"U,S, National Guard To Test For Y2K Phone Failure"

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U,S, National Guard To Test For Y2K Phone Failure

(Last updated 7:16 PM ET March 11)

NEW YORK, (Reuters) - The U.S. National Guard, in preparation for possible Year 2000 disruptions, will for the first time stage a nationwide communications drill to ensure they can keep in touch if phones, e-mail and faxes fail, officials said Wednesday. During the first week of May, National Guard commanders across the United states will assume it is New Year's Day 2000 and the phones are down.

These so-called weekend warriors will test high-frequency radios to make sure the Guard's Washington headquarters can communicate with headquarters in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

"This is the first time they've done a communications exercise assuming you're not able to use traditional communications equipment," National Guard spokesman Jack Hooper said in a telephone interview from Washington.

Members of the National Guard work regular jobs but carry out military training on weekends and also provide support in communities hit by blizzards, riots or other natural or man-made disasters.

Hooper said state National Guard units have likened their Year 2000 preparations to the support they would offer in the event of a storm or flood warning.


Most government officials expect only minor problems as computers grapple with the rollover from 1999 to 2000. But some people are hoarding canned goods and planning to withdraw money from banks in case deliveries cannot be made and bank machines cannot operate.

Two of Washington's top Y2K trouble-shooters Tuesday said they are now more concerned about the risk of public panic than a collapse of the national infrastructure.

John Koskinen, chair of the President Clinton's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, and Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward Kelley said they were confident the United States' power, transport, communications and health care systems were not in danger.

Both experts said one of their top priorities is averting a "public overreaction" that could prompt a massive run on banks, gas stations and mutual funds ahead of the turn of the century.

Hooper said Guard units will be ready Jan. 1 to carry out the same tasks they are usually asked to perform when called out by state governors -- things like law enforcement, search and rescue and the protection of property and life.

"We try to be prepared, when and if we're needed," he said. ---------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 11, 1999


One genuine Koskinenbones autograph for anyone who can post the frequencies of this HF test. Offer not valid where interception of such signals is prohibited. Will it be encrypted?

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), March 11, 1999.

Well, Kevin,

Reuters is carrying the story so perhaps it will get picked up.

Puddintame, perhaps your local Ham Operator would know? There was a thread, not long ago ... just can't remember where.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), March 11, 1999.

Try looking in Monitoring Times or Popular Communications for the frequencies. They do publish month listener reports of active military frequencies and what's going on there.

Will the comms be encrypted? I kinda doubt it. Crypto gear requires very specialized security procedures that I doubt every local National Guard Armory has. High-level messages might be encrypted from national to state level. But down to individual unit level expect the comm traffic to be "in the clear".


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), March 12, 1999.

The article I kicked this thread off with is a newer version of this one from January 22, 1999:

http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/business.pat,business/30dab190.122,.h tml

National Guard is gearing up for year 2000


Date: 01/22/99 22:15

What started as a free-wheeling Internet story with hush-hush sources has been put into perspective by the Kansas National Guard and Guard officials in Washington.

A writer with WorldNetDaily, an on-line newspaper, posted a long piece on the Internet recently that led some to believe the National Guard is planning to mobilize its 480,000 members May 1-2 for a Y2K communications drill. It would be the first such action since 1940.

Not entirely true. Yes, a drill is planned. But no, troops will not be mobilized to drill, said spokesman Joy Moser with the Kansas National Guard in Topeka.

On May 1-2, the nationwide COMEX/MOBEX drill will assume it is New Year's Day 2000 and telephones are not working. The test is to see if Guard units can be notified to mobilize during what is known as a "COMM-Out" period.

Nationally, high-frequency radios will be used to reach state leaders, said Jack Hooper, a Guard spokesman in Washington. In Kansas, Moser said, old high-frequency radios equipped with vacuum tubes will be used to communicate with some Guard units.

State units test their own communications networks annually, but Moser said this unclassified drill would be a first for the nation.


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 12, 1999.

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