5500, N4C5 - GREAT SMOKEY MTN National Park "CLINGMANS DOME"
169.7375, D031 - Security patrols, ROMEO units, Raleigh - Durham area
169.9750, weak near Augusta area
170.5625, 71.9 pl - Security patrols, Raleigh - Durham area
170.9125, N130 - Near Columbia, SC on I-26
172.1875, N130
172.5000, N4C5 - GREAT SMOKEY MTN National Park "MT. STERLING"
172.7250, D051 - Blue Ridge Parkway "MT. MITCHELL", analog
172.7250, N120 - Blue Ridge Parkway "MT. MITCHELL", digital
172.7500, N130 - Blue Ridge Parkway "DOUGHTON MTN"
173.5875, N130 - US Army Corps of Engineers
173.6875, N130
173.7625, N130 - Blue Ridge Parkway "RICH MTN"
173.8125, 151.4 pl

406.1125, N010, P-25 TRS 01C
406.1375, Winston - Salem area
406.2750, N293
406.8125, N216 - Augusta area, Ft. Gordon TRS?
407.0125, N216 - Augusta area, Ft. Gordon TRS?
407.0500, Motorola Control Channel, TRS C514, Raleigh - Durham area
408.1250, N010
408.2500, Motorola Control Channel, TRS E721, Columbia, SC?
408.8125, N210 - Augusta area, Ft. Gordon TRS?
408.8125, N216 - Augusta area, Ft. Gordon TRS?
409.7375, 107.2 pl - Winston - Salem area
410.3250, N352 - Raleigh - Durham area
410.5625, N010 - Augusta area, Ft. Gordon TRS?
410.8125, N142 - Raleigh - Durham area
410.8500, 127.3 pl
416.8750, 118.8 pl

166.5125 MHz Mysteries

For those who have been into federal monitoring for a while, the frequency of 166.5125 MHz should appear familiar. It has been long known as the White House Communications Agency SIERRA channel, (inside info seems to indicate this now may be known as ALPHA).  It always seemed to be used by the WHCA advance teams when they were in town getting ready for a visit from the VP or POTUS.

However, some reports have this channel active in areas and times when no VIP visits were planned or ever occurred. As I mentioned in my logs of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, local listeners heard encrypted traffic on this frequency several weeks prior to the Super Bowl. While I guessed that they have have been scouting locations for a possible Super Bowl visit from POTUS, I have heard a couple reports from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of traffic on this frequency with more activity and longer operations that might be expected from the WHCA. One report heard some clear activity with what sounded like airborne surveillance operations, highly unlikely for the WHCA.

As far as I can tell, the frequency is an exclusive allocation to the WHCA and I've not logged any other agencies operations on this channel. But there might be a possibility that this frequency is in some Secret Service radios and they may just have decided to use it for some of their operations. There has long been an assumption that the Secret Service has some WHCA channels in their radios, as they two agencies often interact on many Executive Protection details.

Clearly, more information is needed. But keep an ear on 166.5125 MHz and see if it gets busy in your area.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Monitoring Logs

In the May issue of Monitoring Times, the Fed Files column contains my scanning logs from Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis this past February. I figured I'd post it here and see if anyone had anything to add or identify some of the unknowns I picked up while in Indy!

123.0250    AM    Area helicopter multicom channel
123.0500    AM    Area helicopter multicom channel
136.3750    AM    CBF OAM VHF "COMPANY"

148.0000    CSQ     Unknown agency

162.3250        Unknown
162.5875        Unknown
162.7625    N293    Unknown agency
162.8750    N023    DHS Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), input to 170.1
162.8750    N293    Unknown agency
162.9125    N069    DHS ICE, input to 171.2500
162.9750    N293    Unknown agency
163.1000    N167    FBI
163.1125    N496    Unknown agency, input to 170.7875
163.1250    N301    CBP
163.1875    N167    FBI
163.2000    N023    Unknown agency
163.2375        Unknown
163.7000    N169    ICE TAC 1
163.7250    N169    ICE tactical channel
163.8625    N167    FBI, input to 167.5375
163.9000    N167    FBI, input to 170.9375
163.9375    N167    FBI A6 input
164.1000    N301    CBP VACIS Operations
164.3500    NE03    Possible Department of Energy
164.4500        Possible EPA using DES encryption?
164.6500    N001    USSS TANGO
164.7875    N169    ICE TAC 4
165.2375    100.0    CBP NET 1 analog
165.2375    N301    CBP VACIS Operations
165.2875    N650    BATFE NET 1
165.3750    N001    USSS CHARLIE
165.5125    N301    CBP
165.6875    N301    CBP VACIS Operations
165.7250    N293    Unknown agency
165.8000    CSQ    Unknown agency
166.4375    N325    CBP DNET 1 input
166.4625    103.5    Possible TSA use at stadium, analog
166.5125    P-25    WHCA ALPHA, reported weeks prior but nothing heard during.
166.5875    100.0    Unknown
166.5875    N301    CBP DNET 12
166.6750    141.3    Unknown
167.0000    N100    Unknown agency
167.0250    N169    Possible ICE tactical channel
167.2125    N167    FBI
167.2125    N167    FBI A1
167.2875    167.9    FBI
167.3125    167.9    FBI
167.3875    N167    FBI
167.4125    167.9    FBI
167.5375    N167    FBI D6
167.5625    N167    FBI
167.7625    N167    FBI
167.7625    N167    FBI A6   
168.0000    141.3    Related to the 166.675 MHz?
168.1125    N68F    Federal Interoperability LE-4
168.5875    N169    ICE TAC 2
168.8375    N293    CBP AIR 1
168.9625    N293    Unknown agency
169.2625    N293    Unknown agency
169.5500    N325    CBP DNET 12 input
169.5625        Unknown
169.7250    N167    FBI
170.1000    N023    DHS ICE
170.4375    N167    FBI
170.4875    N167    FBI
170.7500    N293    US Marshals Service, Indianapolis Federal Courthouse
170.7875    N496    Unknown agency
170.9125    N167    FBI
170.9375    N167    FBI, A5
171.2000    NE03    Possible Department of Energy use
171.2000    N293    Unknown agency
171.2500    N069    ICE NET 1, repeater
171.3875    CSQ    USPS Bulk Mail Center, Truck Operations
171.6875    N293    Unknown agency
171.7750    N167    FBI
171.9500    N293    Unknown agency
172.1750        Unknown, possible data bursts
172.9000    N001    TSA at Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

228.9000    AM    Combat Air Patrol
238.2000    AM    Combat Air Patrol, TAC channel
260.9000    AM    Combat Air Patrol
350.0250    AM    CBP OAM UHF "3"
380.7875    NFM    Possible DoD land mobile use
383.4750    NFM    Possible DoD land mobile use

406.1375    127.3    Possible US Postal Service
406.2000    N201    Federal Protective Service, Region V
407.7250    N482    USPS Postal Inspection Service
407.7750    N482    USPS Postal Inspection Service
407.8375    N174    VAMC Maintenance
408.0375    N263    VAMC Police
408.9375    D162    Unknown
409.0750    D364    Unknown
409.2750    127.3    Possible US Postal Service
410.2000    127.3    USPS Bulk Mail Center, downtown Indianapolis
410.3000    156.7    Unknown
410.8750    146.2    Unknown
411.5250    127.3    Probably USPS operations
411.5500    127.3    Probably USPS operations
414.7250        Unknown
414.7375    D074    Unknown
415.0750    91.5    Unknown
416.7250    N482    USPS Postal Inspection Service, input to 407.7250
416.8375    N174    VAMC, input to 407.8375
417.0375    N263    VAMC, input to 408.0375
418.5250        Unknown
418.6000    136.5    Unknown
418.7750    100.0    Unknown