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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX004 (2017)

ARLX004 Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio
Communications Test is May 13

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 4  ARLX004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 27, 2017
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX004 Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio
Communications Test is May 13

The US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard will sponsor the
traditional military/amateur radio communication tests on Saturday,
May 13 to mark the 66th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD). Armed Forces
Day is May 20, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event
will take place a week earlier in order to avoid schedule conflicts
with those attending Hamvention.

Complete information, including military stations, modes, and
frequencies, is available on the US Army MARS website at, .

The annual celebration is a unique opportunity to test two-way
communication between radio amateurs and military stations
(authorized under Part 97.111 of the Amateur Service rules). It
features traditional military-to-amateur crossband SSB voice, CW,
practice using legacy interoperability waveforms, and the
opportunity for participating hams to utilize more modern military
modes, such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment
(ALE). Military stations and Amateur Radio stations are authorized
to communicate directly on certain 60-meter interoperability
channels - 5,330.5, 5346.5, and 5,371.5 kHz.

These tests give Amateur Radio operators and shortwave listeners a
chance and a challenge to demonstrate individual technical skills
and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio
station. QSL cards will be available for stations successfully
contacting participating military stations.

The Armed Forces Day message will be transmitted via Military
Standard radioteletype modes (MIL-STD 188-110A/B). Software is
available to demodulate the military serial PSK waveform, and
detailed instructions can be downloaded from,
.  Utilizing this mode with soundcard equipment can be challenging;
review the instructions carefully.

A short practice transmission will be sent at 1930 and 2330 on May
6, 7, 10, and 12 on 13.506.5 MHz USB and 17.443.0 MHz USB.

Military FSK is Baudot at 850 Hz, 75 baud, low mark, and 2000 Hz
center. Most RTTY programs can be set to decode this mode. To
achieve low mark while receiving in USB, select reverse shift.

QSL cards are available for individuals that receive the Armed
Forces Day test message. To receive a card, copy the printed text of
the test message as received from the military station, and include
it in your report. No attempt should be made to correct possible

Stations copying Armed Forces Day messages transmitted from US Army
and US Navy stations and requesting a QSL card, can complete the QSL
report form online at, . Stations copying
the Armed Forces Day message transmitted from US Air Force stations
and seeking a QSL card should send a request to Armed Forces Day
Celebration, Chief, Air Force MARS, 203 W. Losey St, Scott AFB, IL

Include a transcript of the received text, time observed, frequency
observed, military station call sign, your full name and Amateur
Radio call sign (if applicable), full mailing address (including ZIP

Stations with Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) capability can
contact a military station on specific half duplex crossband
channels established for this purpose. ALE is a selective calling
and linking method utilized by government, military, and amateur
radio communications. Military stations will scan and receive
certain amateur HFLINK ALE frequencies and transmit on the
corresponding military ALE frequency. Military stations will also
transmit ALE station identification (soundings) on each military
frequency at 30- to 90-minute intervals. Amateur stations may scan
military frequencies and monitor the soundings to build the LQA
database or select the channel manually. Amateur stations will call
military stations using ALE selective calling on one of the paired
cross band channels.


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