New Interim Chief Takes Over Air Force MARS
The Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) organization has a new “interim” Chief. Outgoing USAF MARS Chief Allen Eiermann, K3LSR, retired at the end of May and was replaced by TSgt Jason E. Sandifer. Sandifer is a systems manager stationed at the Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC) at Scott AFB, Illinois. AFNIC is the headquarters of the national Air Force MARS organization.
Chief Sandifer’s appointment to the position is expected to last until a recruitment action is completed and a new Chief is on board. Sandifer represented Air Force MARS at the Dayton Hamvention in May, and discussed his new role with other Air Force MARS officials and his Army and Navy-Marine Corps MARS counterparts. Since then, he has taken the reins of a dynamic program that is focused on providing reliable and interoperable radio-based communications in the event of emergencies, in accordance with new guidance and direction issued by the Department of Defense.
Among the issues on Sandifer’s desk is updating relevant Air Force documents and the USAF MARS Operating Instruction (MOI) to conform with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 4650.02, issued at the end of last year. The DoDI revalidated the importance of the MARS program and broadened its mission.
“This is an exciting time for MARS in general and for the entire Air Force MARS organization,” stated Sandifer. “I am looking forward to working with the dedicated volunteers of Air Force MARS as we fulfill our expanded mission and provide contingency communications to the Air Force, the Department of Defense, and the nation.”
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, or 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. Most recently, along with the other MARS programs, AF MARS helped coordinate relief communications following the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. -- David J. Trachtenberg, N4WWL/AFA3TR, AF MARS Public Information Officer