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Report #122 04/01/16

RUSSIAN VESSEL
The PM-56, Amur class floating workshop ship of the Russian Navy is assigned to the Russian Navy Technical Maintenance Base at the Syrian port Tartus. The ship however seems to spend a lot of time in the area just off the northeast tip of Cyprus. I find it quite interesting that also in that general area, are nine international submarine communications cables serving various countries in the Middle East!

VINTAGE LOGGING
I think readers will get a chuckle from this item. I was going through some old material and ran across a logging I had in my UTILITY INTRIGUE column in Monitoring Times in the late 1980s.
13959.5 kHz 141331Z USB/CW
Here is a new twist for calling a station. After tuning the transmitter, the operator comes on the air in USB and whistled the Cavalry Bugle Call - the one played at ball games. The tune is played and then the crowd yells "Charge!" Every few minutes the operator would whistle that tune continuing this practice for about 40 minutes. He then shifted to CW and began sending V's followed by CLP5 CLP5 CLP5 DE CLP1 QSV K. I commented, I wonder if this is now an authorized Cuban Foreign Ministry communications procedure?

CUBAN COMMUNICATIONS
HM01 - Sometime between the 1600 schedules on 13 and 14 March, some groups were changed. Callup groups 1, 2, 5 & 6 all showed a jump of 2 in the 5th digits. Group 3 had an increase of just 1 and group 4 was a new group. Sometime between March 21st 1800 schedule on 11635 and the 22nd March schedule on 11435, callup groups 2, 5, & 6 all had a jump of 2 in the 5th digits. Groups 1 and 4 were new groups and group 3 had an increase of 1 in the 5th digit. The significance of the change in the 5th digits remains a mystery. Often many days will go by without any change and then there will be a prolonged period of daily changes?

M08a - 14 March 8009 kHz, 2300 schedule. Groups normally sent on the weekends were observed.

V02a - Was heard in place of the usual M08a transmission on 3 March 2000 schedule on 7554 kHz. On 24 March, 2000 schedule on 7554 kHz, V02a in place of M08a. However in the 2nd message the mode shifted from V02a to M08a on the 81st group of the message?

The above three modes account for at least 12 message recipients. Of course one or more of these addresses could be handling more than one agent. Thus some messages could contain instructions for more than just one individual. The Cuban DGI no doubt has penetrations in exile groups particularly those in Florida. It is also highly probable that they have assets in the Washington, DC area. And the Cuban Government would also be interested in statements by UN Delegations so they likely have several sources there.
The V02a transmissions seem to be received better in Spain than at my location in West Virginia. Could this indicate an active agent in Europe or perhaps in the U.K?

End of Report

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2016 Don Schimmel.