Participate in the nation-wide MARS Communications Exercise

The Military Auxiliary Radio System will conduct a nation-wide communications exercise in November. A mission objective is for the exchange of situational awareness information between amateur radio operators and MARS members/stations.
Between November 2 and November, 17 MARS stations in Colorado will interface directly with Amateur Radio clubs, organizations and individuals to facilitate two-way information flow. MARS members will provide individual Amateur Radio operators technical support to receive the Department of Defense broadcasts using Mil-STD serial PSK. On Saturday, November 2, hams can receive that information at the Delta County EOC, at the Oncology Center next to the Delta Memorial Hospital, from 0930-1200 after the MARC breakfast in Olathe. Technical support for setting up radios for DMR will be provided as well.
From November 6 through November 17 MARS stations will reach out to amateurs on 75, 60 and 40 meters, VHF and UHF bands/repeaters primarily making use of existing amateur radio nets, except in 60 meters where MARS will be available for amateurs to call. There will be broadcasts on 60 meters from the Department of Defense.
For further information contact Steve Schroder, KI0KY.

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3 Responses to Participate in the nation-wide MARS Communications Exercise

  1. Colin says:

    If I am not mistaken, MARS asks anyone participating in their open nets, to follow pretty strict formats. Go figure, it’s the military.

    Anyway- If someone who knows the MARS system of communicating on their net it would be nice to list it here and distribute it. I am aware MARS doesn’t expect rigid conformance to their system but it would be a good impression from Amateur radio, especially from MARC.

    -Colin, N0CHS

    • Steve Schroder says:

      Colorado ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) will conduct its annual SET (Simulated Emergency Test) on Saturday, October 26 from 0800 to 1600 hrs. The communications exercise is sponsored by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. All amateur radio operators are invited to participate.
      The scenario is that a natural disaster has disrupted the state’s electrical grid. The widespread power outages have caused the failure of communications including telephone, cellphones, internet, commercial broadcasts and public safety systems. Hams are asked to use battery powered portable or mobile radios in accordance with the scenario.
      For hams in Delta and Montrose Counties the goals are for hams to pass information about their situation to the county Emergency Operations Center. Participating hams can check into the ARES net on the Raspberry repeater ( 146.910 minus, 107.2 ) between 0800 and 1200 hrs. The Cedaredge repeater ( 147.195 plus, no tone) will also me monitored for reporting stations.
      The net control station will direct each station to give its report to the EOC. The report is simple. Just state “This is an Exercise, then give your general location and state the situation is normal. Stating “normal” reduces the chance someone will mistakenly overlook the “This is an exercise” statement.
      The Delta County EOC and possibly the Montrose County EOC/MARC club trailer will be operational. The hams at the EOC will receive the reports and prepare a consolidated report. Then they will send that report to the State EOC via radio.
      After the exercise, participants can send their comments to Bill Bear, KC0QXX, the Colorado ARES District 8 Emergency Coordinator.

    • Steve Schroder says:

      The communication between ARS and MARS stations on the 60 meters channels is normal plain language just like on the other ham bands.

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