Warner Robins and Macon Road Trip Scanning Report; 11/12 June 2018

Since my nephew is thinking about joining the military after he graduates from high school, I took him on a trip to the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB, the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, and the Andersonville National Historic Site/Cemetery on Monday and Tuesday. We went to the Museum of Aviation with a side trip to the big Bass Pro Shops in Macon on Monday, stayed overnight in Warner Robins and then went to the National Infantry Museum and Andersonville on Tuesday, driving back home to Savannah on Tuesday evening. Since I wasn’t traveling alone, I didn’t have as much radio time as usual, but I did let the Home Patrol 2 and TRX-2 in the mobile station and the BCD436HP and TRX-1 portables scan and log during the trip.

Of particular interest on the first day of the trip, was Robins AFB. I always enjoy listening to military aviation activity at Robins and on Monday I was able to hear the usual E-8 JSTARS and Air Logistics Center activity, but some P-8s from NAS Jacksonville doing pattern work as well. The USAF TRS site at Robins AFB is something I usually listen to as well.  During this trip, I was able to ascertain that the USAF TRS encrypted talkgroup that is listed as “Doghouse” on RadioReference seems to be associated with the 116th/461st ACW and that the encrypted talkgroup 56166 seems to be the 116th/461st ACW MOC net.

Robins AFB
133.225 – Tower
257.975 – Tower
121.850 – Ground
275.800 – Ground
134.100 – Base Ops
225.925 – Robins ALC Ops
293.525 – 116th/461st ACW “PEACHTREE Ops”
119.600 – Atlanta TRACON
124.200 – Atlanta TRACON
279.600 – Atlanta TRACON
134.500 – ZTL South Departure Low
360.750 – ZTL South Departure Low

USAF TRS
TG 56046 – unknown
TG 56070 – ALC MOC
TG 56082 – ALC
TG 56121 – Robins AFB Base Ops
TG 56122 – Robins AFB Tower
TG 56123 – Robins AFD FD Dispatch
TG 56141 – Doghouse (enc); related to 116th/46st ACW)
TG 56166 – 116th/461st ACW (enc) (suspect this is MOC net)
TG 56192 – unknown
TG 56193 – unknown
TG 56257 – unknown

Monday evening and night’s weather around Warner Robins wasn’t very good. so it delayed several E-8 JSTARS flights at Robins AFB and generated a good bit of traffic on MOC nets at the base. TIGER 04 (P-8A, 169007, VP-8) and TIGER 88 (P-8A, 168760, VP-8) got in some pattern work at Robins before the storms came and DRACO 06 (E-8C, 00-2000, 116th/461st ACW) and PEACH 99 (E-8C, 94-0284, 116th/461st ACW) finally took off late in the evening after having to delay takeoff for lightning in the area.

TIGER 88 TIGER 4 3
ADS-B plot of TIGER 04 (P-8A, 169007, VP-8) and TIGER 88 (P-8A, 168760, VP-8) in the pattern at Robins AFB on 11 June 2018
IMG_20180611_213050_resize
The laptop running with a RadarBox Micro ADS-B/Mode-S receiver, TRX-1 andBCD436HP scanners connected to the laptop, and a BC125AT at the motel room in Warner Robins

At the Museum of Aviation, a number of aircraft are under restoration, including their B-17G, HU-16, and VP-26B. All three are in the Scott Exhibit Hangar behind the Eagle Building (main building). Unfortunately, the EC-135 that used to be the CENTCOM command post aircraft is still out back behind the museum with parts of the aircraft removed. I hope they get some funding at some point to restore it. The last time I visited the museum, someone asked if John Travolta’s Gulfstream was still there; on this visit, I looked behind the hangars and it is still there.

 

 

After spending the night in Warner Robins, we left for Fort Benning and Andersonville on Tuesday morning. The morning was foggy and there were rain showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, so I didn’t hear all that much activity around Fort Benning. The radios did log some aviation activity from Lawson AAF and some land mobile traffic from the Fort Benning TRS, but nothing new was turned up since my last visit there in 2017.

Fort Benning
119.050 – Lawson AAF Tower
269.525 – Lawson AAF Tower
125.500 – Atlanta Approach/Departure
126.550 – Atlanta Approach/Departure
323.100 – Atlanta Approach/Departure
134.100 – Lawson AAF Base Ops
245.700 – Lawson AAF Base Ops
121.050 – Lawson AAF GCA
132.400 – Lawson AAF GCA
307.325 – Lawson AAF GCA

Fort Benning TRS
TG 3041 – unknown
TG 3255 – Bayonet Battalion
TG 3274 – unknown
TG 3389 – unknown
TG 3453 – Lawson AAF
TG 3517 – Transportation
TG 3636 – Ammunition
TG 3537 – unknown
TG 3567 – Range Control?
TG 3701 – E911
TG 3703 – Range Control

While my nephew, who is really interested in the Rangers, enjoyed seeing the Ranger related exhibits at the National Infantry Museum, I took particular interest in some of their World War I exhibits. I never get tired of seeing the Renault FT tanks there and the M1916 Armored Car. On this visit, they had the Global War on Terror memorial completed across from the Vietnam War memorial. Just as the Vietnam War memorial has all the names of those killed in action during the Vietnam War, the Global War on Terror memorial has all of the names of those killed in action during that conflict.

 

 

After we visited the National Infantry Museum, since it wasn’t very far away, I thought it was important that my nephew see the site of the Civil War prison camp, the Prisoner of War Museum, and the cemetery at the Andersonville National Historic Site. I felt that if he was going to see all of the “cool” stuff about military history at the National Infantry Museum, he should see the other side of military history at Andersonville. I wanted him to impress upon him that the military wasn’t always glamorous and that there was a downside to military history that we need to remember. Luckily we got there just as the afternoon guided tour was about to begin. Park Service intern Jessica gave the tour and did a magnificent job of it. She just didn’t point out was there and what happened there, but also encouraged us to think and contemplate upon what happened at Andersonville. It was something I’m glad my nephew was able to experience.

 

In the bottom left photo above, of the graves of Union prisoners of war who died at Andersonville, I’ll call your attention to the six gravestones that sit off to the right on their own. These are the graves of the Raiders, a group of POWs who robbed from and killed their fellow POWs. They were tried by a jury of the peers and hanged by their peers by permission of the Confederate camp commander. They are considered dishonorably discharged and aren’t honored on holidays as are the rest of the POWs buried at Andersonville.

On both Monday and Tuesday, we were within listening range of the Bulldog MOA in east/central Georgia and could hear F-16s from Shaw AFB and McEntire JNGB as well as F-35Bs from MCAS Beaufort operating in the MOA on 343.750. We could also hear them entering and exiting the MOA on 322.325 with Atlanta Center.

There was a lot of public safety radio traffic to hear during the trip. In addition to local agencies in Georgia, we could hear local public safety agencies in Alabama while around Fort Benning and Columbus. Given the mix of urban and rural areas we went through, there was a mix of conventional and trunked systems as well as a mix of analog and digital traffic.

Georgia Conventional Public Safety
154.3550 (PL 141.3) – Butts Co FD Dispatch
154.1750 (PL 88.5) – Crawford Co FD Dispatch
154.0700 (PL 186.2) – Laurens Co FD Dispatch (Analog)
155.4000 (PL 85.4) – Macon Co FD/EMS Dispatch
155.6475 (PL 110.9) – Schley FD Dispatch
155.5500 (PL 225.7) – Talbot Co VFD
154.2650 (PL 156.7) – Taylor Co FD Dispatch
160.6650 (PL 118.8) – Upson Co FD Dispatch
159.1950 (PL 100.0) – Upson Co EMS Dispatch

Georgia State Public Safety
159.2250 (PL 179.9) – GFC D2 Repeater
159.2250 (PL 123.0) – GFC D3 Macon Repeater
159.1200 (DCS 047) – GFC D4 Covington Repeater
159.2400 (PL 167.9) – GFC D6 Bleckley Repeater

Alabama Conventional Public Safety
159.4350 (PL 107.2) – Barbour Co, AL Fire 1
151.1150 (PL 167.9) – Lee Co, AL Common
155.1450 (PL 123.0) – Lee Co, AL FD East Dispatch
154.0250 (PL 167.9) – Lee Co, AL EMS 1
155.8950 (PL 107.2) – Lee Co, AL EMS 2
154.4000 (DCS 134) – Auburn FD (Lee Co, AL)
154.1900 (PL 123.0) – Russell Co, AL Fire North Dispatch
154.3250 (PL 123.0) – Russell Co, AL Fire West Dispatch
453.0750 (PL 151.4) – Phenix City FD 1 (Russell Co, AL)

Central Georgia Interoperable Regional Radio System (P25)
TG 132 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Dispatch 1
TG 134 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 2
TG 135 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 3
TG 136 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 4
TG 151 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Event 1
TG 152 – Macon-Bibb Co FD Event 2

Houston/Peach TRS (P25)
TG 16 – Houston Co FD Dispatch
TG 17 – Houston Co FD FG 1
TG 61 – Warner Robins FD Dispatch
TG 64 – Warner Robins FD Training
TG 65 – Warner Robins FD Talk
TG 91 – Centerville FD Dispatch
TG 121 – Perry FD Dispatch

Muscogee County TRS (P25)
TG 71 – Columbus FD Dispatch

 

Fort Stewart and Hunter AAF Changes on the Department of Defense TRS

Savannah – Over the last few days, I’ve noticed some changes in the talkgroups being used by Fort Stewart and Hunter AAF Fire Departments and EMS on the Department of Defense TRS (formerly the Fort Stewart/HAAF TRS). They seem to have moved off of the previous talkgroups to some new ones although the radio UIDs seem to be the same. I haven’t fully figured them out and I have some recordings to sort through that will hopefully help with that, but here is what I’ve heard so far:

TG 371 – Fort Stewart FD new?
-Fort Stewart Central clg Fort Stewart FD units for radio checks, no answers, then showed up on TG 1095

TG 373 – Fort Stewart/Hunter AAF EMS new?

TG 1095 – Fort Stewart/Hunter AAF FD new?
-Fort Stewart FD units being called for radio checks
-Fort Stewart Central wkg HAAF FD units for radio checks; central multicast on TG 219 (old HAAF FD), but all answers on TG 1095

New SEGARRN Talkgroups for Chatham and Effingham Counties

Savannah – When I arrived back in Savannah this morning and checked ID Tracker III, I found some new talkgroups for both Chatham and Effingham counties. I leave ID Tracker III running at home in Savannah while I’m in Brunswick for just that reason.  The first two new talkgroups are new fireground talkgroups for Savannah Fire and Emergency Services. I’ve been expecting to hear more fireground talkgroups since Savannah Fire began riding first responder on crashes with injuries in Savannah. They now have at least seven fireground channels, up from their previous five. The third new talkgroup is from Effingham county, they have a talkgroup set aside for aviation activity on which ID Tracker III caught communications between LifeStar and Effingham Fire/Rescue units during a scene flight.

  • TG 2363 – Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Fireground 6
  • TG 2365 – Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Fireground 7
  • TG 1123 – Effingham County “51 Aviation”

What an interesting week it’s been with new talkgroups found in Chatham, Effingham, and Glynn counties!

Glynn County on the SEGARRN System – Update 2

Brunswick – As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Glynn County has switched from their analog trunked system to the SEGARRN regional trunked system. Other counties using this system are Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty. Glynn County’s portion of the system consists of four simulcast sites utilizing 700 MHz and 800 MHz frequencies from two licenses. The 700 MHz frequencies are from WQQI739 and the 800 MHz frequencies are from WQXA315 (frequencies are listed below). The four sites cover different portions of the county with one in Brunswick, one on St. Simon’s Island, one off of US 341 in the northern portion of the county, and one off of US 82 in the western portion of the county.

771.68125
771.93125
772.30625
772.55625
772.55625
854.0625
854.3875
854.6125
855.2375
855.7375
856.0125
856.4375
857.4375

So far, I’ve been able to identify eight talkgroups. For some time, Glynn County Public Works has been on the SEGARRN system with four talkgroups. I’m not sure of the actual talkgroup names, so I’ve listed them below as 1 through 4. Glynn County FD has been using two talkgroups on SEGARRN that correspond to their old F1 and F2 talkgroups on the Glynn County TRS. Brunswick FD has been heard on one talkgroup that corresponds with their old F1 talkgroup on the Glynn County TRS. I heard all three talkgroups being used before the switch for testing, but I wasn’t able to put firm ID’s on them until they put them in regular use. Glynn County Animal Control has also been heard on the system. Thus far, all local and county law enforcement seem to be on encrypted talkgroups. Identified talkgroups are listed below (so far, all of Glynn County’s talkgroups have been in the 13### range).

13312 – Glynn County Public Works 1
13313 – Glynn County Public Works 2
13314 – Glynn County Public Works 3
13315 – Glynn County Public Works 4
13320 – Glynn County FD 1
13324 – Glynn County FD 2
13334 – Brunswick FD 1
13383 – Glynn County Animal Control

Naturally, the law enforcement agencies going encrypted is going to upset some radio hobbyists, but it is what it is. You can look for more agencies, particularly law enforcement agencies, to go encrypted in the future. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of encryption (and I won’t be entertaining one in the comments section either). Losing the ability to hear the police isn’t the end of the hobby… There’s plenty left not encrypted and there to be listened to. If you’re interested in what’s not encrypted in Glynn County and the surrounding area, you’ll now need a digital scanner. Most of these run in the high $400 to low $500 range new. For the novice or casual listener, I’d suggest the Uniden Home Patrol. For those wanting to get a bit deeper into the hobby, the Uniden BCD436HP handheld and BCD536HP base/mobile would be a good choice. Whistler is now selling some GRE-based digital scanners which would also be excellent choices.

In a few weeks, I’ll bring the BCD396XT and a computer with ID Tracker III on it down to do some computer searching. That should hopefully ID some more talkgroups and put a start on IDing some Glynn County UIDs.

Glynn County on the SEGARRN System – Update 1

Brunswick – As I posted yesterday, Glynn County is transitioning from their legacy analog trunked system to the SEGARRN digital system that is also used by Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties. Some preliminary listening yesterday indicates that both Glynn County and City of Brunswick public safety agencies have moved over as well as Glynn County public works. From this point, depending upon what you like to listen to, there is good and bad news. If you like to listen to fire/rescue, you’re in good shape; the fire departments are using regular digital voice. If law enforcement listening is your thing, you’re out of luck; it appears that both Glynn County PD and Brunswick PD are using encrypted talkgroups. (If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know I don’t blog on Law Enforcement communications anyway)

After listening for just a short time yesterday morning I was able to identify three talkgroups, although I haven’t yet figured out a talkgroup designator or ID for them:  13312 is Glynn County Public Works, 13320 is Glynn County FD Dispatch, and 13334 is Brunswick FD Dispatch. I’ll be leaving a radio and computer running for awhile to do some logging and as I figure out more I’ll post more updates.