Customs Over The Horizon Enforcement Network
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The Customs Over The Horizon Enforcement Network, or COTHEN, provides communications support for more than 235 aircraft, marine interdiction vessels, command offices, and numerous allied agencies including the USCG, DEA, Border Patrol, Army, Navy, and Joint Interagency Task Forces. COTHEN's Technical Service Center (TSC) provides real-time on-the-air support services and guarantees communications between users. COTHEN provides telephone patch (TRICS), a platform tracking and location system (TRACS), and over-the-air-rekeying capabilities (DARK).
COTHEN uses a Rockwell/Collins ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) protocol to connect users to each other over the HF spectrum. If you listen to frequencies in use on the COTHEN network, you will hear the ALE sounding calls which units periodically and automatically initiate to determine the best frequency to use for calls to other units.
COTHEN Network Frequencies
5732 5905.5 7527 8912 10242 11494 12222 13312 13907 14582 15867 15962 18594 20890 23214 24838.5 25350
See this PDF from the UDXF for a much more comprehensive list of frequencies
The COTHEN network now uses the MIL-STD 188-141A protocol. It formerly used the FED-STD-1045A ALE protocol, developed by Rockwell Collins. The FED-STD protocol is Rockwell Collins proprietary and goes by the tradename SELSCAN. SELSCAN is no longer actively used by the COTHEN network.
Note: 8912 kHz is also used by the HFDL (HF Datalink - also referred to as HF ACARS) net
COTHEN Transmitter Locations
Albuquerque, NM 35º 05' 02" N 105º 34' 23" W Arecibo, PR 18º 17' 26" N 66º 22' 33" W Atlanta, GA 32º 33' 06" N 84º 23' 35" W Beaufort, SC 34º 34' 22" N 76º 09' 48" W Cape Charles, VA 37º 05' 37" N 75º 58' 06" W Cedar Rapids, IA 42º 00' 09" N 91º 17' 39" W Denver, CO 39º 15' 45" N 103º 34' 23" W Fort Myers, FL 81º 31' 20" N 26º 20' 01" W Kansas City, MO 38º 22' 10" N 93º 21' 48" W Las Vegas, NV 36º 21' 15" N 114º 17' 33" W Lovelock, NV 40º 03' 07" N 118º 18' 56" W Memphis, TN 34º 21' 57" N 90º 02' 43" W Miami, FL 25º 46' 20" N 80º 28' 48" W Morehead City, NC 34º 34' 50" N 78º 13' 59" W Oklahoma City, OK 34º 30' 52" N 97º 30' 52" W Orlando, FL 28º 31' 30" N 80º 48' 58" W Reno, NV 38º 31' 12" N 119º 14' 37" W Sarasota, FL 27º 12' 41" N 81º 31' 20" W Wilmington, NC 34º 29' 24" N 78º 04' 31" W
ALE Call IDs (Base)
CRB CBP AMOC Caribbean Regional Communications Node CS1 COTHEN Remote Atlanta, GA used frequently by TSC, voice call "SERVICE ENTER" CS2 COTHEN Remote Memphis, TN CS3 COTHEN Remote Oklahoma City, OK CS4 COTHEN Remote Lovelock, NV CS5 COTHEN Remote Wilmington, NC CS6 COTHEN Remote Kansas City, MO CS7 COTHEN Remote Denver, CO CS8 COTHEN Remote Albuquerque, NM CS9 COTHEN Remote Beaufort, SC often used by OPBAT voice call "PANTHER" and by toms Surveillance Support Center, Jacksonville voice call "JACKKNIFE" EST CBP AMOC Eastern Region Communication Node LNT USCG CAMSLANT Chesapeake, VA OPB OPBAT Service Center, Nassau, Bahamas, voice call "PANTHER". Also used as a remote by HAMMER. PAC USCG CAMSPAC Point Reyes, CA PNR400 OPBAT base, Georgetown, Bahamas TSC CBP Orlando, FL Customs National Law Enforcement Communications Center -- Technical Service Center WST CBP AMOC Western Region Communication Node Z01 USCG Sector Northern New England Z02 USCG Sector Boston Z03 USCG Southeast New England Z04 USCG Sector Long Island Z05 USCG Sector New York Z06 USCG Sector Delaware Z07 USCG Sector Baltimore Z08 USCG Sector Hampton Roads Z09 USCG Sector North Carolina Z10 USCG Sector Charleston Z11 USCG Sector Jacksonville Z12 USCG Sector Miami Z13 USCG Sector Key West Z13PRI USCG Sector Key West Z13SEC USCG Sector Key West Z14 USCG Sector St. Petersburg Z15 USCG Sector San Juan Z16 USCG Sector Mobile Z17 USCG Sector New Orleans Z27 USCG Sector San Francisco Z28 USCG Sector Los Angeles Z29 USCG Sector San Diego Z30 USCG Sector Pudget Sound Z35 USCG Sector Juneau Z36 USCG Sector Unknown Z38 USCG Sector Humboldt Bay Z58 USCG Sector Unknown Z81 USCG Sector Unknown Z99 USCG CAMSLANT Chesapeake, VA
ALE Call IDs (Mobile/Air)
D## CBP P-3/Q200 Detector Units D01 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N801MR, voice "OMAHA 1MR", Miami AMB, Homestead JARB, FL D02 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N802MR, voice "OMAHA 2MR" D2C CBP another address used by D42 9-22-03 D2CS CBP another address used by D42 9-22-03 D03 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N803MR D05 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N805MR 1-14-09, 3-3-09 D06 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N806MR w/WST 8-29-09 D07 CBP BOMBARDIER Q400 #N807MR w/704, H81, J33 1-21-06, 4-1-06 D14 CBP P-3A "Slick" #N18314/BuNo 150314, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice call "OMAHA 314" D23 CBP P-3B "Slick" #N423SK/BuNo 153423, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice call "OMAHA 23SK" D31 CBP P-3B "Slick" #N431SK/BuNo 153431, Jacksonville AMB, FL, voice "OMAHA 31" D41 CBP P-3B "Slick" #N741SK/BuNo 152741, Jacksonville AMB, FL, voice call "OMAHA 41SK" D42 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N142CS/BuNo 153452, Corpus Chrisiti AMB, TX D43 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N143CS/BuNo 153447, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice call "OMAHA 3CS" D44 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N144CS/BuNo 153446, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice "OMAHA 4CS" D45 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N145CS/BuNo 155299, Jacksonville AMB, FL D46 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N146CS/BuNo 154605, Jacksonville AMB, FL, voice "OMAHA 6CS" D47 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N147CS/BuNo 152722, Jacksonville AMB, FL D48 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N148CS/BuNo 154575, Corpus Christi AMB, TX D49 CBP P-3 AEW&C #N149CS/BuNo 154581, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice call "OMAHA 9CS" D69 CBP P-3B "Slick" #N769SK/BuNo 152729, Jacksonville AMB, FL, voice call "OMAHA 9SK" D70 CBP P-3A "Slick" #N16370/BuNo 152170, Corpus Christi AMB, TX D90 CBP P-3A "Slick" #N15390/Buno 151390, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice "OMAHA 390" D95 CBP P-3A "Slick" #N16295/BuNo 151395, Corpus Christi AMB, TX, voice call "OMAHA 295"
I00 CBP CESSNA 550 #N1200N, Tucson Air Branch I01 CBP CESSNA 550 #N37201, voice call "OMAHA 201", San Diego AMB I08 CBP CESSNA 550 #N5408G, "OMAHA 08G", logged on UHF in Seattle I14 CBP CESSNA 550 #N4614N, Tucson Air Branch, "OMAHA 14N" I1L CBP CESSNA 550 #N6001L, voice call "OMAHA 01L" I21 CBP CESSNA 550 #N26621, voice "OMAHA 621", New Orleans AMB I31 CBP CESSNA 550 #N2531K, San Diego AMB, CA I34 CBP CESSNA 550 #N2734K, New Orleans AMB I37 CBP CESSNA 550 #N6637G, Houston Air Unit I3L CBP CESSNA 550 #N6763L, I43 CBP BEECH 65-A90 #N43SA, Miami AMB, voice "OMAHA 3SA" I49 CBP CESSNA 550 #N12549 I4J CBP CESSNA 550 #N5314J, logged on UHF in Arizona, I52 CBP CESSNA 550 #N752CC, SW US, voice call "OMAHA 2CC" I53 CBP CESSNA 550 #N753CC I54 CBP CESSNA 550 #N1254X, Miami AMB I55 CBP CESSNA 550 #N1255K, Miami AMB I57 CBP CESSNA 550 #1257B I62 CBP CESSNA 550 #N3262M I63 CBP CESSNA 550 #N2663Y I75 CBP CESSNA 550 #N6775C, logged on UHF in Arizona, "OMAHA 75C", w/OPB I76 CBP CESSNA 550 #N6776T, voice "OMAHA 76", San Diego AMB, CA I86 CBP CESSNA 550 #N586RE, logged on UHF in Arizona and Washington I94 CBP CESSNA 550 #N26494, San Angelo, Houston, or New Orleans based I96 CBP CESSNA 550 #N26496 I97 CBP CESSNA 550 #N797CW
J01 USCG HH-60J #6001 CGAS Elizabeth City J02 USCG HH-60J #6002 CGAS San Diego J03 USCG HH-60J #6003 CGAS Clearwater J04 USCG HH-60J #6004 CGAS Elizabeth City J05 USCG HH-60J #6005 CGAS Astoria J06 USCG HH-60J #6006 CGAS Kodiak J07 USCG HH-60J #6007 CGAS Sitka J08 USCG HH-60J #6008 CGAS Astoria J09 USCG MH-60J #6009 CGAS Elizabeth City J10 USCG HH-60J #6010 CGAS San Diego J11 USCG HH-60J #6011 ATC Mobile J12 USCG HH-60J #6012 CGAS Kodiak J13 USCG HH-60J #6013 CGAS Clearwater J14 USCG MH-60J #6014 CGAS Elizabeth City J15 USCG HH-60J #6015 CGAS Clearwater J16 USCG HH-60J #6016 CGAS Clearwater J17 USCG HH-60J #6017 CGAS Clearwater J18 USCG HH-60J #6018 CGAS Clearwater J19 USCG HH-60J #6019 CGAS Clearwater J21 USCG HH-60J #6021 CGAS Kodiak J22 USCG HH-60J #6022 CGAS Astoria J23 USCG HH-60J #6023 ATC Mobile J24 USCG HH-60J #6024 CGAS Kodiak J25 USCG HH-60J #6025 J26 USCG HH-60J #6026 J28 USCG HH-60J #6028 CGAS Cape Cod J29 USCG HH-60J #6029 CGAS Kodiak J30 USCG HH-60J #6030 CGAS Elizabeth City J31 USCG HH-60J #6031 ATC Mobile J32 USCG HH-60J #6032 CGAS Cape Cod J33 USCG HH-60J #6033 CGAS Elizabeth City J34 USCG HH-60J #6034 CGAS Cape Cod J35 USCG HH-60J #6035 CGAS San Diego J36 USCG MH-60J #6036 CGAS Elizabeth City J37 USCG MH-60J #6037 CGAS Elizabeth City J38 USCG HH-60J #6038 CGAS Clearwater J39 USCG HH-60J #6039 ATC Mobile J40 USCG HH-60J #6040 CGAS Clearwater J41 USCG MH-60J #6041 CGAS Elizabeth City J42 USCG MH-60J #6042 CGAS Elizabeth City
Z16 USCG Sector Mobile
The following photos were of a recent Ebay auction of an older COTHEN Marine Mobile Unit. Interesting to note the Parkhill encryption control head and older Adaptive ALE controller (SELSCAN) that the COTHEN network abandoned in favor of the MIL-STD 188-141A ALE Network protocol. Note the COTHEN US Customs Stamp on the equipment.
Note: These photos were reposted with permission of the Ebay seller "Oliver Purddy"
- Cothen ALE list from Utility Planet from 2012- in PDF format)
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