Savannah – It’s been an interesting day on the radios today! It was a day of rare snags and new discoveries. My day was made early this morning when I heard NASA 809 (ER-2, NASA) on the radio. Later in the evening, I finally found Isle of Hope FD on the SEGARRN system. Finally, it sounds like 3-17 Cav from Hunter AAF is in the field training at Fort Stewart and the 3rd Aviation Brigade talkgroup has been extremely busy as a result.
Between 0830/0900 this morning, I caught NASA 809 on 120.950 with SEALORD and 132.425 with Jacksonville ARTCC. NASA 809 is an ER-2, which is the civilian version of the U-2 that NASA uses for research purposes. He was orbiting off of the coast between the coast and SEALORD’s airspace and told Jax Center that he would be RTB to Robins AFB when his work was complete. Hearing a U-2 or ER-2 in this area is very rare, so this evening when I had some spare time I did some web research to find out what the ER-2 was doing in the area. It turns out that it is participating in a precipitation research project called IPHEx; for more information see Duke University’s IPHEx page and NASA’s IPHEx page. NASA’s ER-2 program is on Twitter and I found they’ve been tweeting the aircraft’s takeoffs, so you can follow them to see when it’s in the air.
In other scanning news, I’ve been trying to find Isle of Hope FD on the SEGARRN system for quite some time and this evening I finally heard them while they were doing their usual Monday night drills. They popped up on TG 485 which matches their TG 7760 on the Chatham-Effingham TRS. I suspect that they are still actually using radios programmed for the Chatham-Effingham system due to their lower budget and it popped up because of the SmartX link between the two systems.
The 3rd Aviation Brigade talkgroup (TG 133) on the Department of the Army TRS has been very busy the last few days and very much so today. It sounds like the OH-58Ds of 3-17 Cav are out in the field training and their Ops and other stations have been using the talkgroup to coordinate training efforts. It’s been fun to correlate what I’ve been hearing on this talkgroup with what I’ve been able to hear on Hunter AAF and Fort Stewart aviation frequencies.