U.S. Govt. Vans W/ Antennas

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K5MAR

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A fellow ham friend of mine has reported several times seeing some vans on the interstate (35), something like a full-sized GM 3/4 ton extended model, with U.S. Govt. tags and something like 15 hard-mounted antennas on the roof. He said they usually travel in groups of three or four. I asked him if they were black, he laughed and said no, they were regular-looking, so I guess they were white. No markings.

Anybody have any idea what they might be?

Mark S.
 

milf

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Hmm would need an accurate description of the ants mounted on the vans.. ie- VHF Hi, VHF Lo, UHF, 800??????? Would also need an accurate description of the placement.. ie- grouping of 3, 4, or other....

Also are these regular vans, or the heavy duty ones?

Usual triangulation teams from FCC are in groups of three vans, triple antennas on roof. Oh and if the vans are equipped with specail lighting- wig-wags, corner/rear strobes, etc.. wuld also be good info...
 

iceman47

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My reference was to the "Maxwell Smart" group that is based in Washington D.C.
They have been around since 1964 or so.
Their agents carry number I.D.s such as 99 etc and run by a guy they call "CHIEF".
 
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N_Jay

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iceman47 said:
My reference was to the "Maxwell Smart" group that is based in Washington D.C.
They have been around since 1964 or so.
Their agents carry number I.D.s such as 99 etc and run by a guy they call "CHIEF".
Missed by THAT much!!

Now let's lower the cone of silence!
 

K5MAR

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milf said:
Hmm would need an accurate description of the ants mounted on the vans.. ie- VHF Hi, VHF Lo, UHF, 800???????
Yes. He reported a mix of Larsen-style antennas.

Would also need an accurate description of the placement.. ie- grouping of 3, 4, or other....
That I don't know, with 15 (and he repeated that number several times, so maybe he counted them, he was driving a semi pulling a lowboy trailer hauling a bulldozer, so he would be able to look down on the roof) I imagine pretty much the entire roof was covered.

Also are these regular vans, or the heavy duty ones?
3/4 ton regular-size GM with the cargo extension, like the custom vans used for ENG trucks, but without the microwave mast.

Usual triangulation teams from FCC are in groups of three vans, triple antennas on roof. Oh and if the vans are equipped with specail lighting- wig-wags, corner/rear strobes, etc.. wuld also be good info...
He wondered if they were FCC, but it sounds as if there are too many antennas for the normal FCC configuration. Terry didn't mention any special lighting, which doesn't mean they didn't have the hidden strobes in the head and taillights.

That's all I know, they sound like some kind of mobile comm. post for on scene communications support.

Mark S.

Iceman, I got the reference, I was trying to ignore it. :(
 

milf

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Did you guys hear anything.. I thought he lowered the "Cone of Silence" WEG......

**Sounds of door after door after door after door slamming shut......**

DUMDUMDUM DUMMMM DUM
 

scansomd

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Vans like the ones you describe are built for a variety of purposes. At the base where I work, they are built for state disasters (like 911). Of course, they could be used for just about any communication purpose. You’d be surprised at what can fit inside one of those vans.
 

K5MAR

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mmartinfan said:
If it was a black Suburban, it belongs to the US Secret Service. Ive seen it twice. Here in CMH
Nope, that was my first thought, but he said they were 3/4 ton vans, not black Suburbans.

Mark S.
 

K5MAR

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scansomd said:
Vans like the ones you describe are built for a variety of purposes. At the base where I work, they are built for state disasters (like 911). Of course, they could be used for just about any communication purpose. You’d be surprised at what can fit inside one of those vans.
Actually, I wouldn't. :lol: Ever seen the inside of the new ENG vans, that have microwave, sat uplink and an editing bay. The only thing they lack is decent legroom!

The thing about these vans is their complete lack of markings. Terry has seen them on I-35 in the Okla/Tex area several times, so it would appear that these are based somewhere in the same area. I was hoping that somebody might have seen them around where they are based and could say so.

Mark S.
 

STiMULi

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milf said:
NSSL Posibly?????
FEMA?

I know this is not it but it looks cool!



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JPasquini

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Saw the van, too

K5MAR said:
scansomd said:
The thing about these vans is their complete lack of markings. Terry has seen them on I-35 in the Okla/Tex area several times, so it would appear that these are based somewhere in the same area. I was hoping that somebody might have seen them around where they are based and could say so.

Mark S.
I saw a similar van, while on vacation in New Hampshire about a year ago, only a mile or two from the airport in Manchester. Actually, I got to see it a little bit up close as it was ahead of me in a McDonald's drive thru. Hey, whoever was inside had to eat lunch, too. 8)

It had US Govt plates and easily over a dozen antennas on the room. IIRC, there was a stubby antenna on each of the four corners of the vehicle as well. The van was painted black - really, it was! It also seemed to be a very heavy duty vehicle.
 

K5MAR

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milf said:
NSSL Posibly?????
Nah, I don't think so. I've seen the NSSL vans, and Terry's description doesn't match. No weather instruments, for one thing, and the NSSL vans have door decals.

Stimuli said:
Maybe so, I wondered about that. Would have thought that FEMA vans would be marked. Anybody know?

Mark S.
 

milf

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FEMA MCU's are marked... most FEMA vehicles have markings,... but there are a few hundred newer vehicles that are NOT marked yet.. HomeSec...... They could also be Interagency Usage Vehicles.... and thus only have Fed plates. Though with all the ants... Could make interesting searching for new freqs... anyone with a LOT of spare time and a bunch of scanners.... Set up a mobile post and post on em,.. just don't cross lines lol.
 
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