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16339Re: [coldwarcomms] High Power Radio

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  • Tom Scanlan
    Feb 1, 2010
      Hi Jim-
      Thanks so much for your response! Those antennae have bugged me for a few years, and I am privileged to hear from you, who actually worked at the base! Last time I was there - January, 2009, the building was still marked Joint Task Force South - is that the same as JIATF?

      One day the gates happened to be down into the front parking lot, so I just walked up and went in. Confronted with a locked door in the lobby, I pressed the button and the door opened, allowing me into the next lobby, and there was a thick glass behind which were about three VERY serious looking people. I introduced myself, presented my ID card, and asked if I could have a tour!

      That shorted all their circuits! One guy then said "we don't do tours", to which I asked to talk to someone from Public Affairs. Again, the circuits blew, and the three people behind the glass just glowered at me, hoping I'd go away. Finally one guy told me to wait and he'd get someone. About 10 minutes later a lady - 40ish - came down and out to greet me, and I gave her my ID card, said I had worked in satellite communications, was a retired USAF LtCol, and could I have a tour.

      She said tours were possible, but rarely were they given to individuals. She suggested I contact the Key West associations related to the military, perhaps the local Navy League chapter, the Military Affairs Committee of the Chamber, etc, and that would probably be the best place to hook up with a group that would be having a tour.

      She took my email address, and I emailed her back, asking about the antennae. Never heard anything back, but we didn't get a knock on our door from the DIA/CIA/Secret Service/FBI, either. <grin>

      Jim, thanks again for your reply. Curious as to your career and what you did...obviously in the reserves at one time. I see you are living in Grand Haven. We're Michiganders as well, Yoopers, actually, Copper Falls. Small ghost town 30 miles north of Houghton. Both of us went to Mich State. I did 11 active and 27 reserve in the USAF.



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jim Johnson <jasbo01@...>
      To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 10:04 am
      Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] High Power Radio


      I had the opportunity to spend a one year ADSW (Active Duty - Special Work) at Key West when it was still JIATF-East. The antennas you refer to were, indeed, for the purposes of "looking in" on Cuba. The FBIS had a facility on site which they used to monitor and record Cuban Radio & TV broadcasts, along with other "special interest" programming. You'll note that the antenna arrangements consist of a number of paired antennas with a total of, if I remember correctly, six sets. With each pair, one is angled downward while the other is angled upward. This was to ensure a satisfactory "look angle" as the F layer changed from day to night. You may draw your own conclusions as to any other signals that were being snatched given the larger CN (Counter Narcotics) mission being carried out by other folks.

      Jim Johnson
      Grand Haven, MI

      --- On Sun, 1/31/10, Radioman390@... <Radioman390@...> wrote:

      From: Radioman390@... <Radioman390@...>
      Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] High Power Radio
      To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 9:27 PM

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Tom Scanlan <tomandsue@pasty. com>

      Also, anyone know the purpose of the numerous UHF-TV looking receive antennae on the big self supporting tower in the back of the JTF compound at the NAS Key West site adjacent to Truman Annex? Same with the four vertically polarized log periodic antennae? We're heading down there in a couple weeks....

      I've been there and noticed them too.

      Havana is 90 miles across the water, therefore I would suggest that those antennas are log periodics to pick all sorts of radio signals.
      For the UHF+ frequencies they might have a ship anchored outside the 12 mile limit with receivers which are then upconverted to other freqs for the final hop. Just conjecture on my part.

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