Air Force High Frequency Regional
In the late 1980s, with the loss of the NWS
meteorological alphanumeric and facsimile HF radio
broadcasts, the Air Force initiated a High Frequency
Regional Broadcast (HFRB) program to transmit
alphanumeric information from the AWN and graphic
products from AFWA on several regional broadcasts.
These broadcasts are available and compatible with
Navy shipboard receivers. Either alphanumeric or
graphic data may be directed to the TESS or IMOSS
systems. Alternatively, alphanumeric data may be
directed through a converter to a shipboard teleprinter,
and the graphic data directed to a facsimile recorder.
These broadcasts carry AFWA regional graphic
products on the upper sideband of the listed frequency
and AFMEDS alphanumeric regional information on
the lower sideband of the frequency. Broadcast
frequencies and transmission times are available from
the Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast
Schedules published by the Department of
Commerce/NOAA. This publication lists worldwide
transmissions of meteorological and oceanographic
products. Few observational data broadcasts are listed
since these are not designed for use by the average
mariner. Products are listed by the scheduled UTC
transmission time of the product. HFRB sites broadcast
only one frequency at any given time with routine
frequency shifts at sunrise and sunset at the transmitter
site. The broadcast is normally unencrypted, but may be
encrypted for special Air Force support. When tuning a
receiver to copy the sideband transmissions, you must
tune your receiver 1.9 kHz higher than the listed
frequency for an upper sideband (USB) signal and 1.9
kHz lower for a lower sideband (LSB) signal.
There are three active HFRB broadcast sites
currently operational: a United States HFRB site at
Elkhorn, Nebraska; a European HFRB site at
Croughton, England; and a Caribbean and Central
American HFRB site at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
U.S. Navy Fleet Broadcasts
NAVMETOC regional centers still have HF
facsimile broadcast capability that may be used as a
backup source for meteorological data aboard ship.
Navy Mobile Environmental Teams and Marine Corps
METMF van sites may copy HF broadcasts as their
primary data source when routine fleet meteorological
communications are not available. However, these HF
broadcasts are activated on a contingency-on-request
basis only. Special request for activation of a particular
HF broadcast must be sent to the appropriate
NAVMETOC regional center.
The content of the HF broadcast is controlled by
each NAVMETOCCOM regional center to provide
support for U.S. Navy units operating within their AOR.
Most products are computer-generated graphics of
surface and upper-air analysis and forecast products.
The data signals for the graphic products are sent from
the regional centers to naval communications stations
via landline. The communications station then
transmits the signal on HF radio. Transmission
frequencies and the broadcast time of each particular
product are available by mail from each regional center,
and are also included as part of the broadcast.
U.S. Coast Guard Facsimile Broadcast
The U.S. Coast Guard transmits a high-frequency
facsimile broadcast of National Weather Service charts
and satellite imagery. Broadcast stations include San
Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, and Kodiak.
Schedules and frequencies are available via the Internet.
As with other HF meteorological transmissions, a
listing of broadcast frequencies is available in the latest
edition of Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile
Foreign HF Broadcasts
Many meteorological and oceanographic data
broadcasts containing either radio teletype or facsimile
information are also available by copying HF radio
transmissions from different countries of the world.
U.S. Navy ships conducting an exercise or operation in
a particular area may require more detailed
meteorological information than is available on the
Fleet Environmental Broadcast or regular military HF
facsimile broadcasts. You may have to tune into a
foreign HF radio meteorological broadcast and copy all
of the information that country is willing to share with
the rest of the world.
Two publications are very useful in determining the
frequency and content of the various indigenous
broadcasts. We have already mentioned the Worldwide
Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules
publication. Another useful publication for
meteorological or oceanographic data collection is Air
Force Manual 100-1, Global Weather Intercepts. A
portion of this publication lists meteorological
broadcast frequencies and transmission times grouped
according to the type of broadcast-continuous wave
(CW), RATT, or facsimile-region, country, and