To The Editor:
I just read your editorial on "The Coming HF Radio Renaissance" in the September 2002 issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics. While I understand the need for the military to have reliable communications, it should be noted that the HF radio spectrum is hardly as void as you indicate.
There are millions of amateur radio operators around the world who use this spectrum with great regularity. Amateur radio has been demonstrated over and over again to be a valuable source of emergency communications on a local and global basis. We do not think we are, as a group, "arcane," as you put it. Even in the age of the Internet, new amateur radio licenses are being issued in the United States at a record rate. Streamlined licensing processes by the FCC have made the HF spectrum available to more hams than ever before.
Amateur radio has had their fair share of radio spectrum taken away from them. In recent years, we have lost quite a bit of our VHF/UHF spectrum, mostly to commercial and military interests. We, as a whole, are probably not going to be too interested in having more of our spectrum taken away; we have "done our part" in that regard.
One of the reasons why this is a supposedly "viable" idea is that it will provide, in your words, "...new efforts in homeland security and counter-terrorism." Amateur radio has been providing emergency communications since its inception. We have proven ourselves to be a viable service in our own right, with technical experts, a strong congressional lobbying effort, and lots of willing volunteers who will help with any emergency at the drop of a hat. It would be a pity of the U.S armed forces decided to remove our ability to provide such assistance by removing access to some of our HF spectrum.
I certainly hope the Powers-That-Be remember the skills and services that the growing amateur radio community provides the country and the world in times of distress before appropriating a new segment of the HF spectrum; I guarantee we as a group will stand up and fight if they try to take it away.
amateur radio operator KX9X