Sunday, May 10, 2015

Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Military / Amateur Radio Communications Test (9-10 May 2015)

I look forward to this event every year. I am hoping that I can participate from the USNORTHCOM MARS Station one day in the future but my efforts to secure a permanent location have not been successful so far.

This was the 65th celebration of the Anniversary of Armed Forces Day and the 90th anniversary celebration of the creation of MARS (Military Affiliated Radio System).

Basically it works like this: The MARS Stations transmit on one of their approved frequencies (out side the Amateur bands) and they listen on the Amateur band. That way Amateurs can make contact with the different MARS Stations participating in the event. In most cases the MARS operators are also Hams but that is not always the case.

I was able to work three MARS Stations, WUG-2 in Memphis TN, NPD in Memphis TN and NWVC in Evansville IN. I really wanted to work AAZ in AZ but it was not to be. The frustration is there are several frequencies publish but they tend to sit on the freq closest to 20 meters for the whole event, at least that has been my observation. Also I never heard any Air Force Stations which was disappointing. I am re-working my shack or have been for the last few months and do not have any digital capability so I was unable to copy the digital transmission from Ash Carter, Sec Def.

Message from Ash Carter

I think the last time I put this much effort into the event was over ten years ago in 2004 and here is the QSL card I received from that event.

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