HAM-ing it up

  • Published
  • By Joel Van Nice
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
There are many stories of why amateur radio is called "HAM" radio -- from the noble idea that HAM stands for "Help All Mankind" to the more pragmatic possibility that it stood for the first three radio scientists, Hertz, Armstrong and Marconi. No one knows for sure.

What is known is that amateur radio operates everywhere around the world including here at Keesler.

"Keesler Amateur Radio Club appears to have been started in the 1940s," said club president Harry Samuelson. "Through the years, the club's degree of activity was dependent upon how many members it had. "During its active periods, the club was involved with community service events such as Special Olympics and air shows," he explained. "After natural disasters, the club members were available to provide communications if needed."

Presently the club has six members who are in the process of re-activating the station in Rooms 5438 and 5439 of Locker House. They're working to obtain furnishings and to have an antenna installed.

According to Samuelson, the club's goal is to get a high frequency station on the air for those amateurs stationed or on temporary duty at Keesler. The group would also like to hold future classes for amateur radio licensing and to become involved with Keesler community events once again.

"The biggest thing that keeps my interest in the club is its history, and knowing I am part of it gives me a pride that only few know about," said Capt. Trenton Selah, 345th Airlift Squadron, an active club member. "The club provides a place to practice my radio and digital skills to be ready in times of emergency."

Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month at the club's station in Locker House. The club's call sign is K5TYP. All active-duty members, retirees and civilian staff members are welcome to attend the meetings.