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Marines learn DF'ing of unKnown RF Emitters......

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by BTPost, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator


    United States Marines know that being able to locate a lost person or find an enemy might save lives and their training prepares them for this. But there are some things classroom training can’t teach, which is why Sergeant. Philip Rice, KK4NBK, and a dozen other Marines recently traveled from Camp Lejeune to Salisbury, North Carolina to learn the art of hidden transmitter hunting from members of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society.

    In an interview with the Sailsbury Post newspaper, Sergeant Rice said he tries to locate opportunities for hands-on training that will help members of his unit be more prepared for their duties. As a part of the days training, club members Tommie Wood, N4YZ, and Gary Lang, K4GHL, showed some of the specialized antennas used for radio direction-finding. Afterward, the Marines paired up with members of the club as they fanned out through woods on the outskirts of Salisbury for a T-Hunt practice session.

    According to Sergeant Rice, amateur radio is a good way to open people’s minds, and prepare them for more than just our current war on terror. You can read the entire story of this group effort between the Marines and the Rowan Amateur Radio Society at tinyurl.com/marines-and-hams (Sailsbury Post)

    Brokor and tulianr like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Any given ham club might be doing hare and hound (or fox hunt) exercises for beer and/or gear. A simple loop antenna works, and in some cases better than the specialized antennas the pros use. Those clubs that do much H&H often have the specialized (and small) transmitters that can be well hidden by a member in weird places. At least one was found hanging in a tree that the hunters passed under and never looked up while searching the ground around the base of the tree. One of our guys has committed to building a transmitter that will serve the purpose.

    @-06 might be interested in that at the rendezvous in the fall.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
    kellory likes this.
  3. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Thanks for posting that story Bruce. It gave me a smile. Those Marines were from my old unit at LeJeune - 2nd Radio Bn. Other Marines always thought we were either communicators or repair techs, as the unit name might suggest. I was there from '82-'84, from '86-'89, and from '94-'96. In between tactical tours, we'd generally do a tour at an agency field site. It sounds like these guys had a good time. I'd never heard of these types of hunts. I wish we'd been aware of them during my time there.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When I read the story, your picture showed up in my "Minds Eye" right off, and i thought that I should tag you in that thread... Nice to relive our youth....
    tulianr likes this.
  5. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Am I the only one thinking those same Marines might be kicking in the doors of the members of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society at some point ?
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    It was of interest to ME, that they went to the local Hams, to learn how to do this "Old School"..... As Tuli stated, these were from his Old Outfit, and more than likely they would at least have, the same, or better, Hardware than Tuli had when he was in..... When I was a FED, we had one Truck, in each Region, that had all the latest "Cool Stuff', and we had to certify, on it, every year. My Region's Truck was in Seattle, and I flew down, and chased CB'ers, and Truckers, a couple of days a year, back in those days. We usually had a US Marshal, attached to the Task Force, to provide any muscle, needed. They semed to think this was a "Fun Duty", as our Bad Guys usually didn't try and shoot it out with them..... ......
  8. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    The Marine SigInt units do indeed have some high speed computerized vehicle-mounted and hand held DF devices; but I suspect that the old-school aspect of this exercise was one of the attractions. When I first arrived at 2d Radio Bn, back in '82, we still had the handheld, loop antennas with which to perform radio direction finding. While they may not have been the most "high-speed" of devices, you did at least understand the basics of direction finding after becoming proficient in their use. These days, with the computerized hardware, all you need to know is how to push a button. When I left there in '96, a single push of a button would instantaneously provide a DF line of bearing from all units within the network, whether stationary or mobile, and provide a ten digit grid coordinate of the transmitter. A semi-literate baboon could operate it. The discussion at the time, and I'm sure they've worked out the details by now, was how to tie tactical airborne and national-level spaceborne assets into the system algorithm.

    Anyway, there is much to be said for "getting back to basics" and understanding why A+B equals C. I'm glad these Marines are smart enough to realize that, and that they have such a resource available to them as the cumulative knowledge of the members of the Rowan County Amateur Radio Society.
    Yard Dart and BTPost like this.
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