NASWA Journal Columns · Country List Committee Report, March 1999

Don Jensen • 5204 70th St. • Kenosha, WI 53142 dnjkenosha◊

Country List Committee Report, March 1999

The Country List Committee is pleased to announce the addition of Puerto Rico to the NASWA Country List as a radio country.

A majority of the seven member committee approved the addition.

The decision is based on information from an official source, Wayne E. Eternicka, broadcast operations specialist at the Department of the Navy, Naval Media Center, Washington, DC, that recent broadcasts of AFRTS programming on 6,458.5 kHz, were from a Navy transmitter located in Puerto Rico.

While this was not the only frequency used for the AFRTS programming, the 6,458.5 kHz frequency is believed to be the only one originating from Puerto Rico.

The information indicates that this signal originated from the “Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Puerto Rico” broadcasting “with a ground-based, omnidirectional wire antenna with a 30 foot diameter. The signal is broadcast at 10 kilowatts from Isabela, Puerto Rico.”

Further, according to the source, “AFRTS shortwave radio transmissions have historically existed to provide AFRTS radio service to U.S. Navy ships, vessels and outlying military posts receiving limited American radio or television through other means. The signals will be in existance for a limited time until a new technology, which is currently being tested, allows for reception of AFRTS via satellite.”

The committee has concluded that these transmissions fall within NASWA’s established and traditional definition of shortwave broadcast transmissions.

The committee recognizes, of course, that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth within the United States and is not an independent and autonymous nation, however, within the tradition of the radio listening hobby, it is considered a “radio country” and can be counted as such for DXing purposes.

On another matter, questions have been raised concerning Voice of America transmissions from Tinian island in the Mariannas.

The Pacific area radio country, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariannas has been included in the NASWA Country List for a number of years and has been represented by SW broadcasts from the island of Saipan. The committee has been asked to consider whether Tinian, another island in the commonwealth, should be considered a separate and different radio country.

The committee considered the question and concluded that historically and geographically there are insufficient reasons to consider Saipan and Tinian as separate radio countries. Reception of stations on either or both of these islands will count as only the single radio country, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

Questions and comments about the NASWA Country List are always welcome.

Don Jensen, Chairman
Country List Committee

Read more Country List Committee Report columns.

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