Sea Cadets invade the NASWI HF Station


Special to the News-Times

On Jan. 27, 22 cadets from the Orion Sea Cadet Squadron came to the NASWI high frequency (HF) station to learn about long range HF radio communications. The Orion Sea Cadet Squadron is based on the NAS Whidbey Seaplane base, and they marched in.

If you did not know that NASWI had an HF station, it is in building 13 on the Seaplane base. The station provided backup radio communications for the NASWI Emergency Operations center (EOC) and assists all of Navy Region Northwest EOCs with training and programming of their backup communications equipment.

One of the station’s HF Operators Willie Oliver monitored and assisted from his home in Oak Harbor. Another station operator, the station’s snowbird Mike Horvath, was at his winter home in Phoenix, Arizona. At the station to aid in the training was another operator, Tibor Szivos and the station Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC) Terry Sparks.

The squadron was divided into two groups as the station operating center could not hold 22 cadets at one time. The USO was kind enough to open their doors to allow the rest of the group a place to sit and wait for the other half to complete training.

The AOIC provided a Power Point presentation, which was a subset of the new operator training used when a new member would like to join the team.

After completion of the presentation, voice communications with Mike in Arizona and Willie in Oak Harbor were demonstrated. One cadet from each group had a chance to talk HF Radio. The cadets were shown how easy it is to create a Department of Defense type message using the station’s NOSS program. Messages were then sent and received via HF radio to Arizona. One message that came back was a weather report from Phoenix. Since it was raining here in Oak Harbor, we were all envious of the weather in Phoenix.

One of the counselors talked about Sea Scout training opportunities Cadets have in a training Oregon. The Cadets have an opportunity to take an amateur licensing class there. A few of the Cadets have taken the training and have a license. One of the Cadets present had his Technician Class Amateur license and is on his way to be a radio communicator.

Christopher Householder, USNSCC Auxiliary; Rogelio Jimenez, USNSCC Auxiliary; and Jennifer Kuehl, Sea Cadet’s parent coordinated the Sea Cadets visit to the NASWI HF Station.