Air Force MARS Gets New Leadership
Richard Jenson -- a Program Manager at the Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC) at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois -- has been selected as the new Chief of Air Force MARS (USAF MARS). Jensen replaces Technical Sergeant Jason E. Sandifer, who served as Interim Chief since May when USAF MARS Chief Allen Eiermann, K3LSR, retired. AFNIC is the headquarters of the USAF MARS organization.
According to USAF MARS Public Information Officer David J. Trachtenberg, N4WWL/AFA3TR, Jenson’s appointment provides an opportunity to more closely align the organization’s capabilities with the expanded MARS mission, as reflected in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 4650.02: “The DoDI -- issued in December 2009 -- reaffirmed the value MARS provides to the Department of Defense, outlined the MARS-related responsibilities of the heads of the military departments and senior-level officials within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and established the foundation for a broader integration of MARS into DoD and US government operations.”
Trachtenberg said that Jenson takes the helm of an Air Force auxiliary organization “with a proven track record of accomplishments” that includes providing training and communications support to individual units of the Air National Guard, facilitating daily phone patch links between ground stations and military aircraft in flight and supporting disaster relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake earlier this year.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead this organization of dedicated volunteer radio communicators and am enthusiastic about my new responsibilities,” Jenson said. “The members of Air Force MARS can be rightly proud of their service to the nation, and I am eager to work with all of them as we enhance our ability to serve those who serve us.”
About the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS)
MARS is a Department of Defense-sponsored program, established as separately managed and operated programs by the Army, Navy-Marine Corps and Air Force. MARS members are volunteer licensed civilian Amateur Radio operators who serve as an organized military auxiliary and provide contingency radio communications support to the Department of Defense and to civil authorities at all levels. MARS operators assist in effecting normal communications under emergency conditions, when conventional means of communications are unavailable or are likely to become unavailable. They also provide health, morale and welfare radio communications support to members of the Armed Forces, civilian employees and contractors of the Department of Defense, as well as to civil agency employees and contractors when in remote and isolated areas, in contingencies or whenever appropriate.