MARS Announces HF Skills Exercise, July 20-24, 2020

From ARRL Web:

Members of the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will conduct an HF skills exercise July 20 – 24 to hone their operating skills and messaging-handling capabilities.

MARS members will be reaching out to the amateur radio community via the 60-meters Channel 1 Net (5330.5 kHz dial) twice a day, the SATERN HF net (14.265 MHz), and by contacting various stations via HFLink throughout the exercise. MARS members will be requesting assistance with collecting county status information as well as airport weather information, called METARs. MARS members will also be passing ICS 213 messages to numerous Department of Defense (DoD), federal, and amateur radio addressees.

This exercise will be announced via WWV at 00:10 and via WWVH at 00:50 starting on or about July 13. WWV and WWVH listeners will be asked to take an online listener survey. This HF radio training event will not impact regular communications. — Thanks to Paul English, Chief, Army MARS 

One Comment on “MARS Announces HF Skills Exercise, July 20-24, 2020”

  1. Chuck Motes, K1DFS, writes:

    You should have seen the recent ARRL letter that contained an announcement of the above-referenced exercise.

    AF MARS is requesting assistance from the amateurs in the New England sections, in generating and relaying certain types of messages (METAR (weather), County (conditions) and IC 213 (general message)) to MARS stations or personnel via HF (60 Meters Channel 1 or other HF by voice or digital means (MT-63, Olivia, M-110 only on 60 meters) or on VHF/UHF using digital or Winlink to specified recipients. These messages will be forwarded via MARS routes to federal agencies such as DHS, DoD, etc.

    Connecticut is going to give it a shot — we’ve done this before on 80 meters Mt-63 on the CT Red Cross HF digital frequency and on VHF/UHF. Past exercises using our ARES and NTS people have worked, and we’re looking to expand this.

    This is a chance to exercise one of the basic functions of our service under Part 97, and even if only a few in each state join in, it’s a starting point for future coordination and mutual respect with the official federal agencies. It will also provide a proof of value of amateur radio to our state and local customers.

    Let me know how you feel, and if your states would like to take a swing at it. Even if we start small, it provides a reason for future growth.


    Chuck Motes, K1DFS, CT Section Manager
    AFMARS AFA1CM/AFS12C, Director AFMARS, 1st Comm Gp, 1st Comm Wing (CT, MA, RI)

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