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Fairbanks, Alaska

The next AARC club meeting will be Friday July 7, 2017.  The next license test session will be Saturday July 8, 2017.

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Copyright © 2017 Arctic Amateur Radio Club  (version 2017EE update  05/09/2017 @ 0100 UTC)

Kilo Lima 7 Kilo Charley

MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) 2017 COMMEX Exercise occurs of February 25th, 2017

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is a United States Department of Defense sponsored program, established as a separately managed and operated program by the United States Army, and the United States Air Force.  The program is a civilian auxiliary consisting primarily of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in assisting the military with communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. The MARS programs also include active duty, reserve, and National Guard units; Navy, Marine Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ships, and Coast Guard cutters and shore stations.

MARS has a long history of providing worldwide auxiliary emergency communications during times of need. The combined two-service MARS programs (Army and Air Force), consist of a volunteer force of over 3,000 dedicated and skilled amateur radio operators provide the backbone of the MARS program. The main benefit of MARS membership is enjoying the amateur radio hobby through an ever-expanding horizon of MARS service to the nation. MARS members work by the slogan "Proudly serving those who serve".

On February 25th, MARS Stations will do a basic id-on-air indicating they are operating in conjunction with the MARS COMMEX on amateur frequencies using their own amateur call signs.  Dan (KL1JP) will be a local MARS radio operator and will be soliciting contacts from ham radio operators.  Exchange information should be your ham callsign, RST and any problems with the local infrastructure  (airport / utilities / services / electric power / telephone / etc..)  These should be real and correct reports.  Nothing should be made up.  If its actually broken then tell the MARS radio operator.  Otherwise 99.9% of the input will be “everything is working” since nothing has actually broken.  At the present time, KL1JP plans on using voice (phone) only.

The information gathered will be submitted up-channel to Department of Defense (DOD) agencies and interested Federal Emergency Response Agencies who may also be a participants in the COMMEX. The exercise purpose is to provide those agencies with a heads up for areas that will need immediate assistance, well ahead of the usual State or local request for that help.  What MARS radio operators do in a real emergency is come up on-air to get reports regarding what is still working and what has failed in an area.  Because ham radio operators live in the local communities effected in any emergency, they will know first hand what is wrong.  

ARRL report on MARS COMMEX of 2016 which will be similar to the exercise of 2017:


More to come….