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Radio News in March 2011

U.S. launches radio propaganda operation in Libya

Commando SoloThe U.S. military has begun clandestine radio broadcasts urging Libyan forces to lay down arms. The Joint Task Force has confirmed to DXing.info that at least one "Commando Solo" airborne radio station is in the area to broadcast information to the Libyan public.
     "The Libyan people deserve to hear factual information about the international community's resolve to mobilize military assets to prevent further escalation of the current crisis (in) Libya," says Marine Corps captain Clint Gebke of the Joint Task Force public affairs to DXing.info.
     Based on observations by DXing.info and radio hobbyists around Europe, broadcasts are currently conducted daily, but only for a few hours at most, on the shortwave frequency of 10405 kHz. The transmission is only heard on the upper side band (USB).
     DXing.info observed on March 28 that an 8-minute-long loop recording containing eight different messages in both Arabic and English was being broadcast non-stop without any station identification or music. The messages were mostly aimed at Libyan Naval officers and sailors.
     Part of the second announcement reads as follows: "Libyan sailors. Any orders you receive are unlawful. The Gaddafi regime forces are violating a United Nations resolution ordering the end of hostilities in your country. Return to your family or your home safely. If your ship attempts to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately." On March 29 news agencies reported that U.S. forces had indeed attacked three Libyan vessels that were caught firing indiscriminately towards merchant ships in the harbor of the besieged town of Misrata.
     Some of the pre-recorded messages are aimed more generally at forces loyal to colonel Muammar Gaddafi: "Your family needs you. Return home safely. Lay down your arms and refuse orders from your current illegitimate government. Any hostilities against Coalition forces will be met with deadly force. Do not harm your fellow countrymen. Stop fighting. Abandon your equipment and weapons and return home safely."
     A full transcript of the English-language messages can be found posted in the Africa forum of the DXing.info Community. Here you can also listen to a sample recording of the first messages in Arabic and in English (MP3). Although the messages are promoting the Coalition agenda, the U.S. military hasn't explicitly acknowledged being behind these broadcasts. According to anonymous military sources quoted by AP, Commando Solo has also been involved in dropping leaflets a number of times, most recently on March 27 at Gaddafi ground troops near Misrata.
     The U.S. military has declined to give any more information about the radio propaganda operation. In response to questions from DXing.info, operational security reasons are said to prevent any further disclosure. This is in contrast to a similar operation in Iraq in 2003, when broadcast frequencies were readily made public, after all, the first prerequisite for a successful radio propaganda operation is to make sure that the audience knows when to listen to what frequencies.
     Also reasons behind the frequency choice remain a mystery. The chosen frequency is not on any broadcast band, and furthermore, the transmission is only on a single sideband, effectively making it impossible for ordinary Libyans to listen to it. It is not even known that 10405 kHz would have had any military use in Libya, meaning that its reach among the Libyan military is questionable.
    The radio propaganda operation was first heard on March 20 by several radio hobbyists on the frequency of 6877 kHz, and reported on the Utility DXers Forum (UDXF). In addition to English and Arabic, also French was used in these first messages aimed mostly at Gaddafi's naval forces. Broadcasts on 10405 kHz were first reported heard on March 27.
    Commando Solo is operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command's 193rd Special Operations Wing, based in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Based on monitoring of air traffic control frequencies by radio hobbyists in Europe, it has been suggested that Commando Solo operating in the Libyan theater is based in Souda Bay air base on the island of Crete in Greece.
(DXing.info, March 29, 2011)


Radio Nord revived in Sweden after 50 years

Radio Nord logoRadio Nord will be resurrected on March 8, 2011, exactly 50 years after its original launch. Radio Nord was a pirate station operating outside Sweden's territorial waters in 1961-1962. Now on the 50th anniversary Radio Nord will be celebrated by launching a licensed temporary station in Sweden, broadcasting on 1512 kHz mediumwave and 6060 kHz on the 49 meter shortwave band. The Radio Nord broadcast will begin at 0848 UTC, and occasional test transmissions can be heard beforehand. The AM transmitter site is located in Vallentuna near the Swedish capital Stockholm. The shortwave transmitter site is Sala, some 100 kilometers northwest from Stockholm. The transmitter power will be 1 kW on the AM band and 10 kW on shortwave. Radio Nord programming will also be rebroadcast on a few Swedish FM stations and Radio Merkurs in Latvia on 1485 kHz. The station can be contacted by email. The project has been organized by Ronny Forslund.
(DXing.info, March 6, 2011)


Radio Gloria from Switzerland reactivates 1566 kHz AM

Radio Gloria logoRadio Gloria is a new station broadcasting on 1566 kHz mediumwave from Switzerland. In previous years, the same frequency had been used by both a public and a private broadcaster in the country. Radio Gloria
broadcast 24/7 for a month, but with only 250 watts of power, from a transmitter site near Lucerne. The station was however heard as far as in Scandinavia. The station was testing on the air only from February 3 to March 2. Previously in 2010 the shortwave frequency of 6085 kHz was used, and it may be reactivated in the spring of 2011. Radio Gloria has been on the air since 2008 on the Internet, satellite and cable, but only occasionally on the broadcast bands. Reception reports are welcome by email, and snail mail can be sent to Postfach 540, CH-6281 Hochdorf, Schweiz.
(DXing.info, March 6, 2011)


Radio 6150, another low-power shortwave station in Germany

Radio 6150 has begun test broadcasts with only 5 watts of power, naturally on 6150 kHz shortwave. Eventually the station plans to increase transmitter power to 6 kW. The first broadcast was aired on February 25th. The transmitter site is located north of Munich in Germany. Reception reports can be sent by email. Previously, several private German stations have begun broadcasts on the 49 meter shortwave band. Hamburger Lokalradio is broadcast on 5980 kHz, Radio 700 on 6005 kHz and various other stations on 6085 and 6150 kHz.
(DXing.info, March 6, 2011)



Radio Sentir new in Argentina on 1620 kHz mediumwave


Radio Sentir is a new unlicensed Argentine station on the extended AM band. Radio Sentir broadcasts on 1620 kHz from Merlo, Provincia de Buenos Aires. The station was first reported heard on January 22 by local DXers Arnaldo Slaen and Enrique Wembagher. Radio Sentir has announced telephone number (0220) 470-4265. The directors of the station are Daniel Barrientos and Estela Sánchez. Radio Sentir was first reported by Marcelo A. Cornachioni on Condig mailing list on January 28.
(DXing.info, March 6, 2011)

The purpose of the radio news section is to inform about new mediumwave (AM) and shortwave broadcasting stations worldwide. Other news are published only on major international broadcasters or issues very relevant to DXers. New programs and schedules are not covered.

News are edited by Mika Mäkeläinen. If you have first hand news about radio broadcasting or DXing, please email us (info at dxing.info). You may also post news items yourself in the DXing.info Community. News items originate from the DXing.info website or own sources unless another source is mentioned. Extracts from news items may be quoted if the website http://www.DXing.info is mentioned as source. See terms of use for details.


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