Golf Bravo Zero Whiskey Yankee – RAFARS Airfields on the Air , RAF Wyton

Golf Bravo Zero Whiskey Yankee – RAFARS Airfields on the Air , RAF Wyton
On the 1st April this year the Royal Air Force entered the 100th year since its formation this gave the opportunity to put on a Special ‘Special’ event radio station using the callsign GB0WY at RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire. This year marked the fifth year that the event has taken place on the station, it’s location and history is always a source of discussion and is popular with radio amateurs who may have worked, visited or flown from RAF Wyton.
By utilising Cadets and Staff from local RAF Air cadet Squadrons and the Event Team from Hunts Hams a suitable radio station was set up using rooms in No 2331 (St Ives) Squadrons Headquarters which used to be the old Station Survival Equipment Flight complete with the brake chute drying tower attached to it.
Having rigged up the masts a full-size G5RV was deployed along with the clubs Icom IC-7200, LDG ATU and a suitable power supply; all we need to do was to tune up and test the system ready to commenced the day, a thumbs up was given and we were away starting calling QRZ on 80 Mtrs with our first contact being G3ALS at 08:37 hours which was duly recorded by one of the cadets who was tasked to do the logging; two other Cadets watched and soon learnt how and what to record on the logsheets as they knew they would have the opportunity to take on the role of duty logger during the day.
Utilising various club members and cadet staff we all had turns at the microphone during the day with the Cadets having some radio theory and practical sessions interspersed during the day….. nothing to complex or technical for them as they are our future Amateur radio blood and we wanted them to enjoy the experience plus gain some useful knowledge.
During the day the calls kept coming in with some interesting contacts from other RAF Stations and UK callsigns; we did have a couple of contacts in Europe a PA and DL plus one from OZ7MHZ in Denmark, many of the contacts had interesting details to exchange with us and questions on our location on the station. As we closed GB0WY down for the first session we had a tally of 110 logged QSL with 10 of them being 10 listed RAF Stations which was a good achievement considering the band conditions. With everyone content with the day the de-rigging of the antenna, masts and radio kit commenced and made ready to store everything for the following Saturday when the station was going on air again at the same location.
The 7th April saw day two of operating from RAF Wyton with a re-run of the rigging of the station which all worked very well the weekend before. We were soon on air calling CQ on 80Mtrs and our first contact was G0AWV at 08.55 hours with calls from other UK stations continuing throughout the morning, our first contact in Europe was PA1MV – Japp in Delft, Holland at 11.12 hours. We move on to 40Mtrs after midday working MM6YLM Michelle in the Shetland Isles, not quite DX but well worth working her and her Grandad. Then followed many contacts from Germany, Switzerland, Bavaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Italy and then back into the UK. We also maintained a listening watch for two special callsigns – VP8RAF/100 located at Mount Pleasant Airport, Falkland Islands and ZB2RAF in RAF Gibraltar but due to operating conditions we were unable to make contact with them. Many thanks to all the callsigns that contacted us during the event as it makes it all worthwhile in setting the station up. During the second day of operation we logged 113 OSO’s which made our total of 223 during the event this was helped by the excellent and simple set up of the equipment and the seasoned operators and loggers along with the cadets who attended the event and learnt a lot more about radio communications.
Having time to reflect over the logged details specifically the radio and antenna types which were wide and varied one particular radio is the ICOM IC-7300 which leaps out of every page with it even operated in the portable set up.
One final item for the cadets that attended during the day was the issue of a special Commemorative Certificate to mark the RAF100 Celebrations this was presented by the Event Organiser – Central and East Region Radio Communications Officer Flight Lieutenant David Webb RAFAC.
My thanks go to the Cadets and Staff from Beds & Cambs Wing RAF Air Cadets and the HARS Club members who dedicated their time, effort, resources and sharing their knowledge and experience to the Cadets and Staff over the two days.