Picking the Team
The story behind this trip starts several months ago when my commander, Col Pasquino received orders to Johnston Island. I had been very persistent (maybe even a little pesky) in letting him know that I would like to go to the island to operate.
Since the island is not serviced by commercial flights one of the perquisites was to find operators eligible to travel Space Available on a military transport. My first call was to two personal friends, John, AA0NN and Mike, AL7KC. We have had many adventures together and the background music on the Elmendorf Amateur Radio Society's (KL7AIR) home page says it all. We made what seemed impossible happen. Mike accepted the challenge, but John could not make it due to duty commitments.
Visitation to Johnston Island has been limited to official business in the past years due to the demilitarization of chemical weapons and line mines. Col Pasquino tried to employ my services as a Management Engineer, but it just seemed as though the timing was never right.
In early August I received an e-mail from Col Pasquino stating that he would support my visit to the island to activate the amateur station. My jaw dropped to the floor! I guess the "3 minute Hallway Conferences" paid off.
After regaining composure, I answered him back with a million questions. I knew that the next thing I had to do was assemble a team. I only have a little over 60 days to make this happen.
While stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, I had many adventures with John, AA0NN, and Mike, AL7KC, so they were addressee's of the next e-mail... Unfortunately John was unavailable and Mike had to de-conflict his schedule, but was definitely interested.
My limit was set by Colonel Pasquino to no more than 4 visitors, my thoughts were to max this limit in order keep at least two stations on the air. In the mean time Col. Pasquino sent another e-mail to me from Tom, K7ZZ. So I pinged Tom and he accepted. I think I really got lucky here, Tom brings a lot of experience to the team. His response was really nice to receive, he validated that I was asking the right questions, and provided insight to the ones I hadn't even thought about!
Tom sent a team vacancy notice and we were pleased to welcome aboard Bob, W7TSQ. About this same time, Mike, AL7KC answered back that he was buying a ticket to Hawaii. With the team set, we started setting our sights on the equipment requirements, and other arrangements.
We really owe a great deal of thanks to Kimo Chun, KH7U. Kimo has provided a lot of time and material for the trip. Without him, the going would certainly be much more difficult.
Team Johnson Island DX Expedition K3J is:
Dan Spears, KH6UW (Phone)
Tom Meier, K7ZZ (CW)
Mike Sambuco, AL7KC (Phone)
Bob Preston, W7TSQ (CW)
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