Today, Shortwave America set out to get those questions answered. Today, the citizens of the world even beyond the borders of the city of Chicago know everything. Here is a PDF File from Chicago Police News Affairs regarding media access and related issues.
In the NATO Communications Guide and Live Communications Coverage post here at Shortwave America, we know which systems they are using and which other communications systems should be watched all while following NATO live from this publication.
There is now photographic evidence on hand to back up the story that is being told here. These new and yet untold details will help you follow NATO while they convene in Chicago.
Let's start with the locations of the various Command and Communications Posts:
There are multiple sites starting at Navy Pier (Command and Communications site #1). The Hollyhock is stationed there, and her transponder HAS INDEED been turned off. At Navy Pier on the secure side of the Chicago Locks operations area is the U.S. Coast Guard Command and Communications operation.
|Just behind this secure gate is the U.S. Coast Guard NATO Command and Communications Post|
|This U.S. NATO Command and Communications Post has VHF, UHF, EHF, SHF, and HF communications running|
|Here we see the communications and surveillance system at the U.S. Coast Guard NATO Command Post which visibly includes an inverted V wire antenna for HF communications.|
|Here we see the opposite side of the U.S. Coast Guard NATO Command Operation|
|The U.S. Coast Guard NATO Command Post tent, assumed to be a mess tent or maybe medical ops|
|U.S. Coast Guard equipment trailers for the NATO operation inside their Command Post|
NATO Command and Communications location number three is the Chicago Museum Campus itself. The greater compliment of operations are based out of the Chicago Field Museum. In the photos below, we see the U.S. Secret Service, various other government agencies and also various consulates operating at the Field Museum.
|Everything looks like a normal museum operation until you see the opposite side of the building facing Soldier Field|
|No snipers YET|
|The Chicago Shedd Aquarium, part of the NATO Command and Communications operation|
|This vehicle displays a U.S. Secret Service window placard, parked outside of the Field Museum|
|The U.S. Secret Service vehicle with the window placard above|
|U.S. Secret Service and other government agents enter and depart during busy NATO Command and Communications operations at the Field Museum on May 17th, 2012|
|U.S. Secret Service Agents briefly meeting in front of the Field Museum on May 17th, 2012. Yes, I overheard everything they said as I walked by.|
|These vehicles belong to the U.S. Secret Service, various consulates, and other government agencies. They are parked outside of the Field Museum|
NATO Command and Communications operation number 4 is at the Burnham Harbor parking lot just across the way from Northerly Island and adjacent to the old McCormick Place. In the photos below, we see various members of the military / Homeland Security guarding the operation, meeting with superiors. We also see the greater cross section of the operation to include their communications and surveillance equipment which includes cellular and microwave frequency operation.
Next up is aviation and ground support operations! Many Chicago residents have witnessed the U.S. Coast Guard aggressively patrolling the skies, along with military and other helicopters. Shortwave America has not only photos, but the exact details on head of state and dignitary transportation operations. Other information includes that which is already publicly available data on the Homeland Security helicopters for all of you aviation enthusiasts.
Before we get to the photos, here is how the dignitary / head of state transportation is working! The military and Homeland Security helicopters meet the honored guests at area airports. Those airports are O'Hare, Chicago Executive, Rockford, and one other airport that is unconfirmed. They then fly the guests to Northerly Island (used to be Meigs Field) at Burnham Harbor, where they are are then transported under heavily armed guard using U.S. Government buses and unmarked vans to the old McCormick Place. They are then taken into and through that building to the new McCormick Place and they are also taken DIRECTLY to the NEW McCormick Place building thus bypassing the old McCormick Place and escorted into an entrance just to the North of the public entrance. (all of this was personally observed). This can also be confirmed by way of the NATO Security Transportation Plan PDF file at the Shortwave America NATO Communications Guide and Live Communications Coverage post.
Information above explains why they drew the street closures the way they did. Get it now? Museum Campus being used for operations, Burnham Harbor being used for operations, Northerly Island being used for operations, Lake Shore Drive and Balbo is staging for Chicago Streets and Sanitation equipment, etc.
The reverse order will be taken when NATO guests leave.
Here are the photos!!
|Head of State, Dignitary, and Government employee transportation at the old McCormick Place|
|Government license plate on the buses, any questions?|
|Coast Guard patrol flies North and then South to 31st and Lake Shore Drive in repeat fashion|
|Unidentified chopper serving on May 17th 2012 as part of aviation operations for NATO|
|United States Military Helicopter Transportation for NATO|
|Close - Up of said NATO Chopper#1|
|U.S. Department of Homeland Security choppers in formation heading NORTH from Burnham Harbor on May 17th, 2012|
|Close-Up of Homeland Security Chopper May 17, 2012|
|WLS / ABC Chopper 7 was escorted through the flight restricted path by Homeland Security choppers pictured above|
|Close - Up of Homeland Security chopper showing the variety of helos used for this operation|
|This formation went South to North and then back South to Burnham Harbor|
|Homeland Security chopper with side door open heading NORTH|
A search of the U.S. FAA Aircraft Registration System revealed the information contained in the screen shots below:
|Streets and San at Lake Shore Drive and Balbo. Lake Shore Drive is behind me in the photo.|
|Opposite side of Streets and San staging at Balbo crossing lake Shore Drive, Lake Shore Drive is behind me in the photo|
|Streets and San staging on Lake Shore Drive facing the lake front at Balbo|
|Burnham Harbor is absolutely empty of any water vessels|
As I started further south to see what else I might find, this reporter crossed through the Chicago Police Gold Star Families Park, the Chicago Fire Department Memorial Park, and the walk was VERY surreal because you could FEEL the tension in the air as joggers and cyclists watchfully went about their daily exercize. No one wanted to make a friendly greeting to other people, even a smile and wave were seen suspiciously. At Lakeshore Drive and 31st street, I met up with a photog from the Chicago Tribune who told me that even the Trib was having trouble identifying the aircraft and determining their operations in regard to NATO. After seeing my photos, the photog called his office and told them my findings. Let's just say it was a very short conversation.
One important observation made through this day long trek was 7 to 8 foot high steel grate fences linked together were seen almost everywhere when it came to major roadsides and overpasses. The fence sections are approximately three to four feet across.
The greater amount of Federal resource and Law Enforcement presence was observed at the various Chicago Federal Buildings. What had previously been just a few vehicles here and there were now street lengths deep and even the local side streets / alleyways near the Federal buildings were packed with Federal Protective Service / Homeland Security Police vehicles.
|Homeland Security emergency generator and lighting equipment parked outside of one of the downtown Chicago Federal buildings|
|The above generator and lighting were attached to this pick-up truck|
|Homeland Security Van for personnel / arrestee / equipment transport|
|Chicago Police Special Operations unit Officers hold a mini-conference with Homeland Security Police on one of the many near-by alleyways mentioned earlier|
This reporter did speak to Homeland Security Officers who state that they expect the city to absolutely erupt in never before seen violence over the weekend. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press. While speaking with the officers, it was observed that their radio transmissions are in the clear as of this time.
One other thing that is proven by this report: Taxpayers are INDEED on the hook for this NATO fiasco! All of this costs money, and it isn't coming from thin air! Hey, Rahmbo and Obummer....where are the funds coming from? WE WANT TO KNOW!!!!
Thanks to all of you for choosing Shortwave America as your up to date source for NATO 2012!