The interest generated by the announcement of our project a few weeks ago is extremely important. We expect you to live this adventure with us and its organization throughout the year and to share with you our passion for these remote lands. In due course, we will give some details about the different aspects of the project, but you will find below some answers to questions related to the size of the team, the logistics and the organization required.
Of all the islands that form the “Scattered Islands“ Tromelin is the smallest . This one-square kilometer piece of land was classified as a natural reserve back in 1975. The fauna and flora, almost intact, offer a great environment for scientific research. Each year, there are only a few scientists who are allowed to study turtle and seabird colonies. Each research program is the subject of a joint validation from TAAF (Antarctic and Australs territories authority) and CNRS (National Institute of Sciences of the Universe and the National Institute of Ecology and Environment).
Tromelin is the only one of the Scattered Islands to hold only a permanent population of 3 technicians belonging to TAAF. The other islands are homed to military detachments (Armed Forces in the South Zone of the Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) and one policeman.
Each mission on Tromelin substantially increases temporarily its population and induces a potential environmental impact.
The ham radio Dxpedition in 2000 incorporated this concern for preserving the environment with a staff of four operators. During our preliminary discussions with the authorities in charge of Tromelin, the compromise on the size of the team became obvious. It is inconceivable to lead an expedition with 24 operators on such a small and fragile territory. Besides the ecological impact, difficulties in gaining access as well as logistics would not allow it.
For our project in November 2014 there will be 6 operators who have been authorized for a period of 10 days. While this may reveal a gap with the standard big amateur expeditions that we are getting used to these days, do not forget that once our local team gets there, the population of the island will have already tripled.
In order to maximize our time during these 10 days, it is important to be supportive, organized and known each other very well. It is with this objective that an experienced group, with a real team spirit was formed. This solution was preferred to recruiting an international "patchwork” of operators without a common experience. F6KDF, the Lyon DX Gang and F6KOP Team have proven many times to be up to it.
The presence of French forces on Europa, Juan de Nova and Glorioso facilitated logistical issues for amateur military Dxpeditions conducted in 2003 on Europa and in 2009 on Glorioso.
For Tromelin, the situation is different because the transport of the operators and the equipment will be made by means of a small private plane. This induces a significant cost due to multiple trips, but it is our only way to rally the island.
The primary objective will not be for a handful of "big guns" to complete their umpteenth award but rather to give all the opportunity to contact us, whatever the geographical constraints or propagation.
At the end of 2013 we launched the website and communicated to the Amateur Radio community throughout the world. These last two weeks have been used to solicit amateur clubs and associations inviting them to take part in our project. Some have already committed to our DXpedition. We hope that many more will join them. The support of all is a prerequisite for the return of Tromelin on the air after so many years of silence.
The work will continue throughout the year. Soon we will designate our pilot stations with whom we will closely work while pursuing substantive work on the entire organization.
We are only a few hours ahead of another major Dxpedition, FT5ZM. Our Tromelin 2014 team wishes them good luck for a long journey to Amsterdam Island.
Thank you in advance for your support, have a great year 2014.
73’s - The Tromelin island 2014 DXPedition Team.