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Beale Airman participates in the Annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications Test 2015

Tech. Sgt. Michael Sangria, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant and Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club member, poses for a photo in front of his radio equipment May 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Sangria participated in the annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications Test with Steve Albrecht, YSARC member. This annual event gives amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio stations. (Courtesy photo)

Tech. Sgt. Michael Sangria, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant and Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club member, poses for a photo in front of his radio equipment May 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Sangria participated in the annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications Test with Steve Albrecht, YSARC member. This annual event gives amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio stations. (Courtesy photo)

Steve Albrecht, Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club member, monitors his radio equipment at Beale's Family Camp May 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Albrecht participated in the annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications Test with Tech. Sgt. Michael Sangria, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant and YSARC member. This annual event gives amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio stations.  (Courtesy photo)

Steve Albrecht, Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club member, monitors his radio equipment at Beale's Family Camp May 9, 2015, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Albrecht participated in the annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications Test with Tech. Sgt. Michael Sangria, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant and YSARC member. This annual event gives amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio stations. (Courtesy photo)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California -- The annual Armed Forces Cross band Communications test offered amateur radio operators a chance to use modern military communication modes May 9 to 10, 2015.

This annual event gives amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio stations. Confirmation cards are awarded to all stations that made contact with other military stations. The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard co-sponsored the joint military/amateur radio event, which marks the 65th Armed Forces Day and the 90th anniversary of the Military Auxiliary Radio System.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Sangria, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant and Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club member and Steve Albrecht, YSARC member, participated in the event.

"Amateur radio operators come from all walks of life: doctors, students, kids, politicians, truck drivers, movie stars, missionaries and even your average neighbor next door," Sangria said. "They are of all ages, genders, income levels and nationalities. Whether through Morse code on an old brass telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio or computerized messages transmitted via satellite, all operators use radio to reach out globally."

Sangria and Albrecht operated out of the Beale Family Camp picnic area. Both had portable high frequency radio stations. They were on the air making contacts with military radio stations around the country within an hour.  Both made a total of 12 military station contacts and also made contacts with multiple countries. 

"Amateur radio operators can sometimes serve as the only means of communication," Albrecht said. "If there was an event located where cell phone service is weak or unavailable or even a disaster happens, we can use battery- or solar-powered communications to make contact with other operators."

According to the Federal Communications Commission website, operation of an amateur station requires an amateur operator license grant. Before receiving a license grant, you must pass an examination administered by a team of volunteer examiners. The examiners determine the license operator class for which an individual is qualified through the testing of skills and abilities in operating an amateur station.

Sangria has operated out of Korea, Greece, the Philippines and the U.S. He has contacted more than 200 countries and has been operating and licensed since 1998.

"Amateur radio is not only a mass communication effort, it is a hobby." Sangria said. "It is enjoyable to talk to people from many countries and to share experiences."