Tag Archives: MARS

Annual Armed Forces Day Cross Band Comm Test May 14th

Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day

ARRL has announced the 2016 Armed Forces Day Cross-band Communications  Test. It will take place on May 14, 2016. You can learn more about it here.

Military Auxiliary Radio System

The Official Army MARS announcement is here.

Frequency, mode and operating protocol information can be found here.

The following is some information about the Cross-band Communications test from the ARRL Website:

The US Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard will cosponsor the Armed Forces Day Military/Amateur Radio Cross-Band Communications Test on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The event gets under way at 1200 UTC, with activity continuing throughout the day. Some military stations may not operate for the entire period.

“New for Armed Forces Day this year, military stations and Amateur Radio operators are authorized to directly communicate on the 60 meter interoperability channels,” US Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, pointed out.

This year marks the 66th Armed Forces Day (AFD) observance, a week later than the radio event. Armed Forces Day is observed this year on May 21, but the Military/Amateur Radio Cross-Band Communications Test is held earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention®.

The annual communications exercise is an opportunity to test two-way communication between amateur and military communicators and features traditional military-to-amateur cross-band SSB and CW communication and offers an opportunity for radio amateurs to utilize modern military communications modes such as MIL-STD serial PSK and automatic link establishment (ALE). These tests give Amateur Radio operators and shortwave listeners (SWLs) a chance and a challenge to demonstrate individual technical skills, and to receive recognition from military radio stations. QSL cards will be provided to stations that contact military stations during this event. The complete announcement of stations, times, and frequencies— subject to change — is available on the US Army MARS website.

Participating military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and listen for Amateur Radio stations on selected amateur frequencies, which the military station operator will announce. Contacts should be limited to a minute or two, so all participants get a chance. Some stations will operate on Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) frequencies; others will use CW.