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Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Exercise Set for May 14


The US Department of Defense will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test on Saturday, May 14. While Armed Forces Day is May 21, the AFD cross-band military-amateur radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier to avoid any conflict with the Dayton Hamvention®. The event is open to all radio amateurs.

The AFD Cross-Band Test is two-way communications exercise between military and amateur radio stations, as authorized under FCC Part 97 rules (47 CFR § 97.111), and Department of Defense Instruction 4650.02 which establishes the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS). During the exercise, radio amateurs listen for stations on military operating frequencies and transmit on frequencies in adjacent amateur bands.

ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® has promoted the participation of military and amateur radio stations in the AFD event for more than 50 years. In the August 1950 issue of ARRL's membership journal, QST, it was noted that "232 persons made perfect copy of the 'Greeting to Amateurs' broadcast at 25 w.p.m. over 13 military frequencies and have received a Certificate of Merit signed by the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Louis Johnson."

There are 24 military stations registered across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, that will be participating in the 2022 event. Several of those stations will be using the 60-meter interoperative channels during this exercise. All operations will be on a not-to-interfere basis, in case there are real-world missions being supported during the event timeframe.

An AFD Secretary of Defense message will also be sent in CW and RTTY, and an AFD message will also be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) serial PSK waveform (M110), followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B.

A detailed list of modes and frequencies for military/government stations taking part in the Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test and information on the AFD message is available at In the upper right corner is a dropdown with all the information.

Complete the request form to obtain a QSL card at



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