A Communications net of Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Forces in Liberia
Published: Saturday, 02 May 2009 06:32
Written by Ulrich Bihlmayer, DJ9KR , published by Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM
A quick Success of DARC Bandwatch: A Communications net of Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Forces in Liberia has left 21415 kHz after a Complaint by FAX and Email
If you carefully monitor the exclusive 15 m- Amateur Radio Band (21000 – 21450 kHz) you will often meet non-amateur radio stations in this section: Since quite some time there is a net of the Foreign Ministry of Sudan in PACTOR-1 and SSB on 21000 kHz. The crews of fish trawlers from Argentina are chatting on 21102 and 21111 in SSB. You will also regularly meet fishermen from Morocco on 21222 and their Spanish colleagues on 21230 and 21420 daily. But you just have to listen! *)
During the second half of November and the first half of December 2005 several times I found traffic in a language unknown to me on 21415,2 kHz in SSB-LSB. Sometimes there were three persons chatting and exchanging phone patches. Sometimes figures were spelled in English language, e. g. when a telephone number was indicated. Where did the voices come, and which language was it? By rotating my 3-element beam antenna I quickly realized that the louder station was in the south of my QTH. The much weaker station seemed to be in my east. For some days I had been listening to their traffic without interfering them. On December 5 the conditions were very good. The station from the South was S9 with me. So I decided to call the operator in English language asking him for his call sign and location. The operator came back in English, too, and told me that his call sign was “One-Five”, and that he was in contact with London and Lahore. Also he pointed out that this frequency was his. He added that his name was Mr Hafoor, and that he was a member of the Pakistani UN Contingent of the Peacekeeping Forces in Monrovia, Liberia. When I asked him to leave the frequency immediately, bcos this was an exclusive amateur radio frequency, he kept on calling “One-Five-over” and “Zero-Nine-over” for more than fifteen minutes.
Thanks to Internet and GOOGLE search engine I quickly loaded the homepage of the Pakistani UN Forces in Liberia. There I found the telephone number and the fax-address of the UNMIL Headquarters in New York. The head of the Contingent was a Major General Muhammad Tahir. Even his picture was on the Homepage! To him I sent a distinct but friendly complaint asking the General to contact his Signal Officers to leave the frequency 21415 kHz because it was allocated to the Amateur Radio Service exclusively. Also I added a list of all Amateur Radio Frequency bands.
Two days later I got two replies from the Pakistani UNMIL. They read:
For your information please. I would just like to add that radio set IC 751 A is the voice link with Base in Pakistan and was recently being reconfigured due to certain technical problems. The staff would, however, ensure that no overlap with frequency band (21.000 – 21.450 MHz) occurs in the future.
M. Farrukh Rashid / Brig Gen
Comd Sec 2 PAKCON
From : UNMIL SECTOR 2SEC COMM OFFICER
12/08/2005 12:16 AM
Subject: UNMIL Website Query
1. The matter has been investigated at our and the HF frequency 21.415 MHZ is not being used by an HF radio net of Pakistani Contingent in Liberia. However, there could be an unintentional ingress into the frequency band (21.000 – 21.450 MHZ) while undertaking test operation of radio set IC 751 A which were conducted approximately during the same time period. We would also like to acknowledge that dedication of the frequency band was not to our knowledge. Necessary steps have been initiated to avoid recurrence in future.
2. Any unintentional inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.
MAJOR KHALID HASAN BUTT
SEC COMM OFFICER
Then I wrote a letter of thanks to UNMIL. Also I wished the Generals Muhammad Tahir, Farrukh Rashid and Major Hasan Butt good luck for their peacekeeping activities in Liberia and a happy new year 2006.
The net on 21415 kHz was not heard since. Another success of German Bandwatch!