Military Radio Monitoring returns…

Military Aviation and Radio Monitoring has been a constant aspect of my life
ever since I bought my first ever radio scanner as a young teenager on holiday in Florida many, many years ago.

The hobby quickly turned into an obsession which ultimately led to an
enjoyable six-year spell as the Military and Mode-S Editor of PW Publishing’s Radio User Magazine.

A career change in 2011 would see the aviation and radio hobby very much
take a back seat, albeit it was always within arm’s reach and I would occasionally be able to dip my toe back into the scene, even if just for a short time.

The fire was well and truly lit again however on a recent holiday to
Lanzarote with my partner and soulmate. After a quick visit to the hotel book
exchange to find something to read while sipping Pina Coladas by the pool side, a Dale Brown book jumped out at me with the distinctive image of an F-111 Aardvark on the cover.

I quickly found myself engrossed in a tense and heavily detailed military
airborne adventure as Nuclear war loomed. The authenticity in the detail was
nothing short of incredible, from documenting the general flight procedures, indepth commentary and narrative during inflight refuelling missions and the mass deployment and movement of military assets.

I was hooked. I literally couldn’t put the book down and as every page
turned, I had fond memories of years gone by being at the forefront of military aviation around the UK, spending many happy hours in the radio shack monitoring all sorts of military radio traffic from routine training sorties, Quick Reaction Alerts, and on occasion historic and significant operational deployments in the global theatre.

I recalled numerous transit flights of the venerable U-2 Spy plane, overflights
of the now retired (allegedly) F-117 Stealth Fighter, listening to B-2 Stealth
Bombers refuel mid-flight and track the mass deployment of B-52 Bombers
arriving at RAF Fairford ahead of the start of the second Gulf War.

I realised how significant this hobby had been, the impact if had and the
fact I had a front low seat on historic global events. I needed to get this
back into my life and very quickly I found myself jotting down notes and ideas and crucially, creating a list of things I needed to do to get things back up and running.

And alas, here we are. I’m currently sitting in the revamped military radio
monitoring shack just as a number of significant deployments and exercises are about to take place including B-2 Stealth Bombers at RAF Fairford, and a
multi-national air warfare exercise being hosted at RAF Waddington.

So, strap yourself in for equipment reviews, past and previous deployments,
trip and airshow reports and pretty much anything and everything related to
military aviation and radio monitoring

3 thoughts on “Military Radio Monitoring returns…

  1. Excellent. I look forward to reading your blog. I find your tweets very useful and makes up for me being at work rather than at the fence with my camera.


  2. OK – here goes – Since I guess you may want to know a bit about who’s following your blog.

    As a child in the 1970’s I can remember been off school for the day and twiddling knobs on my mother valve radio, I can clearly remember tuning below 88 and above 108Mhz FM and listening to exciting stuff like taxi’s and the waterboard (not sure I could hear the uniformed services) but it filled the day with intrigue and interest.

    By chance, latter that year I clearly remember the thrill of sitting within earshot of a fellow spectator at RAF Church Fenton airshow, he had a primitive Air-band Radio and was listening to aircraft talking to ATC.

    Some years latter I bought a cheap shortwave radio with Air-band and soon progressed spending my hard earned cash on a secondhand Signal 535, AOR2515 (PC controlled AR2002) etc,etc – I was hooked.

    Fond memories of all things “radio monitoring” a few that spring to mind – Javiation, Un-seen Airshow, ScanMag, swapping TAD’s, Exercises like Alder-Joust and general spending hours looking skyward and button pushing hoping to hear some North Sea intercept.

    When I had kid’s of my own and everything went digital I sold a small mountain of radio gear at my local Ham Radio Club summer fair and concentrated in paying off my mortgage. Kept hold of my AOR8600 but never had the time to even learn how to use it fully.

    Now many years on, I have this feeling that I might just be missing out on something I really enjoyed all those years ago –

    Thanks BunkerAlpha – keep tweeting and best of luck with this blog


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