Armed Forces Day 2014 Cross-Band Communication Test Set for May 10
The 2014 Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Communication Test will take place on Saturday, May 10. The US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard co-sponsor the annual Amateur Radio/US military communication test. The 64th Armed Forces Day officially takes place on May 17, but the Armed Forces Day event takes place a week earlier, on May 10, to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention®. The on-the-air celebration features traditional military-to-Amateur Radio cross-band communication on both SSB and CW. Some activity will continue into the early hours of Sunday, May 11 (UTC). Most activity gets underway at 1200 UTC.
“These tests give Amateur Radio operators and Short Wave Listeners (SWLs) an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills, and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise,” the Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Communication Test announcement said. “QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations.”
More than 20 military stations representing all of the services and in various parts of the Continental US, as well Hawaii (ABH), Okinawa (ADB) and Guam (NRV) are expected to be on the air, transmitting on military frequencies outside the Amateur Radio bands and listening for calls within Amateur Radio bands. Some military stations may not be on the air for the entire event, depending on propagation and station staffing.
Participating military stations will transmit on selected Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) frequencies and listen for Amateur Radio stations in certain bands and frequencies, depending on the station. The military stations have asked that radio amateurs limit voice contacts to no longer than a couple of minutes. Some military stations will use CW. Much of the activity will involve frequencies outside the 80, 40, and 20 meter bands.
Participating US Army Stations will include WAR at the Pentagon, as well as AAZ, AAC, ABH, ADB, and WUG-23; US Air Force stations AIR, AGA2SY, AGA4AR, AGA5SC, and ARA9TR, and US Navy-Marine Corps stations NBL, NMC1, NMN, NNN0ASF, NNN0CQQ, NPD, NRV, NUW, NWKJ, and NWVC.
The annual event also includes the US Secretary of Defense message test, which will be transmitted in various digital modes. Stations will use RTTY, CW, PSK31, PACTOR, AMTOR (FEC), MT63, and other digital modes to transmit the message. A certificate is available for stations correctly copying the message.
Transcripts of the digital message from the US Secretary of Defense should be submitted “as received,” with no attempt to correct possible transmission or reception errors. On the same sheet of paper containing the test message, stations should provide time, frequency and call sign of the military station copied, as well as the name, call sign, and address (including zip code) of the individual submitting the entry.
Stations receiving the message from AAZ, WAR, or AAC should send entries to Armed Forces Day Celebration, Commander Netcom, ATTN: NETC-ATD (MARS Station), Building 90549 Jim Avenue, Ft Huachuca, AZ 85613-7070. Stations copying the message from NBL, NNN0ASF, NNN0CQQ, NUW, NWKJ OR NWVC should send entries to Armed Forces Day Celebration, Chief, Navy-Marine Corps MARS, Cheatham Annex Building 117, 108 Sanda Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185-5830. Stations copying the message from AGA2SY, AGA5SC, AGA9TR OR AFA4AR should send entries to Armed Forces Day Celebration, 38 Cyrs/Chief Air Force MARS, 203W Losey St, Room 1200, Scott AFB, IL 62225.