> > On July 1st, Coast Guard Communications Area Master Station Pacific > > (CAMSPAC), Pt Reyes will retire the historic "Sparks" from the > > Telecommunications Specialist Enlisted Rating Badge. > > This ceremony will honor the Sparks and those who > > have worn them. > > > > Coast Guard Communication Station retires their Sparks. > > > > On July 1st, Coast Guard Communications Area Master Station Pacific > > (CAMSPAC), Pt Reyes will retire the historic "Sparks" from the > > Telecommunications Specialist Enlisted Rating Badge, as the Coast Guard > > restructures its work force replacing that specialty with two others, the > > Operations Specialist and the Information Technology Specialist. The > > ceremony will honor the Sparks and those that have worn them with > > speeches, vignettes of significant events in the Coast Guard's rich > > communications history, and a special treat for many: the opportunity to > > transmit and receive using Morse Code (Continuous Wave, or CW) and Radio > > Teletype (RTTY). > > > > These services, once the mainstays of Coast Guard communications, have > > been retired for several years but will be reinstated for this ceremony. > > > > The unit's Receiver Site, located at 17000 Sir Francis Drake > > Blvd on the Pt Reyes National Seashore will be open to the public between > > the hours of 9am and 3pm. Persons wishing to attend must RSVP to (415) > > 669-2004. > > > > The historical significance of the Sparks dates back to the early days of > > radio when transmitters in normal operation did indeed emit blinding and > > deafening sparks. It did not take long before Wireless (soon to be known > > as Radio) operators came to be affectionately known as 'Sparks' or > > 'Sparky'. Since the 1909 rescue of some 2000 souls from the sinking SS > > Republic, until today, those men and women known as Sparks the world over > > have been responsible for saving countless thousands of lives, the most > > famous of those the 705 aboard the RMS Titanic. > > > > Throughout the history of wireless, the Coast Guard and its communications > > personnel have been at the leading edge. The very first use of wireless > > on the west coast was in August 1899, when the San Francisco Lightship > > announced by wireless the arrival of the Troopship Sherman. Since 1912, > > the Coast Guard has maintained a 24 hour / 7 day watch on Search and > > Rescue frequencies. > > > > When the Telecommunications Specialist rating splits into the newly formed > > ratings, neither will carry the symbolic sparks in its insignia. > > > > Other significant workforce changes taking effect on July 1st include the > > merger of the ratings Telephone Technician (TT) into IT; Radarman (RD) > > into OS; Quartermaster (QM) into Boatswain Mate (BM), and Fire Control > > Technician (FT) into Electronics Technician (ET). > > > > CAMSPAC traces its roots back to the former Radio Station (RADSTA) San > > Francisco, callsign NMC, which was originally commissioned on the beach at > > Fort Funston on February 1, 1937 a mile south of the present San Francisco > > Zoo. In June 1943, RADSTA San Francisco relocated to atop Mt. San Bruno > > on Sweeney Ridge. The new communications facility consisted of a ten > > kilowatt Western Electric high frequency transmitter and a one kilowatt > > medium frequency transmitter. > > > > On October 12, 1972 the Coast Guard moved its primary west coast > > communications facility from Mt. San Bruno the Pt. Reyes National > > Seashore, and re-designated the unit as a Communications Station > > (COMMSTA). The COMMSTA was designated the Pacific Area Master Station and > > renamed CAMSPAC in 1986. > > > > CAMSPAC's personnel complement has grown from 54 in 1972 to today's 126 > > personnel as operational responsibilities have increased. In 1937, NMC > > operated just two transmitters, out of mobile trucks. Today CAMSPAC has > > become the Coast Guards multi-circuit Voice of the Pacific guarding from > > North Pole to South, from Nevada to Guam and beyond. Through all these > > progressive evolutions, CAMSPAC remains dedicated to serving the mariner > > and providing support to the many Coast Guard operations and resources > > throughout the Pacific Basin. Commander Pete Marsh is the 14th Commanding > > Officer since the unit's relocation to west Marin. > > > > CAMSPAC includes three major sites in western Marin County. The > > Operations and Receiver Site is located on 266 acres near the northern tip > > of Drake's Estero; the Transmitter Site is located on 75 acres in Bolinas, > > CA (next to the original transmitting station established in 1913 by the > > American Marconi Co); and the Facilities Engineering Site comprises 37 > > acres in Point Reyes Station, including 36 family housing units, an > > Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) unit, a Dining Facility, and several > > workshops. > > > > In addition to the ceremony there will be a communications history > > display depicting the growth of communications (courtesy of > > the Marconi Center) and a Sparks Retirement > > message sent on air using Morse Code.
-- __________________________________________________________________________ Alan Zack Amateur Radio Station K6ACZ Anaheim, Southern California, USA Quality Engineer, The Boeing Company, Retired Aviation Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired U.S. Coast Guard, Always Ready, Always There Every hour, Every day, Around the Clock and Around the World SEMPER PARATUS ------------------------------------------------------- Subscribe/unsubscribe, feedback, FAQ, problems, etc DX-NEWS http://njdxa.org/dx-news DX-CHAT: http://njdxa.org/dx-chat To post a message, DX NEWS items only, [EMAIL PROTECTED] Archives http://www.mail-archive.com/dx-news%40pro-usa.net -------------------------------------------------------