The High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS) is a US worldwide network of 15 high-power HF stations providing air/ground HF command and control radio communications between ground agencies and US military aircraft and ships. Allied military and other aircraft are also provided support in accordance with agreements, and international protocols, as appropriate.
The HFGCS is not dedicated to any service or command, but supports all DoD authorized users on a traffic precedence/priority basis. General services provided by the HFGCS are:
- General Phone Patch and Message
- Automatic Link Establishment (ALE)
- HF Data Support (AUTODIN/NOVA and SACCS)
- Command and Control Mission Following
- Emergency Assistance
- HF Direction Finding Assistance
- ATC Support
- E-Mail connectivity to NIPRNeT and SIPRNeT
HFGCS stations operate on “core” frequencies to provide increased "Global" coverage. The published frequency listing does not reflect complete system frequency authorizations. These published frequencies will be used for initial contact, EAM broadcasts, and short-term C2 phone patch and message delivery. Other extended or special services will be moved to each station’s available "discrete" frequencies.
HFGCS Core Frequencies
HFGCS Station Frequencies
Note: McClellan has now
been renamed West Coast
The Western Space Missile Centre (WSMC) HF Net operates the following frequencies for emergency contact relating to munitions:
5700, 13218 with the callsign Abnormal One Zero (Vandenberg AFB, CA) and Abnormal Two Zero (Wheeler AFB, HI)
The Air Force Eastern Test Range (AFETR) HF Network may be used as a backup to HF GLOBAL. They may be contacted on USB 10780 (primary) and 20390 (secondary). Their call sign is CAPE RADIO.
Diego Garcia JDG
South Atlantic MPA
West Coast MCC
Updated 23 March, 2016
Below an archived copy of old USAF information for your reference.
Procedures are largely similar in HFGCS.
(Specific base frequencies have not been varified since 2002):
Operating Procedures (SOP's):
Authorized users may request service from GHFS station by calling "Mainsail". Any station in the net recieving the call will respond and provide requested service. Minimum service by all stations are phone patch and message relay service. Phone patch permits direct voice communication between ground agencies and aircraft/ships by electronically connecting telephone circuits or other voice channels to radio transmitting and recieving equipment. For pp: callsign, telephone number and location should be stated if known.
When contacting GHFS for RTTY, global will designate and alternate frequency for the service.
EAM messages are common on all frequencies, only aircraft with emergency or distress situations are to interupt EAM broadcasts made out by GHFS using the static words "PAN PAN PAN" or "MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY". GHFS are not directly capable of Direction Finding. However stations can assist in DF by coordinating between various aircraft in the vicinity.
More often then not you will hear "REACH" aircraft requesting a pp to an airbases' AMC CP giving them a heads up about their load, passengers, estimated time of arrival and aircraft technical status. Almost always this pp is followed by one to the destinations airbase meteorological office to ask them the current or expected weather conditions before they land there. At the end of the pp to the wx shop on an airbase the pilot occasionally asks the meta man if he wants a PIlots REPort (PIREP) as an extra service, so the wx shops can give better forecasts on the weather for other aircraft and anticipate.
AMC Operations Center: The USAF Air Mobility Command Tanker airlift Control Center (TACC) at Scott AFB, provides worldwide service for AMC missions. Either TACC or appropriate AMCC can be contacted for airlift movement reporting or assistance through Global stations. Calls can be made out to:
|Denali||Elmendorf AMCC (Alaska)|
|Furious||Howard AMCC (Panama)|
|Brickyard||Osan AMCC (Korea)|
|Hilda East||TACC East Cell (USA)|
|Hilda West||TACC West Cell (USA)|
|Tracker||USAFE UTRACC (Germany)|
Note: Also the Air Force Eastern Test Range (AFETR) can be contacted as back-up on 10780 (pri) or 20390 (sec) under callsign "Cape Radio". Furthermore a new station has stepped in with callsign "Puerto Rico".
352 SOG, Mildenhall, UK
The 352nd Special Operations Group at Mildenhall AB operates several aircraft. Operations are using the callsign 'Blackhat'. For HF they have a wide array of frequencies available although the following are mostly used:
USAF KC-135, Det Istres, France
After operation 'Allied' force the USAF(E) still maintains a KC-135 detechment at Istres/le-Tube, France. Operations goes by the name 'Riviera Ops'. Their HF Operations are taking place on:
Ramstein Airbase, Germany
Apart from the GHFS system, the 86AW
aircraft based at Ramstein have a specially formed HF service at their disposal
which can help them to make the missions a succes. The communication unit is
based at Ramstein and is using the callsign 'Metaphore' and uses the following
|26.725||Aviation Regiment Common|
Brindisi Airbase, Italy
Identical to Mildenhall, the Special
Operation Squadron here has a HF usage. Operations here are using the callsign