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Old 05-04-2017, 6:07 PM
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p1879 p1879 is offline
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Default Atlas, Sundance, Flint 14.686/18.666 USB

It has been many a year since these Drug War frequencies were in use, but for some time in the 1980's and early 90's they were swarming with what may have been the most exciting consistent Ute traffic ever.

There were aerial chases the length of Mexico ,aircraft watching packs of speedboats laden with their illicit "merca" split up and head in all directions, and interesting logistical traffic as well. Much of the action happened in the Caribbean, but the Andes and the Golden Triangle areas had traffic on these US Customs and DEA frequencies too.

If I recall correctly--and any correction or amplification is encouraged-- many of these comms were under net control by contractor Rockwell Collins, and some transmitters may have been at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I think they could remote tx/rx sites in many places though. The primary net control, "Atlas" put out a blistering signal, and traffic was very brisk with what seemed like hundreds of units at bases, shipboard, on aircraft and maybe some portable units. I got the impression some "civilian" pleasure or sail boats were being used for spotting purposes too. There were dramatic chases and reports of smugglers jettisoning bales while on the run. I remember one aerial pursuit where the smuggler landed at last light on a small cay, and the locals swarmed out to prevent the pursuing a/c from landing.

I had a brand new Icom R-71 back then, it was the best electronic entertainment ever for me.

Perhaps others who remember those days can share some more history and stories on this era of the Coke Busters.

The Coast Guard HF A/G and Rescue traffic would be my secondary nomination for Best Sustained Ute Excitement from those years when most comms were in the clear.
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