MARS 48 Hour Test Deemed “Unequivocal Success”
Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Army MARS Chief Stephen Klinefelter has declared the multifaceted national communication exercise early this month “an unequivocal success,” and he thanked all three MARS branches and the other participating military units and civilian entities for their “hard work, long hours, and dedication to the mission.”
The MARS station at ARRL’s Maxim Memorial Station, AAN1ARL, took part in the November 3-5 exercise, which, Klinefelter, said was “designed to test and stress our networks and our members’ ability to process and respond to a variety of message traffic.”
In the drill scenario, a catastrophe had wiped out normal telephone and Internet links. Communication was by voice and digital HF radio, the bulk encrypted as it would be in a hostile contingency. From start to finish, nets throughout 48 states operated without a break, with military MARS stations overseas also connected — more than 5500 hours of operation by Army MARS participants alone.
Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) handled exercise traffic as well. US Army MARS representatives met with ARRL staff at League Headquarters in early October to discuss ways the two organizations might collaborate in emergency response activities.