I can't think of any technical reason for the reduction can anyone else? The transponders appear to still be there for the CONUS and look to be operating with some secure and other timing stuff being relayed.
269.950 MHz used to be one of the hot frequencies.
It was often used by AF1, AF2, and a lot of SAM flights.
After Korean Airlines flight 007 was shot down in 1983 ..............
Secretary of State, George Shultz, used that frequency while flying to the UN Security Council meeting.
He directed setting up audio/video equipment so they could play tapes of the Russian pilot's communications proving they deliberately shot the plane down.
It was also used by Dick Rutan for his Voyager flight around the world in 1986.
I have tape recordings of that somewhere around here. Yes, on actual tape.
I don't know how, or why they had SatCom clearance, but they did.
I bet there was some good stuff to listen to back in the day. I wonder what it would have been like scanning that band with a modern receive back then. I would imagine encryption was not 100% like it is now.
Actually, encryption was closer to 0%. (Well maybe not quite that low, but close to it.
In 1985 Leon Klinghoffer (a disabled American) was murdered and thrown overboard by Palestinian terrorists in the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro.
President Ronald Reagan ordered a U.S. fighter plane to force the terrorist's get-away plane to land at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy.
He gave that order over the SatCom in clear voice.
He had a hearing problem that made it difficult for him to hear encrypted communications.
Up until at least some time after Geo. H. W. Bush's term, most of the phone patches from AF-1, AF2, and the SAM flights were in the clear.
I can't say what happened after then because I was too busy working and out of the country to have much monitoring time.
It was quite a few years before I got back into it.
Edit: Several other things that come to mind that were in the clear on SatCom.
The invasion of Panama
And the invasion of Grenada to rescue some medical students
Thanks for this. I did hear activity on most of these last night (and the open carriers). My Satcom freqs have become somewhat neglected over time, so last night I started to get them back in order, and soon will have them programmed on my 8200.
I can say that 255.550 and 265.550 have been silent; these were my quick "go to" checks.
Thank you for the info but,
I have monitored milsats
for a long time.
I always include those
open carriers in my logs,esp.
good for beginers to see
if they can get a hit on them
Not my first milsat rodeo.
I remember listening in the mid 80s to US personnel in Nicaragua and heard the live announcement back to DC of the first US causality who was an observer. Then there was the group looking for US remains in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos and they used the satellite like a CB radio.